Why is Sacramento the capital of California ?
Contrary to popular believe the City of Trees, Sacramento, is nothing but wide spread rural town, also known as the Capital of California! Even though there is some-what of a downtown area and the old town Sacramento with western themed shops the remaining city is made up of one story houses. The metropolitan area of only half a million population is mostly surrounded by fields and fields and fields…
The story goes that John Sutter’s son founded the city based on the strategic location of waterways etc. However looking deeper into the question… strategic location to where? – the middle of no-where. Another theory states that there was a gold rush in the nearby mountains (which seems like a good story to entice workers to come and build the city). Yet another theory states that newly formed government was afraid of the Spanish Sea raids on Monterey – for that reason the capital was moved to the City of Trees on Sacramento river…
In either case, the state capital is located really far away from cities of Southern California and even several hours from San Francisco. Given the differences in culture the vast territorial expanse and simply other governing logistics many believe that California with break into multiple states in the near future.
Dividing California into multiple states
Here’s a clip propositioning the division into three distinct states:
Here’s another video proposing cleavage into 6 distinct states:
Originally, Monterey was chosen as the Capital of California. However, after Monterey hosted California’s Consitutional Convention in 1849 and California was admitted as a State of the United States, the Capital was moved. San Jose was first chosen as the Capital City, then Vallejo and then Benicia. In 1854, the Capital was moved again, this time to Sacramento. And Sacramento was where it remained.
Sacramento was a logical choice for the Capital of California. First, because of the Gold Rush, Sacramento had become the destination point for the new settlers coming to California to strike it rich. With the gold miners came shopkeepers, blacksmiths, and other service related entrepreneurs that gave the City an economic base.
Second, Sacramento, unlike the other temporary Capitals was not near the ocean so there was little chance of invasion. However, Sacramento’s proximity to rivers that led to San Francisco and other ports allowed the City to engage in the economy both on land and at sea.
Last, many of the most powerful people in the newly formed State of California were in Sacramento. John Sutter and John Marshall helped found the City. The City had already been planned, street grids were completed, and it already had a government in place. In Sacramento no city had to be formed. Rather, the Capital could be moved into an area that had already been established.
Most of the videos and posts talk about relocation of the capital, etc. However know one exactly clearly states who were the people making the decision. What made those people move the capital from a huge port city of Monterey inland to the middle of no-where?
Things to do in Sacramento with kids
Slow economic growth and affordable housing Sacramento serves as a stepping stone for many immigrants flooding into California. There are several fun things to check out in the City of Trees with kids. Old town Sacramento and the nearby Train museum. One of our favorite things to part take – the annual Folsom pro Rodeo. There’s also Crocker Art Museum and the state capitol worthy of your time.
Even through Sacramento is called “the City of Trees” you’ll find very little shade anywhere you’ll go. Just keep in mind that it is usually extremely hot in that part of the golden state. Bring a tub of sun screen and gallons of water. We would honestly advise against taking your kids out and about during the middle of the day – because the temperature can reach upper 30’s or even 40’s.
Painted gold Town bridge qualifies to be a Golden gate bridge of California. You can see the two piers of the bridge in the background of the photo bellow. Check out the train museum while exploring old town Sacramento with your kids.
Grab a cold craft beer while in the city of trees. That’s about all we can recommend to check out while visiting the City of Trees.