The Governor’s Mansion

California governors lived in their own private homes until 1903, when the state purchased and furnished a property at the corner of Sixteenth and H Streets in Sacramento as a home for California’s first families. The multi-story, Victorian-era Italianate-style residence was built in 1877 by Albert and Clemenza Gallatin. Albert, aged twenty-six, arrived in Sacramento in 1861 after spending a year mining in Siskiyou County. He took a job as a clerk in the Huntington Hopkins hardware store, then the largest hardware, iron and steel mercantile on the Pacific Coast. Gallatin owned his own successful hardware business in Nevada for a time, and then returned to Sacramento in 1868 as managing partner, later president, of Huntington Hopkins while owners Collis Huntington and Mark Hopkins were engaged in building the first transcontinental railroad. Gallatin was a pioneer in the development of hydro-electric power, owned ranches in Tehama and Lassen counties, encouraged the development of northern California as a fruit growing region, and was active in civic affairs in both Sacramento and San Francisco. His Sacramento home, referred to by locals as Gallatin House, was one of the showplaces of the city. Occupied by governors and their families until 1967, the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park is a registered historic landmark.