All About The History of Sacramento, California
Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the largest city in the county of Sacramento. Located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California, Sacramento’s estimated population of 513,625 in 2019 makes it the sixth largest city in California and the ninth largest capital in the United States. Sacramento is the seat of the California Legislature and the Governor of California, making it the political center of the state and a hub for lobbying and think tanks. Sacramento is also the cultural and economic core of the metropolitan area of Sacramento.
The Maidu people were the early inhabitants of the region. In the 1770s, the valley was visited by the Spanish explorer Pedro Fages, who named the river Christian Religious Sacraments. The German-born Swiss pioneer, John Sutter, established the colony of Nueva Helvetia (New Switzerland) on the site in 1839, granted a Mexican land grant, and built a palisaded trading post known as Sutter ‘s Fort (now a state historic park) in 1840. His community, initially populated by fellow Swiss immigrants, thrived as an agricultural center and as a refuge for American pioneers until the Gold Rush of 1849.
It was at a sawmill that Sutter had built, some 35 miles (55 km) northeast of the American River , near Coloma, that his chief carpenter, James W. Marshall, found the first gold on January 24, 1848. Hordes of prospectors plundered Sutter ‘s property and, deeply in debt, deeded his land to his son, who had set up the present city that year.
Profiting from mining, Sacramento grew rapidly and was the scene of an armed squatter’s riot over the legality of Sutter ‘s grant. With a population of more than 10,000 in 1854, the state capital was chosen. In its early decades, Sacramento suffered a number of devastating floods and fires; subsequent measures (levees and masonry construction) eased these problems. Since the start of the steamer service in Sutter, Sacramento was the western terminal of the Pony Express and the first California railroad (1856; the Sacramento Valley Railroad to Folsom).
More specifically, the building of a Central Pacific Railroad was funded by four merchants from Sacramento — Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins, Collis P. Huntington and Leland Stanford. It extended east from the town and completed the first transcontinental railway connection in May 1869, when it was joined in Promontory Point, Utah, by the Union Pacific Railroad.
In 1862, Sacramento hosted the Central Pacific Railway Central shop, the city’s biggest employer by the 1950s. During the Second World War the workforce peaked at about 5,000. The shops were one of the biggest industrial sites western of Mississippi River and virtually every part of Central Pacific Rolling Stores was rolled out by the time it was closed off in 1993. The site of 245 acres is currently one of the biggest urban infills in the world, and it was constructed to facilitate the development of a mixed-use complex around the historical center of shop buildings, of which the oldest is built in 1869.
Since the Gold Rush, the population of Sacramento slowly increased until it started to grow more rapidly in the first decades of the 20th century. People have been drawn to the growing agricultural industries in the region and to their military facilities (now closed) since the 1940s. Between 1940 and 2000, the town began to annex much of the territory around it and expand its territory 7 times; the population of Sacramento almost quadrupled in that same period. Citizens of European ancestry are now less than half, for a long time , the vast majority of the city population. Hispanics account for more than a fifth of the total portion of the fastest-growing.