SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A lot of regional historic buildings are located in Old Sacramento.
According to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the area’s historical prominence is due in part to it being the “western terminus of the Pony Express postal system, the first transcontinental railroad, and the transcontinental telegraph.”
These are all 14 sites in Old Sacramento that the California Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) has officially designated as historical landmarks, including the area itself.
- Old Sacramento – Old Sacramento was founded in 1848 by John A. Sutter, Jr., the son of the founder of Sutters Fort. OHP says Old Sacramento was “a major distribution point, a commercial and agricultural center, and terminus for wagon train, stagecoach, riverboat, telegraph, pony express, and the first transcontinental railroad.”
- First Transcontinental Railroad – This site was where Governor Leland Stanford initiated the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad, which would eventually connect with the Union Pacific Railroad in Utah to form the first transcontinental railroad.
- Pioneer Telegraph Station – OHP notes that this building, which held the State Telegraph Company and later the Western Union Telegraph Company Pony Express Terminal is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the Pony Express Terminal.
- Eagle Theater – According to OHP, this was the site of the first building in California constructed as a theater.
- Site of Stage and Railroad (First) – This is the site of the terminal of stages of the 1850s and of the Sacramento Valley Railroad in 1855.
- Ebner’s Hotel – OHP says this hotel was built in 1856.
- Lady Adams Building – This building acted as a store and office and was built using materials brought by the ship the Lady Adams.
- Vernon-Brannan House – OHP says the building, built in 1854, served as a boarding home, housed the Sacramento Pioneer Association, and later had to be raised after Sacramento elevated its streets.
- Site of Sacramento Union – This building acted as the office for the Sacramento Union starting in 1852.
- B. F. Hastings Building – This building operated as an office for various banks, state officials, the Sacramento Valley Railroad and a telegraph company. OHP also says the first eastward overland journey of the Pony Express left from here.
- Adams and Company Building – Erected in the fall of 1853, was also home to various businesses and banks, including Wells Fargo & Co.
- Site of Orleans Hotel – OHP says this hotel “served as a depot for stage companies and others.”
- D. O. Mills Bank Building – Erected in 1852, this building housed one of the oldest and largest banks of early-day California. This building was occupied by one of the “oldest and largest banks of early-day California.”
- Overton Building – This building was used as office space by the state and companies.
OHP requires historical landmarks to have at least one of the following attributes to get official designation:
- The first, last, only, or most significant of its type in the state or within a large geographic region (Northern, Central, or Southern California).
- Associated with an individual or group having a profound influence on the history of California.
- A prototype of, or an outstanding example of, a period, style, architectural movement or construction or is one of the more notable works or the best surviving work in a region of a pioneer architect, designer or master builder.
OHP said also said the owner of the property must agree to its designation; the site must be recommended by the State Historical Resources Commission; and “be officially designated by the Director of California State Parks.”