Monthly Archives: December 2020

Shopping at Sutter’s Fort, 1849

Today in History — Courtesy of the Sacramento History Museum: December 28, 1848 On this day in 1848, John Sutter Jr., in an effort to raise capital to pay off his father’s looming debts, started to sell portions of Sutter’s … Continue reading

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“The Best Land Under Heaven”

On April 14, 1846, the Donner and Reed families set out from Springfield, Illinois, for Independence, Missouri, to commence their journey to a place that had been advertised to them as “the best land under heaven.” Around this core would … Continue reading

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A Miserable, Merry Christmas

Lincoln Steffens, notable muck-raking journalist of the late 19th and early 20th century, was born in San Francisco in 1866 and grew up in Sacramento, where his father owned a prosperous store. There in Sacramento he watched as the city … Continue reading

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Johnson of Johnson’s Ranch

When Pablo Gutierrez died in 1845, John Sutter put his land grant up for sale. The ranch was bought by William Johnson. What do we know about Johnson? Not a lot — we don’t even have a picture of him. … Continue reading

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Christmas with the Bidwells

Every December the Bidwell Mansion Association hosts a holiday event at Bidwell Mansion for members and guests. Although conditions are different this year, we couldn’t let 2020 go by without “Christmas with the Bidwells” so we put together a virtual … Continue reading

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The Founder of Johnson’s Ranch

—was not named Johnson. On December 22, 1844, Pablo Gutierrez, one of John Sutter’s employees, was granted five square Mexican leagues (22,197 acres) along the Bear River by the governor of Alta California. He built an adobe house, acquired some … Continue reading

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Good News for Johnson’s Ranch

We made a tortuous journey through the snow before we came to the headwaters of the Yuba river, where there were mules to carry us down to Johnson’s Ranch. . . . I stayed several days at the ranch, enjoying … Continue reading

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Old Pairs of Jeans

You probably have a few old pairs of jeans in your closet. But probably not 125 years old (and if they are, they are worth a lot of money). Eight pairs of jeans were found earlier this year down in … Continue reading

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Books for Christmas

Something they want, Something they need, Something to wear, Something to read. I don’t recall that recommendation being around when my kids were little, but it fits my long-established philosophy of Christmas gift-giving. And as a librarian and devoted book … Continue reading

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