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© 2016 Old City Cemetery Committee, Inc.

1000 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818 

501(c)(3) • Tax ID# 06-1674455

Historic City Cemetery History
Sacramento and California

1826 - Jedediah Smith Arrives

Jedediah Smith and his men, a team of beaver trappers, are the first non-Mexican from the United States to cross overland into California.

National Register of Historic Places - #14000889 

Historic City Cemetery

1839 - Sutter's Arrival

Captain John Augustus Sutter arrives at his land grant on the American River to establish the colony of New Helvetia (present day Sacramento).

1844 - Sutter's Fort Established

John Sutter completes Sutter's Fort, and it becomes an important frontier outpost controlling immigration routes from Oregon and Nevada.

1848 - Discovery of Gold

James Wilson Marshall discovers gold in the American River, the Gold Rush begins.

1848 - Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo transfers what is now California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado from Mexico to the United States.

1849 - California Constitution

48 delegates meet in Monterey to draft the first constitution of California. Eight of the gentlemen are Spanish speaking.

1850 - City, County and Statehood

The California State Legislature grants an official charter to Sacramento City and County. On September 9th California becomes the 31st state in the Union.

1854 - Capital  Established

After years of debate and fluxutation on the location of the capital city, Sacramento is decided as the state capital.

1861 - Technology in California

Paddlewheel steamboats on the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers becomes crucial in carrying goods and passengers along trade routes. The speed record is set in 1861 for the fastest travel between Sacramento and San Francisco at 5 hours and 19 minutes. In the same year, the first telegraph is sent from California to the East Coast on October 24, 1861.

1849 - Old City Cemetery Established 

Sacramento founder John Augustus Sutter, Jr. donated 10 acres (4.0 ha) to the city for this purpose. The grounds were landscaped in the Victorian Garden style popular at the time.

1850 - Cholera Epidemic 

600 victims of the Cholera epidemic that swept the city were buried in mass graves in City Cemetery. Because the nearby New Helvetia Cemetery, where many victims were interred, was prone to flooding, these graves were later transferred to City Cemetery. 

1850 - Stephen Hamilton Buried

Stephen Hamilton, son of President Alexander Hamilton,  came to California in 1849 and died in Sacramento in 1850.  He is the cemetery’s most restless resident.  He died once (1850), was exhumed twice (1877, 1889) and buried three times in three different locations.

1868 - John Muir Arrives

John Muir arrives in California and dedicates himself to the preservation of the natural beauty of the state. He later founds the Sierra Club.

1869 - Education Establishment

The University of California opens in Oakland with 38 students, and is later moved to Berkeley in 1873.

1885 - Art and Culture Legitimized

Margaret E. Crocker donates the Crocker Gallery building and the E.B. Crocker art collection to the City of Sacramento and the California Museum Association for a new art museum.

1878 - Bell Conservatory 

Mrs. Margaret Crocker built the Bell Conservatory at a cost of $38,000 in 1878.  This structure overlooked the cemetery along what is now Broadway and was used to grow flowers for use in the cemetery.  Mrs. Crocker's plan was to sell flowers to those who could afford them and give them to those who could not so that all could decorate the graves of relatives in the City Cemetery across the street.  Colored glass, which once made the Bell Conservatory a thing to behold, was ordered through Tiffany's in New York and shipped from Belgium.

1895 - Electricity Infrastructure Established

Sacramento is the first city in the country to receive high voltage alternating current from a hydroelectric powerhouse in July of 1985.

1906 - The Great San Francisco Earthquake

An earthquake of an estimated 8.3 magnitude destroys 490 city blocks, more than 28,000 buildings and results in a loss of life of approximately 3,000.

1908 - California Aqueduct

Work begins on construction of an aqueduct to carry water from the Owens River to Los Angeles. 5,000 workers cut over 140 tunnels to bring water to the growing population of Los Angeles; despite the resistance of Owens Valley farmers.

1911 - The California Flag

Governor Hiram Johnson signs the senate bill that officially establishes the bear flag as the California State Flag

1911 - The California Flag

Governor Hiram Johnson signs the senate bill that officially establishes the bear flag as the California State Flag

1920 - Oil and Automobiles

The discovery of oil in the Los Angeles Basin in the 1920s creates a boom that places California as the highest ranking oil producing state. The number of automobiles in Los Angeles County quintuples making Los Angeles the most motorized city in the world. 

1933 - Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay becomes a federal prison.

1936 - Connecting Bridges

The San Francisco Bay Bridge opens, connecting San Francsico to Oakland, and built by the California Department of Public Works.

1939 - Birth of the Tech Industry in California

Bill Hewlett and David Packard, two students from Stanford University, form HP in Palo Alto and produce an electronic test instrument used by sound engineers. Walt Disney studios purchases eight of these machines.

1945 - The World Stage

Delegates from 50 nations meet in San Francisco for the United Nations Conference on International Organization; establishing the United Nations as a global organization and creating a 111 article charter.

1955 - Disneyland Opens

Disneyland theme park founded by Walt Disney opens in Anaheim, CA.

1965 - The Grape Strike

The United Farm Workers Union Organization Commitee, founded by Cesar Chavez, organizes a five year grape strike to draw attention to farm workers' rights.

1965 - Civil Unrest

Rioting and looting break out in Watts, near Los Angeles, as a result of the frustraton felt by African Americans and their lack of civil rights. 34 people are killed and over 1,000 are injured. The following year the Black Panther Party is formed in Oakland.

1976 - Tech Industry Grows

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniack release the Apple I computer after forming their company in their garage in Mountain View.

1983 - Progression in Politics

Voters in Monterey Park, CA, near Los Angeles, elect Lily Lee Chen as Mayor, the first female Chinese American mayor in a U.S. city. 

1989 - The Loma Prieta Earthquake

A 6.9 magnitude earthquake hits the Bay Area and gains attention due to its coincidental airing during pregame coverage of game 3 of the World Series, where the San Francisco Giants played the Oakland Athletics. 63 people died and an estimate of over $7 billion dollars resulted.

1992 - The LA Riots

Deadly rioting claims 54 lives and causes $1 billion in damages after a Simi Valley jury aquits four Los Angeles police officers of nearly all state charges for the videotaped beatings of Rodney King.

1998 - The Modern Tech Boom

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two Stanford students, file articles of incorporation for Google Inc., a company founded in a garage in Menlo Park. In 2004 their facility moves to Mountain View.

2003 - Recalling the Governor

Governor Grey Davis is officially recalled after concerns about brownouts statewide, and actor/bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected as the 38th governor of California.

2004 - Becomes Home of Facebook

Entrepreneur Sean Parker becomes President of Facebook and the company moves its base of operations to Palo Alto.

2008 - Same Sex Marriage

California Supreme Court rules the state ban on same sex marriage as unconstitutional. In November voters approve Proposition 8 which states that only marriage between a man and woman is valid or recognized in California.