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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
West Sacramento in Yolo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Flood Control

West Sacramento River Walk

 
 
Flood Control Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, January 29, 2009
1. Flood Control Marker
Inscription. On January 15, 1850, the fledging City of Sacramento, consisting mostly of tents and simple wooden buildings, stood in 6 feet of water. Two weeks later, the community pledged $200,000 to levee construction. But before the levee system could be completely developed, the city was inundated 3 more times – In 1852-3, 1861-2, and 1867-8. Eventually, the levee construction was completed and the low-lying areas along the waterfront were filled in, resulting in the city’s downtown streets being raised by approximately ten feet.

On New Years’s Day, 1853, after a warm rain fell for 2 straight days, newspapers reported that at times there were 500 boats navigating J Street, and nearly every street in the city could be navigated by small boats.
 
Erected by City of West Sacramento.
 
Location. 38° 35.012′ N, 121° 30.522′ W. Marker is in West Sacramento, California, in Yolo County. Marker can be reached from 2nd Street. Click for map. Marker is located on the “River Walk” at River Walk Park on the Sacramento River. The park is located at the end of the 600 block of 2nd Street. Marker is in this post office area: West Sacramento CA 95605, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of
Flood Control Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, January 29, 2009
2. Flood Control Marker
this marker. Sacramento Skyline (here, next to this marker); Veterans Plaza (within shouting distance of this marker); Pony Express Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Hydraulic Mining (within shouting distance of this marker); The Rivers’ Flow (within shouting distance of this marker); Salmon Cannery (within shouting distance of this marker); First Pacific Coast Salmon Cannery (within shouting distance of this marker); Pony Express River Steamer “Antelope” (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in West Sacramento.
 
Also see . . .
1. Sacramento’s Underground: Tales From Beneath the City Streets. A Sacramento Union Article by Lance Armstrong, May 28, 2008 (Submitted on January 29, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.) 

2. River Walk Park. (Submitted on January 29, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
 
Additional comments.
1. Old Sacramento and Raising the Street Level
By 1863 the merchants of Old Sacramento decided to conquer the floods by raising the streets. A solid brick 10 foot wall was constructed at the outer edge of each sidewalk, and the streets were filled with dirt and from the bed of the American River. Merchants either added a second (or third) floor to their building or raised their buildings
Close-Up of Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, January 29, 2009
3. Close-Up of Photo on Marker
Courtesy of Sacramento Archives and Museum Collection Center, Eleanor McClatchy Collection, circa 1860.
to the new ground level. It was rumored that one hotel required 20,000 jacks. Buildings could be raised at the rate of about one foot per day. The alleys were not raised, allowing deliveries to be made in what had become the basement of the buildings. The cobblestones still evident in the alleys and streets were mined at Folsom and used as ballast in ships. These cobblestoned became known as "Folsom Potatoes".
    — Submitted January 29, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.

 
Categories. DisastersMan-Made FeaturesNotable EventsSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
Flooding of Sacramento image. Click for full size.
California State Library – California History Room
4. Flooding of Sacramento
"K" Street from the Levee, circa 1862
Flooding of Sacramento image. Click for full size.
California State Library – California History Room
5. Flooding of Sacramento
"J" Street from the Levee, circa 1862
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 1,942 times since then and 100 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   4, 5. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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