Volume 1, Issue 2                                                                                                                  Spring 2009

        Along the Sacramento
H i s t o r y ,                                  H a p p e n i n g s                                   &              H e a r s a y

                                                      THE WASHOE TRAGEDY
 All activities are held at the Sacramento
 History Museum, unless otherwise stated.
           MARCH 2009
      3/14 - Living History Class
   Learn about Sacramento and the            On the night of September 5, 1864, Chief         What today resembles a large iron sculpture
  Gold Rush in a one-hour class. Free
                                             Engineer of the Washoe Thomas Anderson           is in actuality a fragment of the ship’s boiler
     with museum admission; 1pm.
    3/17 - 13th Annual Old Sacra-            was gently carried ashore at Sacramento’s        that exploded through the hull of the ship.
   mento St. Patrick’s Day Parade            embarcadero, choked out his last words,          The fragment was discovered after the ship
Featuring Irish dancers and costumed         “Rotten iron—in the boilers” and died. Engi-     was raised. The boiler piece will be promi-
  marchers, school bands, floats, mili-      neer Anderson was voicing his anger at the       nently placed for visitors to see first hand the
 tary regiments, police and fire repre-
sentatives and other cultural organiza-
                                             faulty ironwork that he believed to be the       impact and graphic results of the explosion.
   tions. Free to the public; 6pm on         cause of the explosion and sinking of the        The artifact measures over six feet in height
      Second St., Old Sacramento.            Washoe on the Sacramento River. The ship’s       and five feet in width and dramatically illus-
     3/28 - Women’s History Day              captain and owner (Captain Kidd) had the         trates the tragedy of riverboat competition
                                             Washoe custom built with four oversize boil-     and commerce on the Sacramento in the
    Travel back in time and visit the
 women from the 19th century. Learn          ers to better challenge the California Steam-    1850s and 1860s.
  about the lives of every day women         ship Navigation Company’s monopoly on the
 from 1840-1900. Meet local authors          Sacramento River. The cause of the Washoe
and get your book signed. Free to the        explosion has never been definitely deter-
         public; 11am-4:30pm.
                                             mined. Faulty iron-making techniques, the
            APRIL 2009                       excessive length and weight of the boilers, or
  4/11 - Easter Bonnet Promenade             a combination of these factors may have
 Put on your Sunday best and join the        sparked the explosion.
 ladies and gentlemen of the past in a
  leisurely Easter stroll. Ladies, wear
                                             Of the 176 passengers and 29 crew members
  your fine bonnets, and gentlemen,
   don't forget your hats. Free to the       believed to have been on board, at least 54
         public; starts at 12pm.             persons died from injuries, 19 were seriously
         4/25 - Life as a Child              injured and 23 received only minor injuries.
 Spend the day playing with 19th cen-        An estimated 67 individuals for whom there
tury toys and learning old games. Free
       with museum admission;
                                             is no accounting may have been killed and
             10am-4:30pm.                    their bodies never recovered. Or they may
                                             have merely walked away. These casualty
             MAY 2009                        figures establish the Washoe explosion as one
     5/9 - Living History Class              of the most tragic accidents in the history of
 Experience Old Sacramento’s rede-           Sacramento River navigation.
 velopment in a one-hour class. Free
   with museum admission; 1pm.
       5/23 - Perform a Play!                The story of the Washoe is a featured story
    Calling all aspiring actors and          in the museum’s new renovation project.           Image courtesy of the Sacramento Archives & Museum Collection Center
actresses; join us as we perform a live                                                       The Antelope: The ship that came to the rescue of passen-
   play. Free to the public; 12pm.                                                            gers the day the Washoe exploded. There are no surviving
                                                                                                                images of the Washoe.

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Page 2                                                                                                                  Along the Sacramento

Message from
the Chairman
                                                                            Riverboat Casino Night:
Catherine Taylor                                                        Old Sacramento Tournament of Chance
District Superintendent                          In July 2008, the museum embarked
                                                 on a new journey as it split from the
As we reported to you in
                                                 Discovery Museum and became a
our last newsletter, many
                                                 division of the Historic Old Sacra-
changes have occurred over the past year.
                                                 mento Foundation. With this transi-
The Historic Old Sacramento Foundation
                                                 tion came opportunities for new ex-
(HOSF) is hard at work and proceeding on a
                                                 hibits, educational programs and
very positive path. Just this past Fall, our
                                                 special events to highlight our rich
Board of Directors and Staff participated in a
                                                 heritage here in the Capital City. To
joint strategic planning session to outline a
                                                 further these goals, the Sacramento
number of initiatives to take the organization
                                                 History Museum and Historic Old
forward. While we identified many initia-
                                                 Sacramento Foundation are proud to
tives to deal with things such as the physical
                                                 present their new fundraiser, River-
plant, administration, and other very impor-                                                 Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Archives & Museum Collection Center
                                                 boat Casino Night: Old Sacramento
tant building blocks of a strong organization,
                                                 Tournament of Chance, aboard the Delta King auction while listening to live music. Experi-
I believe chief among the initiatives is en-
                                                 Riverboat on Friday, June 5, 2009 from 6:00- ence a true riverboat gambling saloon with
hancing our public programs. This initiative
                                                 9:00 p.m.                                          entertainment by the Old Sacramento Living
is designed to help us expand visitation to
                                                                                                    History Program. The proceeds from this
Old Sacramento, to promote revenue gener-
                                                 The event will feature 1850’s style gambling       fundraiser will support the general operations
ating opportunities and, of course, to build
                                                 including Chuck-a-Luck, Three-Card Monte, at the Sacramento History Museum.
support among the general public for preser-
                                                 Shut the Box and much more. Try your hand
vation and conservation of our cultural re-
                                                 at a game of poker or test your luck at the Tickets will be on sale soon by phone or the
                                                 Roulette wheel. If you’re feeling extra lucky museum front desk. For more event informa-
                                                 you can participate in the Tournament of tion or to become a sponsor, please contact
Most recently, we have reviewed plans for
                                                 Champions. As guests stroll about the boat Lindsey Myers, Special Events Coordinator,
the remodel project in the Sacramento His-
                                                 they can enjoy food, beverages and a silent        at (916) 264-7059 or
tory Museum (SHM). This is an exciting
upgrade which will transform the Museum,
and create a strong narrative theme for the
Museum focused on Sacramento history.                 The Museum Store                                        OLD SACRAMENTO
This remodel project is made possible
through support from the City of Sacra-                   is Moving!                                           HISTORY CAMP
mento, and our ongoing partnership with the
Sacramento Archives and Museum Collec-           As part of the Sacramento History Museum’s               History Camp is from July 13th – July 31st and
tion Center (SAMCC). Not to be over-             first floor renovation, the Museum Store will            will specialize in California history from
looked though is programming throughout          be moving to a prominent location just to the            1848-1860. Campers visit Old Sacramento
Old Sacramento. We have in place an Edu-         right of the main entrance. Along with new               Museums and local historic sites as well as
cation and Interpretation Committee of the       fixtures and a new location, the Museum                  participate in hands-on activities like gold
Board to look at and evaluate the effective-     Store and the Admissions Desk will sport a               panning, performing a play, building a time
ness of existing programming, and to work        new Point of Sale system, purchased with a               capsule, traveling in a horse drawn wagon,
on a business plan for additional programs       generous grant from the EDS Foundation.                  and solving mysteries in our history. Registra-
including themed walking tours, under-                                                                    tion begins April 1st, 2009; $175 per week
ground tours, and street performances.           A new product mix is currently being                     and $140 per week for members. Contact
                                                 planned, including the works of Sacramento               ( 9 1 6 )         8 0 8 - 4 9 8 0          o r
Another change we have recently made is to       artists, new historical books, historically rele-
our staff leadership in order to more fully      vant toys and gifts, and all new custom mer-
integrate the operation of SAMCC with that       chandise available only at the Sacramento                         DAY CAMP SESSIONS:
of the HOSF/SHM. In that regard, Marcia          History Museum. Check out our new Mu-                        July 13-17 (Beginning) Gold Fever
Eymann, the manager of SAMCC, has also           seum Store at our Grand Opening celebration                July 20-24 (Intermediate) History Live
assumed the Executive Director/Museum            this summer!                                                    July 27-31 (Advanced) Dig It
Director role for HOSF/SHM.                                                                                 *Extended care (7:30am-9am, 4pm-5:30pm) available
Continued on page 3, MESSAGE                                                                                                for an additional fee

     Historic Old Sacramento Foundation/Sacramento History Museum, 101 I St., Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 264-7059, F (916) 264-5100
Volume 1, Issue 2                                                                                                                 Page 3

                               Changing the Face of History
                  Visit during the renovation & experience history taking shape!
We invite museum guests to visit and
watch the work in progress at the museum
which will remain open during reinstalla-
tion. Come and see the exciting transition
and witness Sacramento’s history taking
new shape. Visitors will hear new stories                                                                           RENOVATION TIMELINE
that will forever change the perception of
this former gold rush town.                                                                                        JANUARY-MARCH - Internal staff
Upon entering the museum, guests will                                                                              4/17 - De-install oversize artifacts on
experience dramatic changes to the space.                                                                          first floor
The first floor area will be expanded to                                                                           5/1 - De-install 1968: It Happened Here
                                                             Artist’s rendition of renovation
create a great hall in which exhibitions with
                                                                                                                   and Capital Brew
three dimensional artifacts will be dis-
                                                                                                                   5/15 - Re-install 1968 in CA Gallery
played. A montage of graphic presenta-
tions will cover the mezzanine level dis-                                                                          JUNE - FABRICATION
playing the faces, places and events that                                                                          7/1 - Fabrication complete
made Sacramento what it is today. We                                                                               7/16 - Grand Opening
anticipate that visitors will walk away with
the idea that Sacramento was more than a
gold rush boomtown, and that its story is
more complex than miners seeking their
fortunes in gold.
                                                                        Back wall sketch

  Keeping in Touch with the Past
                                                                                                         MESSAGE, continued from page 2
                                                                                                         We are very excited about the opportunity to work
                                                                                                         closely with Marcia and to benefit from her extensive
                                                                                                         museum management experience. We are also very
Since 1995 the Old Sacramento Living            monthly meeting at the Living History                    pleased to see the role of SAMCC and HOSF/SHM
History Program has striven to educate          Center located in Old Sacramento. For                    become more integrated and supportive for the
while entertaining the public on the            more information or for a membership                     benefit of both entities. For many of us, the recon-
streets of Old Sacramento. Events and           application please contact Janessa West,                 nection of SAMCC to the Museum is a long-time
activities take place each month and vary       Public Programs Manager at (916) 808-                    coming. We believe it will pay dividends by giving
from full-fledged encampments to his-           4980 or .                     SAMCC an important public venue for Sacramento’s
torical programs, promenades, classes                                                                    rich collection of artifacts, and it will benefit Old
and costume workshops. Members of the                                                                    Sacramento and the Museum by ensuring that both
living history program adopt characters                                                                  have a strong link to collections and museum prac-
from Sacramento’s history and portray                                                                    tices for exhibition and educational purposes. A
those characters at historical events. In                                                                good match indeed.
order to join the Old Sacramento Living
History Program, new members are re-                                                                     Our Board will be strongly behind Marcia and the
quired to attend a series of training                                                                    staff to help as needed. But, we will count on your
classes. Classes vary from techniques for                                                                support, and that of your friends and neighbors, to
researching characters, to specific classes                                                              help us rebuild and expand programming in Old
on material culture, gold rush medicine,                                                                 Sacramento and the Sacramento History Museum.
music, gambling, and vernacular.
                                                                                                         Thank you for your continuing support of our ef-
The living history program holds a                    Professor Flatbroke B. Dodge, Living History Day

                If you prefer to receive this newsletter by email, please send your email address to
   Sacramento History Museum
            101 I St.
      Sacramento, CA 95814

                            Spring Docent Training Program
Have you ever considered becoming a docent for the Sacramento          Upon successful completion of the training courses, active do-
History Museum? Well, it is time to stop thinking and start sign-      cents are expected to commit to 6 hours a month, or seventy-two
ing up! Beginning in April 2009, the Sacramento History Mu-            hours a year. Perks for active docents include a complimentary
seum will host its first docent training program since 2007. Coin-     family membership, an invitation to a docent and volunteer rec-
ciding with the new museum renovation project, docent training         ognition party, and special behind-the-scenes tours at neighbor-
will consist of both evening and weekend classes. The classes will     ing museums and historic sites. Current docents are invited to
span a variety of topics which will pertain to Sacramento’s history,   take part in the new training program as a refresher course. For
the museum renovation, how to be an effective interpreter, and         additional details or to schedule an initial interview, please con-
the history of the museum. Museum docents lead school pro-             tact Janessa West, Public Programs Manager at (916) 808-4980
grams year round and are an invaluable resource for                                     or .
the museum.

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