Now that I’m living in Winters, Sacramento is just a hop away—but it still feels as distant, as much like another world and reality, as it did when I lived in my hometown of Berkeley. Old Town Sacramento, in particular, feels somehow surreal. You see, my California isn’t that of tourists. To me, it’s home—loved […]
One of my earliest memories is of being in Old Town Sacramento with my dad. He bought me a straw hat and some saltwater taffy, then dragged me off to Sutter’s Fort. At the time—I couldn’t have been more than five years old—I was thoroughly unimpressed with the heat, the prickly hat, and the fort itself (the taffy made up for it, though).
It wasn’t until years later that I saw the Fort with new, adult eyes and understood what a fascinating place it really is. Part of the problem with learning about history is that it feels so distant. At Sutter’s Fort, though, that distance is diminished, and you can get a sense for what it might have been like to live here during the era of the Gold Rush.
Years later, my dad and I made a similar trip to Sacramento, this time with my much younger brother. Only our destination wasn’t Sutter’s Fort; it was the California State Railroad Museum. Located at the northern end of Old Town Sacramento, this museum offers the chance to learn everything you could possibly want to know about trains… and then some. My brother, who must have been around the same age as I was on the Sutter’s Fort trip, was in heaven. Even I, with no previous love for trains, found the museum fairly interesting.
At the southern end of Old Town Sacramento, the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum gives another glimpse into history by showing what students in the 19th century might have experienced. It’s worth a quick stop, but don’t expect your visit to fill much time.