The Sacramento Valley Railroad

From the early 1800s New England boasted railroads, factories, and telegraph lines–but prior to the Gold Rush, California was a pastoral land with none of these hallmarks of civilization. The first railroad west of the Mississippi was the Sacramento Valley Railroad, officially opened for passenger and freight transport in Continue reading The Sacramento Valley Railroad

Steamboat Slough

In 1848, the year of the gold discovery, Steamboat Slough was referred to as the “Middle Fork” of the Sacramento River, winding among several islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. As the Gold Rush brought thousands into the region, it became the preferred route over the “old river” because it was more than eight Continue reading Steamboat Slough

Gold Rush Steamboats

Before the California gold discovery, steam engines propelled riverboats over inland waterways, but ocean-going vessels were ships under sail. Yet when the siren call of gold beckoned, speed was the prime consideration—and very quickly steam-powered ships were upgraded and pressed into service as ocean transport. Continue reading Gold Rush Steamboats

General Mariano Vallejo

Long before the United States acquired California from Mexico, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo was already an important man. Born in Monterey to an aristocratic Spanish family 15 years before Mexico achieved its independence from Spain and assumed control of California, he was educated by tutors and maintained a love of Continue reading General Mariano Vallejo