Old Sac Underground Tour: "It’s Jacked Up!"

This tour was a planned part of our Sacramento Sojourn. We just had to learn how this town lifted itself up out of the flood waters during the 1860s and 1870s.

Early Sacramento’s waterfront location was prime for commercial success, but was prone to severe flooding. The city also fell victim to repeated fires engulfing its hastily constructed buildings composed mainly of wood and canvas. In 1850, the new city experienced its first devastating flood and in 1852, the city was again wiped out by high water. It was apparent that drastic measures would have to be taken if it was to be saved.


In 1853, a mammoth project was proposed to raise the city above the flood level. The ambitious and expensive proposal was not fully accepted until another devastating flood swept through the city in 1862. Within a few years, thousands of cubic yards of earth were brought in on wagons and the daring scheme to raise the street level began.
For over an hour, we explored the 'Old City', guided by a historical figure of yore.


Part of the tour was an engineering lesson on just how these buildings were lifted (hundreds of jack screws and numerous workers). It is really quite mind-boggling.
The tour emphasized the humanity within the old spaces. History is found in some unique places and we thoroughly enjoyed this subterranean lesson.

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