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A Brief History of Sacramento

Sacramento is the capital of the State of California and the county seat of Sacramento County. Located in California’s expansive Central Valley, it is the seventh most populous city in California. It is also the core cultural and economic engine of a four-county metropolitan area exceeding 2.1 million residents (El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties). The Sacramento Metropolitan Area is the largest in the Central Valley and the fourth-largest in the state. Greater Sacramento has been cited as one of the five most livable regions in America.

The oldest incorporated city in California, Sacramento’s rich and vibrant history goes back to 1849 when its citizens adopted a charter. The California State Legislature officially moved to Sacramento in 1854 and at the 1879 Constitutional Convention, Sacramento was named the permanent State Capital.

With its new status and strategic location, Sacramento quickly prospered and became a city rich from gold with some help from the California Gold Rush of the 1840’s. Productive mines still operate in the foothills. It also rapidly became a major distribution and transportation point as the western end for both the Pony Express and the First Transcontinental Railroad and maintains its position at the top of the rail transportation industry on the West Coast.

Affectionately known as the ‘River City’, two major rivers intersect in the City of Sacramento; the American and the Sacramento. Both rivers are international attractions for rafters, kayakers and boaters. Running along a 23-mile stretch of the American River is the tree-lined American River Parkway where joggers, walkers and cyclists can enjoy one of the regions’ many natural attractions.

The Sacramento River provides a deep-water port connected to the San Francisco Bay via a 43-mile channel allowing both international shipping and casual day trips to the Bay Area. The paddlewheel steamboat, Delta King, is just one of the many Gold Rush era treasures you’ll find in Old Sacramento.

The city's economy is broadly based although government is by far the largest employer with 25% of California’s 471,000 government employees. Transportation is a large sector along with information technology, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, higher education, health services and research, and construction.


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