Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park

This fort was established by Swiss immigrant John Sutter in 1839. With the help of Native Americans he became quite a successful business man providing needed supplies to the pioneers moving west. Ironically, the discovery of gold brought brought him financial ruin. Prospectors virtually took over his lands and by 1849 he had retired to a farm nearby. The town of Sacramento was laid out on his property in 1848. Below is a picture of one of the rooms of the fort. It was one of the many rooms which we toured in the fort that gave me a feel for what life was like in the  mid 1800s!
 From Sutter's Fort we drove further into Sacramento to tour the Governor's Mansion State Historic Park. No, there is no current governor's mansion. This mansion was resided in by thirteen California governors from 1903-67. President Reagan and his wife lived in it only a few months before deciding that it was a fire trap and also that the ghetto atmosphere of the neighborhood was not the place to raise their son Ronnie. The neighborhood has since changed for the better.
We enjoyed our tour in this house especially because our guide was a font of information about the governors who resided here. The home certainly looks like time stopped there in the late 1950s. Rumor has it that if Jerry Brown is elected governor, he may again live there (it was once his home when his dad Pat Brown was governor). The grounds around the mansion are rather small, some of the area was taken up in the 1950s by the building of a swimming pool.The camellia trees below provide a colorful entrance into the pool area. A gardener I met there informed me that the trees are 75 years old.

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