Sunday, December 13, 2015

Old Sac Seminar

       It surprises me sometimes how oblivious I can be. I become narrow minded and don’t take notice to things that aren’t in my sight. This isn’t anything abnormal since everybody does this from time to time. Going on the underground Sacramento walking seminar gave me a quick reality check though. It made me stop and think about where I am and what it took to get here. It made me notice the huge error I had made of not even taking the time to learn about the history of place I live.  

      I have been to old Sac more times than I can count but I have never taken this tour in particular. We learned of Sacramento’s harsh start and the many catastrophes it went through. The city was founded by a man named John Sutter who had high aspirations for it. The city thrived because it was under the protection of Sutter’s fort. On the other hand it was also hindered due to annual floods caused by the rising of the Sacramento River. This problem began to become increasingly detrimental to the growth of the city each year. So the people came up with several solutions. The first was altering the point where the Sacramento and American River merge to decrease the water level but sadly it wasn’t even effective. The second and third solutions were putting levies on the riverbank to block the flood and raising the entire city above the flood level. The people ended up doing both. This caused several other problems however for Sacramento. The city would pay for raising the public roads and constructions but business owners had to pay to raise their own buildings.

      The result of this was a mismatched city with some buildings below ground level. The people would have to climb down a ladder just to get to certain stores. It was a slow process but eventually city fully fixed the flood issue and the issue of buildings below ground level. Even to this day however there are still buildings being raised in Sacramento and on occasion with the same system. I’m glad I went on this tour because I got so much more out of it than all the past times I have gone to old Sac. It gave me a new gratifying experience that I will never forget.

Kai Jones


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