Friday, September 22, 2023

We Love Our Sponsors...

Another year and another avalanche of kindness from our sponsors. Produced by our great graphic designer, this year's poster, which lists all of our donors, is displayed below. Also take a look at this page's sweet sponsor sidebar. 


Thursday, September 21, 2023

A Most Noble Contribution...

We thank our hometown Sacramento Kings for a massive addition to the Sacramento Archives Crawl raffle: a Kings autograph photo and swag bag valued at $150! Being an integral part of city culture since 1986, there's plenty of legend surrounding the organization. Is anyone familiar with "Tuesday Night Magic?" In their inaugural 1985-86 season, the Kings won on 11-consecutive Tuesday nights at Arco Arena, including a victory over Larry Bird's Boston Celtics who'd go on to win it all that year. It was also a big deal that the team made the playoffs in its first NBA season.

As regional repositories and cultural heritage groups, Archives Crawl participants understand the impact of their collections and the power that comes with making the past a bit more relatable and the stuff of legend nudged into closer reach, e.g. roundball kismet taking place on a chilly winter night in Natomas 37-years-ago. 

We also love this advertisement that shows LaSalle Thompson living it up at the Woodlake Resort of Convention Hotel, taken from the King's 1985/86 press guide (Frank McCormick Collection, MC 79).    


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Who Knew that Scavenging Could Be the Stuff of Legend (and Winning!!!!)

One of the most enjoyable parts of the Crawl is our scavenger hunt. As one moves from venue to venue and table to table, questions will be posed about several of the archival items before you. Answer all of them (and your answers don't have to be correct - just do your best) and you'll automatically be entered to win something really, really big. If you're an adult, you'll be eligible to win a $100 gift card to the venerable Time Tested Books, founded in 1981; if you're a young person, you will have a chance to win a $100 gift card to the equally venerable Vic's Ice Cream, founded in 1947. Wherever you start - the Sacramento Public Library, the California State Archives, the California State Library, or the Center for Sacramento History - we can answer any and all questions you might have about the hunt. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Free Stuff Alert

As in past years, the Archives Crawl will offer a pleasing array of free entertainment and educational programming both at the Central Library Galleria at 828 I Street and at the California State Library at 914 Capitol Mall. Take a look at the free stuff. It's free! 

Friday, September 15, 2023

Ghost tours and ghost talks...

The paranormal is fertile ground for legend, myth, and folklore. This year's Crawl will welcome Skeleton Crew Paranormal at the Central Library's West Meeting Room from 1 to 2 on October 7 for a chat, storytelling session, and q and a about the experiences of the group which operates primarily in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. They plan to bring evidence. They'll have an investigation in Ryde that evening so we might get some real-time insight into their trade.  

We will also be raffling off (also at Central Library) two tickets for an October 23 ghost tour put on by Auburn Ghost Tours. This wildly popular tour requires participants to check in at the Placer County Courthouse (101 Maple Street, Auburn, CA 95603) at 8 pm for an 8:30 pm tour. The tickets are valued at $40 each! 

A big scary thanks to Auburn Ghost Tours and Skeleton Crew Paranormal for their frightful contributions to this year's Crawl!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Lost Locomotive in the Sacramento River

Before he became Master Mechanic for the Central Pacific Railroad, Sacramento railroad pioneer A.J. Stevens was hired as a mechanic for the San Francisco & Alameda Railroad. In January 1866, C.W. Stevens and younger brother A.J. Stevens built one of the earliest steam locomotives on the West Coast -- the “J.G. Kellogg.” Named after a principal investor for the railroad, the J.G. Kellogg was sold multiple times throughout its lifetime and renumbered as the Central Pacific No. 176, the Stockton & Visalia No. 2, the Stockton & Copperopolis No. 2, and Southern Pacific No. 1100.

In July 1891, the engine was eventually sold as Anderson & Bellavista RR No. 1, owned by the Shasta Lumber Company near Redding, California. On the fateful day of November 17, 1893, it was transported by ferry across the Sacramento River near Anderson where it failed to stop on the ferry and fell into the deep water below. A month later on December 16, 1893, the Weekly Shasta Courier newspaper printed an article which stated, “The Shasta Lumber Company’s engine has been ‘snaked’ out of the river, where it has been in soak for two or three weeks.” However, legend grew of the sunken locomotive, with some people claiming it fell a second time in the river in the late 1890s and never recovered.

In his book Red River: Paul Bunyan’s Own Lumber Company and Its Railroads, Robert M. Hanft, professor emeritus of transportation at Chico State, writes: “In 1970 a new highway bridge was being erected just downstream from the fiasco. Divers worked in the swift cold water and one reported he had come across a steel hulk 40 feet down that appeared to him to be an old steam railroad locomotive. Northern California newspapers buzzed with the story in January of 1971 and speculation arose about what should be done with this find, whose property it was, and how it could be retrieved. The story of how it got there in the first place was revived, with no more than the customary mangling of facts.”

Over the years, attempts to locate the lost locomotive have been made by historians, railroad fans, and other curious individuals – but the engine’s discovery has never been documented. In 2011, a group of individuals set out to locate the locomotive and believed it had been spotted in a sandbar near the Deschutes Road Bridge. A group of divers with metal detectors turned up zero results, however. Some people speculate it remains buried under a sandbar near the bridge, while others purport the river current might have decimated it or washed it further down the river. Still, others speculate it might have already been removed either by construction crews or salvagers—but just never reported. Whatever the case, the legend of the sunken J.G. Kellogg lives on.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

What You've All Been Waiting For...

Our master graphic artist and committee of crackerjack historians has just produced one of the best parts of the Archives Crawl, our designer coasters. Join us on October 7 and you'll get a set. No simpler than that. They're kind of a big deal which means you'll be kind of a big deal.


Saturday, September 9, 2023

A Haunting in Sacramento?

For decades, many have considered the big house at 2131 H Street haunted. Built in 1907 by physician Aden C. Hart, it's certainly imposing. Moreover, the rusticated masonry bricks on the bottom, fish scale shingles on the top, and expertly carved lion's heads located on the lower and upper facade, give the Hart house a unique if not foreboding and sinister look. But is it really haunted? No quick answers. Some contend that it definitely is; others, not so much. Either way, the Harts (Aden and Alice, and for a while son Lloyd), despite a glut of garish mistruths that live all over the Internet that would indicate otherwise, enjoyed a long and fruitful time as residents. While we know that Hart was just a regular person living a regular life in Sacramento, proving that the house is or isn't haunted is another thing. Is the concept of haunting even a possibility? What actually makes something haunted? Maybe not an answer to these questions, but enter the Martinez family who moved into the Hart House in 1973. According to Dannis William Hauck's Sacramento's Haunted Hot Spots: A Survey of Sacramento Area Haunted Locations, the Martinez family certainly experienced some edgy moments:

...The trouble seems to have started three weeks after Mrs. Lillian Martinez and her family moved into the remodeled house in 1973. Sounds of crashing glassware and noises for a struggle in the kitchen started late at night, but nothing was there. Then 15-year-old Angie began seeing a gray and white cat fade in and out of reality. Upstairs, a "panting presence" started following people around and later materializes as the ghost of an [Asian] man wearing a white coat. The ghost of a woman wearing a yellow flower-print dress was also seen by Lilly Monica, Tyrone, and Diana Martinez. Husband Julio reported the ghosts of two children hiding in doorways. Rumors of a family murder in the house have never been confirmed, but other tenants down through the years reported similar activity. 

So where to go with such a report? According to the 1910 Census, the Harts had a servant of Japanese birth, 24-year-old Kikuo Hamamoto. Is that our panting specter in the white coat? Hard to know, can't prove it, but still compelling to the curiosity. 

The Sacramento Public Library's Special Collections and Archives, Sacramento Room, recently acquired a series of 10 images capturing early life at the Hart residence, including Aden, Lloyd, and a young woman named Aldie. They are part of the Manwaring-Rigoli Collection (MC 123). For a larger version and relevant metadata, click on the image: 













Thursday, September 7, 2023

We Are Most Grateful...

The legendary Joshua Norton of San Francisco, First Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico was appointed by a constituency of one (himself). Sacramento City Councilmember Karina Talamantes, however, was duly elected by the will of District 3's constituents, living in the burgeoning communities of Northgate, Natomas, and Gardenland. Lucky for us, Councilmember Talamantes has given a monetary donation to help sustain the Sacramento Archives Crawl. We are most grateful to her for supporting the Crawl's mission to educate and expose the Sacramento Region to the magic of local history, primary source research, cultural heritage, and critical thinking. Councilmember Talamantes and supporters like her keep our regional history alive. If you're interested in doing the same, you can provide a gift to the Crawl's fiscal sponsor, the California State Library Foundation, by clicking here: Donate.

Thanks for supporting the Sacramento Archives Crawl!