EDITOR'S NOTE: Our Hometown Tourists visited the Sacramento History Museum on their most recent excursion. The following blog includes two accounts by Janet Lewis and Carol Dabrowiak, and photos by Cynthia Gibbs, detailing their visit to this Sacramento attraction.
It’s a rare treat to visit Old Sacramento before 10 a.m. on a Monday. The streets are much quieter than at other times. People are arriving to their jobs and most sight-seers are still en route. I had a chance to enjoy walking up the cobbled streets and wooden walkways, noticing the trees and the views along the river’s edge. I met up with Carol in front of the Museum before its opening time, and we amused ourselves at the (salted) gold panning trough, in the cutout face frames, and other artifacts on display outside. Once inside, visitors will immediately notice that the space is well used. It is compact without feeling crowded. There are many interesting and interactive exhibits, as you’ll see in Cindy’s photos. Of note on the first floor: the printing exhibit, the big windmill, the mural, the beautiful full length paisley shawl.
Upstairs, we found more in-depth exhibits, including one on gold. A 100-stringed Ukrainian musical instrument caught Carol’s eye. She wondered if her musician sons could figure out how to play it! The story and contents of May Woolsey’s trunk held Cindy’s attention, while Janet’s imagination was sparked by the story of Francis Ray, a former slave from Texas who found his father and family in Sacramento.
We ended up our visit in the souvenir shop. Cindy selected a “Votes for Women” pin. Carol opted for a Sacramento 1850’s pictorial mug. And Janet purchased a selection of post cards and, of course, a woven straw finger trap toy.
For lunch, we decided to eat at Ten 22, a popular Old Sacramento and downtown dining destination! Cindy had been there once before and recommended it. We chose a table on the patio as the weather was pleasant and mild. The portions at Ten-22 are generous and the food was good. The “wow factor” item at this lunch consisted of the fried green tomatoes. Carol ordered the FGT pizza, while Cindy and Janet split a plate of FGT and an order of salmon cakes with sweet potato fries. It was all delicious and unusual! This is one of the reasons the three of us have been meeting for our monthly lunches for so long. This is the kind of thing we look for!
Sometimes our town gets lost among the glitzier cities of California. But we actually have a lot to brag about. We had canning factories that provided the nation with delicious fruits. Workers - mostly women - at McClellan Air Force Base repaired planes during WWII. And of course, gold was discovered here. We were the terminus of the Pony Express and the hub of the railroads.
The Sacramento History Museum showcases our past accomplishments. There are a lot of interesting exhibits housed in a small place. Visitors walk in a circular pattern. Your attention is drawn both up and down so you can easily read the placards and see items hanging from the ceiling.
It's also a fun place for families and children. There are games and puzzles on low tables. There are interactive touchy feely displays. They also have period costumes that can be donned for picture poses.
My favorite display was the "wall-o-crates" where produce boxes are stacked against the wall. Beautiful artwork is depicted in each unique label on the crates. “So colorful.” “So delicious looking.” This is a fine museum for young and old. Citizens of Sacramento should be proud to have their history on display for all to see.