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Old Sacramento Historic District
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. National Historic Landmark District
The Big Four Building, Old Sacramento
Old Sacramento State Historic Park is located in California
Location: Sacramento, California
Coordinates: 38°34′58″N 121°30′12″W / 38.58278°N 121.50333°W / 38.58278; -121.50333Coordinates: 38°34′58″N 121°30′12″W / 38.58278°N 121.50333°W / 38.58278; -121.50333
Built/Founded: 1849
Governing body: Local
Added to NRHP: October 15, 1966[1]
Designated NHLD: January 12, 1965[2]
NRHP Reference#: 66000219

Old Sacramento State Historic Park is the historic region of Sacramento, California, which has been designated as a state park. It is generally referred to as Old Sacramento, or Old Sac, and since the 1960s has been restored and developed as a significant tourist attraction. All or part of it is included in the Old Sacramento Historic District, a U.S. National Historic Landmark District.



The city of Sacramento grew up in the mid-nineteenth century as a development from Sutter's Fort. However, the Fort was some way from the Sacramento River, which was the main means of transport to the coast of California, and what was to become the modern city developed along the waterfront. The State Historic Park covers the area between the river frontage and Interstate 5, between I Street and the Capitol Mall.

Virtually all the buildings in this area date from the nineteenth century, the most notable from immediately after the disastrous fire of 1852, and show a reasonable approximation to their original appearance, though they have required varying degrees of reconstruction to restore to them to that state. However, few if any are in their original use, most of them now housing restaurants, gift shops, or other businesses catering to tourists.

Historic buildings

Notable buildings include:

The first two are also individually designated National Historic Landmarks.


Theodore Judah plaque in Old Sacramento

The district contains many memorials to the founders of the city and of the California and transcontinental railroad and other transport systems, including the Theodore Judah monument and the Pony Express Statue.

Current attractions

Old Sacramento is also the site of the California State Railroad Museum, the California State Military Museum, the Discovery Museum Gold Rush History Center, the Wells Fargo History Museum and the Old Sacramento Interpretive Center.

Other attractions available for visitors include rides in horse drawn carriages, historic trains from the former Central Pacific Railroad passenger station, and cruises on historic riverboats. A historic sternwheel riverboat, the Delta King, is moored in the river and serves as a hotel, restaurant and theater.

Tours of the historic buildings are conducted by costumed docents who portray 1849-1870 historic characters.

Old Sacramento State Historic Park attracts over 5 million visitors annually. Regular events in Old Sacramento include the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, Gold Rush Days, New Years Eve events, and Mardi Gras.

Sacramento Valley Rail Station is just a short walk from Old Town Sac.

Old Sacramento Underground

Before Sacramento's extensive levee system was in place, the area flooded quite regularly. Because of this, the cities' streets were raised a level. Most of the old streets and storefronts have been filled in, however many tunnels still remain throughout Old Sacramento and the downtown area. An enormously popular turnout for the Old Sacramento Underground tours proved that many people were interested in seeing this long-forgotten part of the city. The visitors bureau is now working with the city to make this tour a regular feature in Old Sacramento, much like the Seattle Underground tour.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.  
  2. ^ "Old Sacramento Historic District". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-07-10.  

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