Sac History Happenings

News and developments in Sacramento and California history

April 30, 2013
Congratulations to the California History Day winners

RB History Day 2.JPGNational History Day is a year-long competition in the area of historical research, writing and analysis (sort of history's equivalent of a science fair for primary and secondary school students around the country). Contestants who qualified at the regional level went on to compete at this past weekend's state gathering in Sacramento where winners were chosen for the national competition coming up in Maryland June 9-13.

This year's NHD theme is Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events. Students chose a related event from local, state, national or world history and presented their research in one of six formats: 2-D display, documentary video, exhibit, paper, performance or website.

Special kudos go to students in the Sacramento region who earned awards at the state meet:

Savannah Hill, a student at Spring View Middle School in Rocklin, runner up in the Junior Individual Documentary category for her entry Cesar Chavez and the UFW: The Harvest for Change.

Aishwarya Nadgauda, a student at Sacramento Country Day School, runner up in the Senior Individual Documentary category for her entry Setting off a Reaction that Changed the World Forever.

Evan Shen, a student at Winston Churchill Middle School, California History Junior Historical Paper Award for his entry, The Economic Impacts of the Transcontinental Railroad on the US.

Sara Warady, a student at St. Francis  High School, California History Senior Historical Paper Award for her entry, Art Saves: How Dorothea Lange Used Photography to Ameliorate the Lives of Okie Migrants During the Great Depression.

Jacqueline Holben, a student at St. Francis High School, Nikirk Memorial Art Award for her entry, The Funk Art Movement.

Congratulations to all the students who participated in California History Day!

PHOTO CREDIT: Bishop Union High School student Lara Stickells explains her two dimensional display to judges E. J. Renner, Anne Everton, and Dave Kahl during the National History Day state finals at the Red Lion Hotel in Sacramento. 2013 Sacramento Bee photograph by Randall Benton

April 30, 2013
California Missions exhibit begins at California Museum

Mission San Juan Cap.jpgToday the California Museum unveils its new year-long exhibition devoted to the 21 missions established in the Golden State from 1769 to 1823.

The Mission system established by the Franciscans was Europe's first attempt to settle the American West Coast. These outposts introduced livestock, farming and ranching to the state and played a pivotal role in California's development.

What: California Missions: A Journey Along the El Camino Real
Where: California Museum, 1020 O St., Sacramento
When: April 30 thru April 27, 2014. Monday, closed; Tuesday thru Saturday, 10 to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.
Cost: General admission (18+), $8.50; college students & seniors (65+), $7; youth (6-17), $6; children (5 & under), free.
For more info: 916-653-7524 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: Mission at San Juan Capistrano. The mission is said to be the oldest church in the West and the only remaining building in the United States where Father Junipero Serra recited Mass. 2004 AP Photo/Los Angeles Times photograph by Karen Tapia-Andersen

April 29, 2013
A sports-themed cemetery tour

Historic City Cemetery flowers.JPGThe Historic City Cemetery's 2013 tour season continues with a session devoted to three sports: boxing, bicycling and baseball. Visitors will enjoy a Springtime amble through lush gardens while knowledgeable docents tell stories about pugilists, ball players and cyclists who competed and excelled during Sacramento's early years.

What: General History Tour
Where: Historic City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento
When: May 4, 10 a.m.
Cost: free, but donations appreciated that will go to cemetery preservation and restoration.
For more info: 916-264-7839 or 916-448-0811 or view website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Flower bed at the Historic City Cemetery in Sacramento. Courtesy Old City Cemetery Committee

April 25, 2013
Another source of historic Sacramento images

1601 K street c.1901 John  Bruning.jpgLast month this blog profiled two social media sites specializing in vintage images of Sacramento scenes and ephemera. A third resource recently came on the scene.

Sacramento Then and Now is a new photo-rich blog maintained by real estate agent Scott Williams. It features historic and contemporary images of streets and houses in the city that are often accompanied by property diagrams taken from old Sanford Fire Insurance Maps.

It's interesting to see what building now occupies the site of an old home or business. Take for instance the John H. Bruning residence located at 1601 K St. in the early 1900s. That classy bungalow is now a Hertz Rent a Car. Williams documents the changes in that lot with Sanford maps from 1895, 1915 and 1940.

Incidentally, there's a huge then-and-now site loaded with photos contributed by readers across the globe. History Pin sports an interactive map where you can quickly locate pictures in your favorite neighborhoods. Many of the historic images can be overlaid with contemporary views.

PHOTO CREDIT: John H. Bruning home in 1901.

April 25, 2013
WPA Guide for California just reprinted

Among the many published items produced by the Federal Writers' Project during the Great Depression were a series of guidebooks for all 48 states. The American Guide Series featured in-depth essays on the history and culture of the state and descriptions of each city. Each guide also included tourist information and many photographs.

The UC Press has just released a new reprint of California's WPA guidebook. The volume describes "the history, culture, and roadside attractions of the 1930s." Although the material was written anonymously, some prominent authors are known to have contributed to the Guide. They include: Kenneth Rexroth, Harry Partch, Tillie Olsen and Kenneth Patchen.

California in the 1930s: The WPA Guide to the Golden State
Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration
reprinted by the UC Press
paperback, 756 pages
read an excerpt

April 24, 2013
80 years of San Francisco public art celebrated in new history

SFACcover_web800px-200-web.jpgPublic art reflects the character of a city. And a new history uncovers the vibrant, bold culture of San Francisco by examining 80 years of the city's public art. Beginning with the construction of Coit Tower in 1934, writer Susan Wels surveys the great sculptures, diverse music events and innovative community arts programs. Her book is richly illustrated with images by over a dozen photographers.

Wels is also author of Titanic: Legacy of the World's Greatest Ocean Liner, California Academy of Sciences: Architecture in Harmony with Nature and Amelia Earhart: The Thrill of It.

San Francisco: Arts for the City, Civic Art and Urban Change, 1932-2012
By Susan Wels
Hardcover, 224 pages, 175 color photos

April 23, 2013
Spring celebrated at Maidu Museum
Grindstone Dancers.JPG

The whole family will enjoy the Yomen (Spring) celebration at the Maidu Museum on Sunday.

Visitors will be treated with the traditional opening blessing, tribal dance, native art and craft demonstrations, storytelling, hand games and guided tours of the historic site. In addition there will be children's activities, vendors and Indian food for sale.

What: Yomen -- A Spring Celebration
Where: Maidu Museum & Historic Site, 1970 Johnson Ranch Drive, Roseville
When: April 28, 10 to 3 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: (916) 774-5934 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: Grindstone Dance Group at the Yomen Celebration in 2003, Courtesy Maidu Interpretive Center Museum

April 22, 2013
General history tour at Historic City Cemetery

Thumbnail image for General History by Anita Lincoln.jpgThis Saturday's Historic City Cemetery tour honors important the movers and shakers who helped develop Sacramento in its earliest days. As usual, knowledgeable docents will share fascinating historical insights about the city as they lead visitors past interesting grave markers and beautiful landscaping.

What: General History Tour
Where: Historic City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento
When: April 27, 10 a.m.
Cost: free, but donations appreciated that will go to cemetery preservation and restoration.
For more info: 916-264-7839 or 916-448-0811 or view website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Crocker family monument in Sacramento's Historic City Cemetery. Photograph by Anita Lincoln

April 19, 2013
Remembering 1963 at the Crocker Art Museum

Civil Rights march 1963.jpgReaders will share personal stories on the theme of Remembering 1963 & Civil Rights at the Crocker Art Museum on April 25 as part of TrueStory, a new local non-fiction reading series from the literary micro-magazine Under the Gum Tree.  Three featured readers will share their stories and attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for 5-minutes of open mic. This is the kick-off event for the reading series, and is held in conjunction with a new exhibition at the Crocker Art Museum, Rebirth of a Nation: Thomas Somerville's 1963, which will be on display through May 5.

What: Truestory: Remembering 1963 & Civil Rights
When: Thursday, April 25, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Where: Crocker Art Museum, 216 O Street, Sacramento
Cost: $5 for museum members; $8 for nonmembers
For more info:;

IMAGE CREDIT: Civil rights march on Wash[ington], D.C., Aug. 28, 1963; Warren K. Leffler, photographer; Library of Congress.

April 18, 2013
Rail historian/photographer to speak at Sacramento City College

burman.JPGRailroad historian and photographer Shirley Burman will speak at Sacramento City College this Saturday. Burman, who photographed trains with her late husband Richard Steinheimer, became interested in the subject in 1978 when the State Railroad Museum hired her to document train restoration.

For many years Burman has documented and championed the contributions of women who have worked in the rail industry. That interest resulted in various exhibits, journal articles and a children's book She's Been Working on the Railroad (written with Nancy Smiler Levinson). Her company Burman Enterprises, which sells T-shirts, postcards, mugs and tote bags with the theme "Women and the American Railroad," was profiled by The Sacramento Bee in 1996.

What: Shirley Burman
Where: Sacramento City College Student Center
When: April 20, 1 p.m.
Cost: lecture is free and parking free on Saturdays
For more info: website

PHOTO CREDIT: At Southern Pacific Railroad's Sacramento Shops, Pat Taylor cleans traction motor parts in 1986. Photograph by Shirley Burman

April 17, 2013
Delta Chinatowns celebrated in new photo volume

Locke book.jpgChinese merchants founded Lockeport (later Locke) in 1915 after the Chinese section of Walnut Grove was destroyed in a fire. The town grew with the expansion of agriculture in the region. At its peak, Locke contained many shops, restaurants, gambling halls and a brothel or two. Today 70 to 80 people live in the hamlet.

A new Arcadia photo book celebrates Locke and other Chinatowns along the Sacramento River Delta. It was compiled by Lawrence Tom and Brian Tom, founder and director of the Chinese American Museum of Northern California in Marysville. The Toms have produced two other Chinese history volumes for Arcadia: Marysville's Chinatown and Sacramento's Chinatown.

Locke and the Sacramento Delta Chinatowns
by Lawrence Tom, Brian Tom
Arcadia Publishing
paperback, 128 pages, 200 images

Arcadia Publishing is known for producing small, richly illustrated books on local and regional history. It typically partners with local historians and organizations in developing its publications, which now number nearly 7,500 titles that celebrate communities all across the country.

April 16, 2013
Capitol Museum revisits the great 1906 quake and fire

Earthquake Group .jpgThe Living History program at the State Capitol Museum will reenact the local response to the great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906. This Sunday docents in period attire will portray officials and regular folk helping with recovery efforts and assisting refugees who fled to Sacramento. A high point will be the dramatic moment when Gov. George receives a telegram from President Theodore Roosevelt pledging a $1 million for disaster aid.

In addition to the reenactments, visitors can watch a special 3-D film on the quake that will play all day in the Capitol's basement theater.

What: 1906 Earthquake Living History Day
Where: California State Capitol Museum, 10th St. between L & N Sts., Sacramento
When: April 21. Tours available every 15 minutes from 10:30 to 3 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: 916-324-0333 or website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Living history docents reenact the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. Courtesy California State Capitol Museum

April 15, 2013
Artisan sales at Sutter's Fort/Indian Museum

SF trader's faire 2008 015.jpgIt's two artisan sales in one! Sutter's Fort and the State Indian Museum are again hosting the Trader's Faire and Indian Arts & Crafts Market this weekend.

Shoppers will discover unique hand-crafted wares at each location. You'll see clothing, housewares, toys, beads and knives, dipped candles, rag rugs and corn husk dolls at the Fort. At the Museum you'll find beaded jewelry, beautiful Native American artwork, woven baskets, gourds, carved soapstone and elk horn and ceremonial drums.

In addition visitors will be entertained with live bands playing traditional instruments, plus cooking, musket and cannon demonstrations and hands-on craft making.

What: Two Artisan Shopping Events -- Trader's Faire and Indian Arts & Crafts Market
Where: Sutter's Fort State Historic Park (2701 L Street) & State Indian Museum (2618 K Street), both in Sacramento
When: April 20 & 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Combo price - $8 for adults; $6 for youth ages 6-17 which includes entrance into both the Fort and Museum. Sutter's Fort stand-alone price: $7 for adults; $5 for youths ages 6-17. Indian Museum stand-alone price: $4 for adults; $3 for youths ages 6-17. Admission for children ages five and under are free to both the Fort and Museum
For more info: 916-445-4422 or 916-324-0971 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Sutter's Fort State Historic Park

April 12, 2013
New book celebrates the natural history of the Sacramento River

A new "comprehensive guide" to the Sacramento River, considers the history, development and environmental challenges facing that Northern California waterway, its tributaries and wetlands beginning in the pre-European period. Author Bob Madgic describes how Native Americans were supported by the river, how it contributed to the state's economy and how conservationists tried to preserve it from ill effects of mining, chemical spills, dam and levee control.

Madgic is a retired school teacher and principal whose previous writings include Shattered Air: A True Account of Catastrophe and Courage on Yosemite's Half Dome, A Guide to California's Freshwater Fishes and Pursuing Wild Trout: A Journey in Wilderness Values. He was recently interviewed about his latest book by The Redding Searchlight and The Anderson Valley Post.

The Sacramento: A Transcendent River
by Bob Madgic
River Bend Books
226 pages, 190+ photos
Hardback $40, paperback $29.95

April 11, 2013
Vintage headwear on display during special tour

CSH hat.jpgWhat do Titanic-era hats, flapper cloches, 1960s pillbox hats, men's top hats, fedoras, old firefighter helmets and military headwear have in common? They'll all be on display at the Center for Sacramento History's Inside the Vault Textile Tour featuring 75 examples of vintage head covering dating from the 1860s to the 1970s.

CSH will offer three public tours over four days, each led by expert guides who will explain the historical significance of these rarely-seen artifacts.

On Sunday Dr. Susan Kaiser, Professor of Women and Gender Studies at UC Davis and author of Fashion and Cultural Studies, will give a multimedia presentation, "Fashioning Time and Place."

Space is limited at these tours, so advanced ticket purchase is recommended.

What: Inside the Vault Textile Tours: Hats & Headwear!
Where: Center for Sacramento History, 551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd., Sacramento
When: April 18-21. Public Tours - 11 a.m., 1 & 3 p.m. each day. Presentation by Dr. Kaiser followed by tour at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Cost: $15 for daily tours; $25 for special presentation and tour. Buy tickets.
For more info: 916-808-7072 or website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Center for Sacramento History

April 10, 2013
New history of Old World wine pioneers in California

Calif Vines.jpgCalifornia Vines, Wines & Pioneers, a new history of the Golden State's wine industry that began in 1769 when Franciscan friars planted wine grapes in their first mission at San Diego. Author Sherry Monahan profiles more than 50 Old World pioneers who cultivated historic vineyards in Napa, Sonoma and other counties, explaining their contributions and taking the story up through the twin challenges of Prohibition and the Phylloxera pestilence.

Monahan, a professional genealogist and historian, has penned several books on the "Victorian West" and has appeared on The History Channel.

California Vines, Wines & Pioneers
By Sherry Monahan
The History Press
160 pages, 80+ images

April 9, 2013
Home tour shows off local Mid-Century Modern architecture

Mid-Century Modern homes are characterized by sleek, horizontal lines, open-floor plans, high ceilings, exposed beams and big windows. Many of these houses were built after WWII (1945-70) in Sacramento's Land Park and South Land Park neighborhoods. Although this style of architecture (as well as interior design and furniture) peaked in the 60s, it continues to fascinate many people today.

Sacramento Modern (SacMod) -- the nonprofit that exists to promote and preserve local MCM art, architecture and design -- conducts an annual home tour to acquaint visitors with the gems in the city. This year's tour features seven homes and 26 "points of interest," including interiors of some rarely-seen mid-century buildings. The event includes the Vintage Transportation Show at Executive Airport. Plus local designers, artists, businesses will be on hand at various spots on the tour.

Tickets are selling fast. You can purchase yours online.

What: 2013 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour
Where: Tour begins at Sacramento Executive Airport
When: May 18, 10 a.m.
Cost: $20 SacMod members, $30 general admission. Advanced ticket sales end May 15.
For more info: buy tickets and website

PHOTO CREDIT: Molly Penberth in her Carter Sparks designed home that was shown in the 2010 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour. Sacramento Bee photograph by Carl Costas

April 8, 2013
Fundraiser to support Folsom historic landmarks

It will be an evening of great music and the opportunity to support two projects in Folsom's Historic District. This Friday's concert event will benefit the Folsom Railroad Museum (scheduled to reopen this spring) and the renovation of the bell tower on Landmark Baptist Church.

Musical entertainment will be provided by local favorites Igor Glenn & Friends, plus the Old West Trio. The evening will also feature fine refreshments, beverages and a raffle with prize winners announced at the end.

What: Folsom Historic District Benefit Concert
Where: Landmark Baptist Church, 609 Figueroa St., Folsom
When: April 12. Doors open 6:30 p.m. for mix mingle. Program begins 7 p.m.
Cost: $30 per person. Tickets must be purchased in advance: call Kathryn Corbett, (916) 353-0556.
For more info: email

Event flyer

PHOTO CREDIT: Igor Glenn, leader of Igor's Jazz Cowboys, strikes a theatrical pose at the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee. 1999 Sacramento Bee photograph by Dick Schmidt

April 7, 2013
Historian to relate "Tales of the Sierra Nevada"

gary noy.JPGHistorian Gary Noy will relate "little-known and unusual stories about the fascinating people and events in Sierra Nevada history" in a lecture based on his upcoming book Untangled Shadows: Tales of the Sierra Nevada. Among the people celebrated in the collection are writer Mark Twain, railroad visionary Theodore Judah, opera singer Kate Hayes and others.

Noy is Director Emeritus of the Sierra College Center for Sierra Nevada Studies, who taught history at the college for more than 20 years.

Proceeds from the event go to the Sierra College Friends of the Library, an group dedicated to assisting and improving all campus libraries in the Sierra Community College District

What: Gary Noy author of Untangled Shadows: Tales of the Sierra Nevada
Where: Room 133A, Rocklin Campus Library, Sierra College, 5000 Rocklin Rd., Rocklin
When: April 10, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.).
Cost: $5 donation (seniors $2 and students free). $3 campus parking.
For more info: (916) 660-7202

PHOTO CREDIT: Gary Noy. Courtesy Sierra College

April 5, 2013
New textbook explores California history in its Pacific context

Pacific Eldorado.jpgLike any comprehensive textbook on California history, the recently published Pacific Eldorado covers the long sweep of events from prehistory, through Spanish colonization, Gold Rush, statehood and booming development in the 20th century. But it presents this survey in the much larger context of the Pacific Basin, explaining how the state's particular geography shaped its geology, economy, trade, politics, immigration, culture and role in the nation's evolution.

Author Thomas J. Osborne, Emeritus Professor of History at Santa Ana College, has argued in Perspectives on History that the usual Atlantic-centric approach to teaching U.S. History ought to be balanced by a view that considers the manifold influence of the Pacific Rim.

Osborne is also author of  Paths to the Present: Thoughts on the Contemporary Relevance of America's Past and Empire Can Wait: American Opposition to Hawaiian Annexation, 1893-1898.

Pacific Eldorado: A History of Greater California
by Thomas J. Osborne
Paperback, 434 pages, $44.95
also available in Amazon Kindle and CourseSmart e-editions

April 4, 2013
New cemetery tour explores "murders, mayhem and scuttlebutt" in early Sacramento

Old Cemetery bird.JPGThe next Historic City Cemetery tour uncovers the homicides and scandals that occurred in Sacramento in its early days. As usual knowledgeable docents will illustrate the topic with stories and reference to grave markers.

What: Murders, Mayhem and Scuttlebutt
Where: Historic City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento
When: April 6, 10 a.m.
Cost: free, but donations appreciated.
For more info: call 916-264-7839 or 916-448-0811

Event flyer

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Old City Cemetery Committee

April 4, 2013
Old Sacramento train rides resume
CSRM Pasngr Train 1.jpg

Here's a different way to celebrate the return of warm weather: take a leisurely train ride behind a vintage steam or diesel locomotive. These 40-minute, six mile excursions along the Sacramento River start and end in Old Sacramento. Passengers can ride in open-air gondolas cars with bench seating or closed coaches with more comfortable seats.

This season is the 30th year the California State Railroad Museum has offered the rides. They're popular and regular train tickets may only be purchased in-person at the Sacramento Southern ticket office the same day starting at 10 a.m. (El Dorado car tickets may be purchased online in advance.)

What: Old Sacramento Weekend Excursion Train Rides
Where: Trains depart from the Central Pacific Railroad Freight Depot (Front St. between J and K Sts.).
When: Weekends April 6 through Sept. 2013. Rides depart hourly from 11 to 5 p.m.
Cost: $10 adults; $5 youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under. $15 for first class tickets aboard the first-class El Dorado car.
For more info: 916-445-6645 or website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Sacramento Southern excursion train ride along the Sacramento River. Courtesy California State Railroad Museum

April 3, 2013
Sacramento Chronicles author at Central Library

sacramento-chronicles-cover.jpgLocal author Cheryl Anne Stapp will be visiting the Central Library on Tuesday, April 9, to discuss her new book, Sacramento Chronicles: A Golden Past (History Press, 2013): 

Sacramento boomed when forty-niners flocked to California, but the road from riverfront trading post to cosmopolitan capital was bumpy and winding. In this collection, historian and local author Cheryl Anne Stapp reveals the setbacks and successes that shaped the city, including a devastating cholera outbreak, the 1850s squatter riots, two major fires, the glamorous Pony Express and the first transcontinental railroad built by Sacramento merchants. Even bursting levees and swollen riverbanks couldn't keep the fledgling city down, as Sacramento hoisted its downtown buildings and streets above flood level. Come discover the diversity of Sacramento's heritage from agriculture and state fairs to war efforts, Prohibition and historic preservation, and explore the historic sites that mark the city's development.

Cherly Anne Stapp is the author of numerous magazine articles, along with the recently published Disaster & Triumph: Sacramento Women, Gold Rush through the Civil War (2012), and is a member of the Board of Directors of the California Writers Club, Sacramento Branch.  She maintains a history blog at

What: Sacramento Chronicles book discussion
Where: Central Library, 828 I Street, Sacramento
When: Tuesday, April 9, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info:; (916) 264-2920

April 2, 2013
Shop tours and resumption of train rides at Railtown 1897

Railtown Opening Day.jpgExcursion rides resume this Saturday at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown (Tuolumne County). Visitors will enjoy 45-minute, six-mile rides through the Sierra foothills pulled by vintage steam and diesel locomotives. The star of Railtown is Sierra No. 3, featured in numerous movies and television shows. Seating is limited so you're encouraged to arrive early to get tickets, which are sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 10 a.m.

Just on April 6 Railtown will open at 7 a.m. with a special program in the Roundhouse where you can watch skilled volunteers fire up Sierra No. 3's steam engine for the day. Opening day ceremonies will include the national anthem (sung by Vietnam veteran Jim Sutherland), a flag raising, followed by a grand entrance and ceremonial whistle blowing. Mark Twain (portrayed by Pat Kaunert) will be on hand to call out the first "All Aboard!" Throughout the weekend there will be live music on the excursion trains by the Dave Rainwater, Roundhouse tours and demonstrations at the belt-driven machine shop.

What: Weekend Steam-Powered Excursion Train Rides
Where: Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Jamestown
When: Weekends beginning April 6 through September. Train rides: 11 to 3 p.m. Park is open 9:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Free on April 6-7 for Calaveras, Mariposa and Tuolumne residents only (with proof of residency). General: $15 adults, $8 youths ages 6-17, free for children 5 and under.
For more info: 209-984-3953 or visit website

RT Shop Tours 2.jpgStarting this year Railtown will offer weekly tours of the train shops where visitors can observe closeup the specialized maintenance, repair and reconstruction of vintage locomotives and cars. These two-hour tours begin with a brief slide-show presentation explaining the current projects underway in the Roundhouse and Tri-Dam Shop.

What: Behind-the-Scenes Shop Tours
Where: Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Jamestown
When: Tuesdays beginning March 26, 10 to 12 p.m.
Cost: Included with park admission: $5 for adults, $3 for youths ages 6-17, children under five are free
For more info: 209-984-3953 or visit website

News releases

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Railtown 1897 State Historic Park

April 1, 2013
Annual SCHS dinner to honor local history activists

NNO_P0214_NOPPLBURNS.jpgAt its next annual dinner the Sacramento County Historical Society will honor recipients for their contributions to local history writing, education and preservation. Awards will be presented to Annette Kassis, author of Weinstock's, Sacramento's Finest Department Store, to Mike Munson and Shawn Peter, Downtown Sacramento Partnership tour guides, to Carina Lampkin, Blackbird Kitchen co-owner, for her restoration of the People's Acceptance Building (1013-1015 9th St.), and to Maryellen Burns who will receive a special President's Award for her local history projects.

Musical entertainment for the evening will be provided by the Harley White Jr. Orchestra jazz band. The dinner's emcee will be Matias Bombal, film historian and former host of "Classic Jazz and Swing" on KXJZ. Bombal will speak briefly about the Sacramento jazz scene in the period 1920-50.

What: Sacramento County Historical Society 2013 Awards Dinner
Where: Dante Club, 2330 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Sacramento
When: April 9, 6 to 10 p.m.
Cost: $40 for SCHS/SOCA members and families; $50 for non-members; $100 contributor level. Tickets must be purchased in advance by noon, April 5.
For more info: (916) 443-6265 or email.

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Maryellen Burns at the Matrix Arts Gallery in Del Paso Heights. 2002.Sacramento Bee photograph by Randall Benton

About Sac History Happenings

California and Sacramento have a long, rich, vibrant history. And our region is blessed with an abundance of historical resources maintained by museums, libraries, archives and societies. This blog aims to alert readers to the latest developments in local/state historical education and research.

Send tips concerning upcoming exhibits, tours, lectures and meetings, as well as new books, magazine articles and online collections to the blog's contributors.

The Contributors:

Michael Dolgushkin

Michael Dolgushkin is Manuscript Librarian at the California State Library History Section. He is co-author of San Francisco's California Street Cable Cars and is a frequent contributor to the California State Library Foundation Bulletin. Contact him at

Amanda Graham

Amanda Graham is a Certified Archivist working in the Sacramento Room of the Sacramento Public Library. She earned a BS in History from Southern Oregon University and a MS in Information Studies with an emphasis in archives from The University of Texas at Austin. Contact her at

Pete basofin

Pete Basofin is Director of Editorial Research at The Sacramento Bee. He previously worked at The St. Petersburg Times and Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune. Contact him at

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