The California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento reached a milestone today. On May 2, 1981 it opened its doors for the first time. Gov. Jerry Brown, dignitaries and a enthusiastic crowds were on hand to mark the occasion and see the vintage trains.
Historian Lance Armstrong of Valley Community Newspapers observed that the museum is celebrating two anniversaries this Spring: its groundbreaking on April 21, 1978, as well as its grand opening. He notes the continuing success of this massive three story, 100,000 square-foot facility which attracts some half million visitors every year. But this brick building is only part of a complex of historical attractions which also includes the Central Pacific passenger station and freight depot, the "Big Four Building," the Dingley Spice Mill Building and the 1849 Eagle Theatre.
Attached is a microfilm copy of The Bee's coverage of Opening Day festivities.
PHOTO CREDIT: (top) Locomotive No. 8 of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad arrives at the grand opening of the California State Railroad Museum. (middle) Gov. Jerry Brown addresses the crowd. (bottom) Rail fans view a working replica of England's historic Rocket locomotive. May 1981 Sacramento Bee photos by Morgan Ong.