Companies of wide-ranging American fur trappers were the trail blazers for subsequent explorers, gold rushers and settlers. The mountain passes they crossed, the routes they trod, and the valleys where they camped became the routes and stopping places that others followed. When the fur trade declined in the mid-1840s, many of these adventurous mountain men became emigrant guides to caravans of covered wagons.
Today marks the 106th anniversary of California women winning the right to vote. Woman Suffrage, as the cause was termed, had strong opposition, and a similar measure had been defeated in 1896 by well-populated San Francisco and Alameda counties. In 1911, however, organized suffragists strategically targeted Southern California and small towns statewide. They visited churches, Continue reading Women Claim the Vote
In October 1849, more than 100 wagons left the Salt Lake City region opting to take the Old Spanish Trail to the pueblo of Los Angeles, and from there north to the gold fields. For some of them, their journey became a saga of adversity, loss, extreme hardship, and sheer grit. Twenty-seven wagons unwisely took a Continue reading Death Valley
At the opening of 1847 the little hamlet known as Yerba Buena sat perched on a sheltered cove in San Francisco Bay. For a hundred years sailors had agreed it was the greatest harbor on earth, capable of comfortably accommodating all of the assembled navies of all of the nations of the world. As things were, it rarely harbored Continue reading San Francisco is Born
The history museum in Old Sacramento State Historic Park is housed in a replica of the City Hall and Waterworks Building, built in 1854 to answer the need for a better water supply system after Sacramento’s catastrophic 1852 fire. The two story brick and reinforced beam structure supported three water tanks on its roof, Continue reading Sacramento History Museum