Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Archives Open House this Saturday October 3

Via the Sac For Tourists blog:
There will be a California State Archives open house this Saturday from 4-8 PM. Definitely worthwhile if you're into old pieces of paper and unusual relics of California history; I will be there representing the Sacramento County Historical Society and selling some of our own old pieces of paper. The Archives are on the top floor of the California Museum building at the southeast corner of 10th & O Street, admission is free.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sacramento Old City Cemetery Tour Sat Sep. 26

The Sacramento County Historical Society presents its Fall Social & Barbecue Under the Stars in the Old City Cemetery

Saturday, September 26, 2009 5:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Sacramento Old City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway

Sacramento's city cemetery was established in 1849 with a donation of 10 acres of high ground by John Sutter. Among its first internments were the victims of Sacramento's 1850 cholera epidemic. Some notable residents of the old city cemetery are city founder John Sutter Jr., our first mayor Hardin Bigelow, and Central Pacific founder Mark Hopkins. Thousands of other Sacramentants inhabit the cemtery, from all walks of life. Tour guides will introduce you to some of the cemetery's fascinating inhabitants, and explain some of the history of the cemetery, on two guided tours through the property. Bring a flashlight!

The evening will also feature musical performances by Agent Ribbons, Dead Western and The Freebadge Serenaders.

Admission for non-SCHS members is $10, FREE for SCHS members.
Dinner is an additional $15 for members or non-members; there is limited availability for dinners, please ask at the front gate.
Menu is BBQ brisket and chicken (veggie burgers on request), potato salad, cornbread, beans, coleslaw, soda and cookies, provided by JR's Texas BBQ.

The event will take place inside the Old City Cemetery; please park in the parking lot across the street near 10th & Broadway, as the cemetery's main gates will be closed by the time the event lets out and cars parked inside will not be able to exit! Gates will close at 6:30 PM so please arrive promptly.

This event is open to all ages.

Funds from this event will benefit the Sacramento County Historical Society (a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit) and the Sacramento Old City Cemetery Committee. For more information about the Old City Cemetery Committee, visit their website and for more information about SCHS, visit the SCHS website.

Note: This is not the same tour as the popular Lantern Tours given by the Old City Cemetery Committee in October. That tour is already sold out, so if you want the chance to experience the Old City Cemetery after dark, this is your opportunity!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

SOCA Home Tour in Boulevard Park Sep 20

On Sunday, September 20, the Sacramento Old City Association will hold its 34th annual historic home tour in the Boulevard Park neighborhood. Tour hours are from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM.

The SOCA Home Tour is an annual event, and the main fundraiser for the Sacramento Old City Association. This home tour includes an inside look at eight restored historic homes in Boulevard Park. Tour visitors can walk through each of the homes on the tour to see how the workmanship of historic homes is often as beautiful on the inside as the outside.

The Home Tour also includes a street fair, including artisans and craftspersons specializing in historic home repair and restoration, local artists, crafters, photographers and artisans, and community organizations. Live music will be provided by Julie the Bruce, Andrew Surber and "Drum Polygon." The Sacramento "Capitol A's" Model A Club will display their restored antique cars throughout the tour. CLUCK (Campaign to Legalize Urban Chicken Keeping) will raffle a chicken coop and other prizes at their booth.

Tickets for the Home Tour cost $20, but you get a $1 discount if you arrive on a bicycle. Tickets for the fair can be bought at the site of the tour: the SOCA tour booth will be located on the corner of 21st and G Street, directly in the street median. Visiting the homes requires a ticket, but the street fair is free, and will run along 21st Street between F and H Street.

This year's tour is located in the Boulevard Park historic district, a neighborhood that is visually distinct due to the landscaped street medians running down 21st and 22nd Street. These medians were part of a real estate development project dating to 1905. Located on the site of the old Union Park racetrack, Boulevard Park was the first planned development of the Wright & Kimbrough real estate firm. The development's boundaries were from B Street to H Street between 20th and 22nd, with a portion of 23rd.

When the neighborhood was built, a streetcar line ran along H Street from downtown to McKinley Park. Many of the most elegant Boulevard Park homes were located facing H Street, with more modest but still beautiful homes closer to C Street. C Street had its own streetcar line, but freight trains also ran on the same tracks until 1953! In addition to the landscaped medians, three blocks in Boulevard Park have small central park areas located in the center of the block, in a space normally occupied by backyards and alleys. Covenants on property deeds required minimum setbacks, prohibited high fences and noxious uses, and made provision for shared tenancy of the alley parks. These features gave the neighborhood a pleasing, park-like look that is still apparent a century after its construction. The current Boulevard Park neighborhood includes an area beyond the original development. Homes in the neighborhood are a mixture of Craftsman and Prairie, Classical Revival, Colonial Revival, Spanish Revival and other revival st yles. Elsewhere in the neighborhood are Victorian homes of the Queen Anne, Stick, Shingle and Italianate styles.

Boulevard Park is one of Sacramento's most beautiful and well-known neighborhoods, and this year's SOCA Home Tour provides a unique look at the architecture, culture and creativity that make our city a great place.

SOCA's Web site can be found at: www.sacoldcity.org and includes membership information, details of SOCA activities and events, and updates about planning and preservation issues in Sacramento's central city.

Photograph taken by Randy Lum.