Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Answer: What is Sacramento? --- Day 5/13

Walk: de Young, Asian Art Museum, SFMOMA site, Union Square galleries
Distance: 3 miles

Image result for san francisco city hall
(Present)San Francisco City Hall, completed 1915

So today Ciwt was showing a visiting art friend around San Francisco and took her to the Asian Art Museum located in our Civic Center.  Civic Center is home to our City Hall, a majestic Beaux Arts style building prominent among other mostly civic buildings in the same style.  Ciwt told her friend something brief like "That's our City Hall" as they walked past.  But, turns out, her friend thought Ciwt was saying "That's our State Capital Building" and was confused to find it wasn't.

Jeopardy fans, school children and some aware adults know California's capital is actually in Sacramento.      But do any of us know how that
                      California State Capital Building, Sacramento, completed 1874
came to be?  Not Ciwt, and when her friend asked about that, it was Ciwt's time to be confused.

Turns out the answer is that common one: Follow the money.  In our case out here, the Gold Rush. Sacramento was a destination point for people coming to California to strike it rich.  And after gold miners, shopkeepers, blacksmiths, and other service related entrepreneurs soon followed giving Sacramento an economic base.

There were other reasons as well: Sacramento was not near the ocean so there was little chance of invasion, but it was near rivers that led to San Francisco and other economic ports.  And, at the time of its establishment as the capital, many of the most powerful people in the newly formed State of California, like John Sutter and John Marshall, were already there.  They were among the power elite that had seen to it the City had been planned, street grids were completed and a government was in place. So, no new city had to be formed, and the Capital could be moved into an area that already been established.

So now you, Ciwt's friend and Ciwt know.


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