Sacramento California

An Indomitable City at Work

Books by Dylan Carpowich

Origin of the name Sacramento

The Spanish name for 'Holy Sacrament' is found often as a place name in Spanish speaking countries. Gabriel Moraga on October 8, 1808, gave the name to Sacramento to the Feather River. The lower Sacramento was still being called 'Rio de San Francisco' by Abella in October, 1811. but the name given by Moraga soon came to refer to the lower Sacramento as well as the feather.... In the fall of 1848, John A. Sutter, Jr., and Sam Brannon, against the wishes of the elder Sutter, laid out a town at the Embarcadero of the river. The name had been mentioned previously for Sutter's settlement at the Fort. The county, one of the original twenty seven, was established and named February 18, 1850. The name Sacramento is also found for the mountain range west of Needles. Sacramento Buttes (Sutter) was a former name of Sutter Buttes.

California Place Names Third Revised Edition 1969

A dark past

It was not just a Japantown the "west end" that encompassed most of what makes up government buildings and the golden one center used to be a vibrant immigrant community.

African Americans had thriving businesses including the "Zanzibar club" which was an important jazz bar.

when "redevelopment" happened those communities got kicked out, today the historic African American neighborhood in Sacramento is also the place they got red lined to many decades ago.

in the 1960's under the leadership of governor Reagan; Sacramento redeveloped "Old town" which was one of the first historic preservation projects of an entire neighborhood in the entire country. its success eventually became a model for other cities.

the process of "redevelopment" also had many benefits over the decades, business came in, the economy grew, people had nice offices to work in and the suburbs grew as well. the Sacramento model of this kind of government thing also became a model for other governments in the USA to follow.

A Railroad Town

July First 1862 Lincoln signed the Transcontinental Railroad Act, the ground broken and first spike driven occurred in Sacramento not long after.
Two of the "Big Four" Railroad Tycoons, this is down Lincoln Highway in Vacaville CA.
The wife of one of the "Big Four" and former Governor Leland Stanford founded a University in honor of her son who died young. There is mystery around her death in Hawaii that has been a California historical secret for 100 years.
Artist: William Smith Jewett d.u.k John Charles Fremont was born in Georgia his father Charles Fremon left France in the 1790's for political reasons and arrived in Virginia. He met Anne Pryor who was married and they began having an affair. When Anne's husband found out about the affair she left with Charles to Georgia. John Charles Fremont was born in Savannah on Jan 21, 1813. His family moved around in his early years, from Nashville to Norfolk and then finally to Charleston South Carolina. His father died in 1817 when John was 4 years old. One of Fremont's early mentors was a Charleston lawyer named John Robertson who he bgan to clerk for. He did such a great job that John Robertson decided to pay for his education. Fremont's formal education began when he was 13 years old. He learned Greek and Latin and enrolled in college in 1829 at 16 years old. A year later he began to seek the outdoors more and more and lost interest in studying inside a classroom. He enjoyed reading adventure stories about explorers and he became fascinated with maps and astronomy when he came across an Astronomy Textbook written in Dutch while at the college in Charleston. After he got expelled from school he met another mentor Joel Poinsett who disliked slavery, loved the Union, and wanted to see the USA expand west. Joel Poinsett helped shaped Fremont's political views at an early age. At 22 years old Fremont was hired by the US Navy to be a teacher of Mathematics. He sailed for South America teaching sailors how to use mathematics and astronomy to navigate the seas. Joel Poinsett got young Fremont his first job as a surveyor in the US Army's Beurour of Topographical Engineers. When President Martin Van Buren appointed Joel Poinsett as his Secretary of War Fremont became an engineer. Eventually Fremont began leading small expditions to survey railroad construction in the South and in the North. This experience eventually made him the ideal candidate to lead an expedition West. In 1842 he was sent to explore a route from Missouri to the Columbia River similiar to the route of Lewis and Clark 40 years earlier. This route became known as "The Oregon Trail" on a second expedition a couple years later he blazed a new path along a southern route which took him across New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and then north in California to Oregon, this became known as "The Santa Fe Trail." His accounts and maps of these expeditions were published by Congress in the thousands and earned him the knickname "The Pathfinder" and made him a national celebrity. He famously put "Las Vegas on the Map" when he wrote about the fresh water in a valley along the virgin river. He also named the entrance of the SF Bay from the Pacific "The Golden Gate" in his memoir; eventaully a bridge was also built along this small stretch of water. In 1846 Fremont was leading a third expedition from Missouri to the west. He was ordered only to enter Mexican land (California) only if it was necessary for his survey. Unknown to Fremont at the time was the fact that more Americans began settling and living in Mexico's territory named California. The mission towns of San Francisco and Sonoma began increasing in population, also the Americans were also increasingly becoming unhappy with the poorly governed territory. Mexico had only a handful of poorly trained and often times drunk and disorderly military personal in the towns, there were few pathways to settle disputs in a court system and information from towns to the Capital in Monterey to Mexico City and back were slow and often times non existent. In the land that encompusses all of modern day California there were only a few hundred Mexicans who "governed" the land. In June of 1846 in the town of Sonoma California tensions rose and Americans overthrew their Mexican rulers and improsoned General Mariano Vallejo. The flag was created by William Todd who was the nephew of Mary Todd Lincoln the future First Lady of the USA. These pioneering Americans heard that John C. Fremont's expedition was near and asked for his support in overtaking the Mexicans in Monterey. Disregarding strict orders not to intervene in the political affairs in Mexican territories John C. Fremont assisted in the Bear Flag Revolt and the overthrow of Mexican rule in California. Commordore Robert Stockton gave an order for Fremont to become the Governor of California, however General Kearny thought he whould be the one for the job. Eventually Kearny got Fremont court marshalled for his involvement in the Bear Flag Revolt and he was discharged from the army. President Polk told Fremont he could be reinstated immediatly but Fremont refused. In 1850 California held a Constitutional Convention and the State Legislature included State Senator Mariano Vallejo who was once imprisoned by Americans. The State Legislature voted John C. Fremont to be the first US Senator of California. For a short period as Senator Fremont irritated a lot of people because of his abolitionist stance on slavery. In 1856 he ran for President under the new political party called The Republican Party. He lost but his abolitionist message struck a nerve among the Americanpublic. When Lincoln won he appointed Fremont to be the Commander of the West. It was in August of 1861 when Fremont disobeyed orders again and issued an emancipation proclamation to all the slaves in Missouri. This irritated Lincoln at the time who relieved him of that command and put him with another General in Virginia. Lincoln also siezed his land in San Francisco California and turned his home into Fort Mason. About a century later his descendents argued in a federal court case that Lincoln had illegal siezed private land for no reason. Two years later and after the battle of Antietem Abraham Lincoln would issue his own emancipation proclamation. Eventually Fremont would move on and become Governor of New Mexico before he died broke after making bad investments in railroad schemes. He is buried and laid to rest in New York.
Original Poster by Dylan Carpowich

Farm to Fork Capital of the World

Farming and livestock were essential for early missionaries and pioneers in California. The first cattle to be brought to California was in the 1700's by St. Junipero Serra. Each Spanish Mission was allotted 18 cattle and 4 pigs along with horses, mules, goats, and other animals. Former State Senator and early CA founding father Mariano Vallejo ran a cattle ranch in Petaluma at his Adobe. These Missions produced some classic food including Monterey "Jack" Cheese is an original recipe developed by the monks along the El Camino Real. Which later became popular because of the businessman David Jack who relabeled it as "Jack Cheese" when some dried peppers got added it became "Pepper Jack" cheese.

Spanish Missionaries traveled up and down the Sacramento and Feather Rivers looking for sites to establish more missions all the way until the early 1840's. The last of the 21 Spanish Missions was established in Sonoma CA in 1823. In 1841 the Mexican Government in Monterey CA deeded what now encompasses most of Sutter County CA to John Augustus Sutter.

John A. Sutter left Switzerland for America in 1834 and eventually he found his way to California. He stablished the first large scale agricultural settlement in the Sacramento Valley just south of present day Yuba City. The Hock Farm proved that agriculture was possible in the valley and later he was given another land grant where he established a new fort and town about 40 miles to the south which he named New Helvetia. His fort and settlement would later encompass what is today known as Sacramento CA.

Sutter's Fort Sacramento CA

The Legacy Lives On

Although the city of Sacramento is an ever growing metropolis. The historical area centered around "Old Town" and the Capitol to Sutter's Fort is a mix of old history surrounded by new buildings. The legacy of it being an agricultural town and the legacy of its fascinating indomitable spirit is better found by getting out of downtown Sacramento and visiting her sister cities in her neighboring counties.

A plaque in Rio Vista CA in Solano County, a small river town along the Sacramento River.

Sacramento is California's first incorporated city and was incorporated on February 27, 1850. However, it is not the oldest establishment or city in California. California applied for admission as a state a couple months before Sacramento was incorporated as a city. The admission of CA sparked a debate about slavery in congress, there was also the death of a President, all of which delayed California's admission. In September of 1850 California was admitted to the United States of America.

To celebrate the occasion a steamship called "New World" went up the Sacramento River to the city to celebrate California's admission. This ship also brought cholera which lead to an outbreak that decimated a lot of the population of the city. The city also suffered from a major fire that destroyed much of the city, and once they rebuilt the city was hit with a gigantic flood. From 1850 to about 1854 when the State Capital was moved to Sacramento the city had a string of historic bad luck. What is kind of funny is that the city first legalized gambling in its early days, then all the bad luck happened and eventually gambling never took hold in Sacramento like it did in Reno and Las Vegas.

Agriculture sprung up all around the city of Sacramento. The famous family gathering place called "The Nut Tree" in Vacaville began with the planting of a single tree. In the 1800's some pioneers from Kansas brought peaches on their wagon train. One little girl threw her pit into a field in Sutter County. The people who settled in the area were trying to figure out what grew well in this area, and so they scavenged the seed and grew some peach trees. Today the small area of Sutter County produces more peaches then the entire state of Georgia.

My peach tree in my front yard of my Sutter County home
These are some seriously good peaches. When we moved to this new home from Solano County a couple years ago we knew this home used to be an orchard of some kind but didn't know which fruit. Now I know it was a peach orchard because my peach tree is bonkers.

the Bacon Apocalypse

Making Bacon is so darn fun. I may not raise and slaughter pigs, but I buy pork belly at Costco and make my own Bacon. It is so much better and is one of my favorite Farm to Fork things I do.

farm 2 fork

This year I did not want to buy extra tomatoes from the store for my sauce. So I planted extra and this is was the first year I began my tomatoes from seeds. I planted, Super Sauce, Big Daddy, and Gladiator Tomatoes all from Burpee (a Bucks County PA company, also a Lincoln Highway sister to Sacramento) This is a yield of about 100 pounds of tomatoes that I stored in my freezer, it takes me 2 full days of work to process all these tomatoes into sauce. With the tomatoes I will get for the next couple weeks I will make my tomato paste which I will use in next years sauce, this year's sauce has tomato paste from last year and it has given this year's sauce a deeper flavor and sweeter taste. I also save the juice and water, reduce it down as much as I can, and then can that as well. Waste not want not. You may be thinking this costs more then just buying sauce. Yes, but this has more love in it, and at Christmas time I give it out as gifts to friends, family, and neighbors people seem to enjoy it. I also make salsa. I make this as close as I can to the way Italian grandmas make Passata, but I add some paste, but there is nothing else added except tomatoes and salt.

Bacon 2023

I also made Bacon this week in August 2023

2 types of People

When it comes to food and individual beliefs about food I have found people fall into 2 different camps.

Simple and more work.


Fancy and not that difficult.

As American states go it is a Texas way vs a Californian way.

Texas does BBQ with simply salt and pepper low and slow. Simple and a lot of work.

California doesn't really do BBQ that well because government red tape. My County Fair's BBQ competition prohibits competitors from bringing their own meat. The ribs are provided for the competitors. And there are restrictions up the gazoo for food trucks and BBQ people trying to get into the business. On a walk around my block this past summer I met a guy who had an awesome BBQ rig who doesn't compete and uses it for parties for friends and family because Government restrictions. BBQ in California is still stuck in the neighborhood backyards and hasn't gotten to Main Street yet.

California is a fancy and not that difficult way.

Crab cakes as recipes go is a good illustration of the two camps.

Crab cakes as a recipe has cross appeal. I Know there are dive bars in Baltimore New Orleans and Seattle that serve crab cakes. I also know there are fancy restaurants that serve fancy crab cakes. But the recipe is basically the same.

Crab+Mayo+Spices+Bread Crumbs (maybe) and fry.

I like my crab cakes the dive bar style or the Texas way.

I take 4 cans of canned crab, 2 soup spoons of mayo, 1 small spoon of dijon, Old Bay, juice from a lemon, 1 egg, and twice as many bread crumbs as I originally think I need mix it together and fry on a griddle until golden brown.

The California way of going about it would be to boil fresh crabs then spend an hour peeling away the shells, then make a homemade mayo and only use a little, use some spices that isn't Old Bay, and then mix it together by hand, and cook it in the oven because a spatula might disturb the delicate texture.

It is a fancy way of going about it that eventually turns into not ever cooking crab again. The fancier and not that difficult way would have been to just boil the crab in Water and Old Bay and melt some butter and eat.

My point is that people in my home state of California have the tendency to complicate something to the nth degree for no reason.

The bone I have to pick with the Farm2Fork chefs of California is that they pass off doing nothing or not doing something as some kind of creative skill worth money. One of my secrets to creativity is having an internal fictional dialogue go on in my head as a customer at a high class hippy restaurant in California like Chez Panisse. And then I simplify it by remembering what Texas is like based on a week I spent in Houston back in college.

Here’s Chez Panisse’s current Saturday menu.

Saturday, January 18 $125

Warm vegetable salad with black truffle vinaigrette

Pan-roasted black sea bass with celery root, leeks, and lemon–coriander butter

Wolfe Ranch quail grilled with cumin and green garlic; with turnip gratin,

gingery greens, and onion rings

Tarte Tatin with Marsala ice cream

To me as a foodie I would never order this because I don’t think it is worth $125 even though many California foodies probably coo over dinner at Chez Panisse.

A qual is a really small bird and I can pick up a qual from costco or a local butcher for less than $10 or I can order 4 quails online from D’artagnan for $20.

If I’m going to spend $125 on a dinner for 1 person that includes black truffle’s I want those truffles in a risotto like a normal high end restaurant and not in a vinaigrette with some warm vegetables served as some kind of salad.

Celery root leeks and a lemon coriander butter are all absurdly cheap ingredients. And what else would you cook sea bass in other than a pan? Also Black Sea Bass is only found on the east coast so it had to travel 3,000+ miles to get to Berkely which can’t be good for climate change but is a one sex/gender animal that turned into the other sex/gender animal which fits into PC Berkeley. It’s a transgender fish that used to be female but turns 3 and becomes male so I guess it is the right fish to serve 3,000 miles away in Berkeley California. I don’t know.

My point is that I’m sure this menu tastes pretty good and a lot of thought and effort went into making sure the flavors work well together. But I’m not sure if there is a lot of work and effort that goes into the actual cooking of this menu. It is not that difficult to grill some poultry, pan fry/roast fish in butter, throw together a salad and make some ice cream in an ice cream maker. Most competent home cooks could throw a menu like this together at home and save $100. It is an example of something basic existing in California made complicated and expensive for little to no reason.

I’ve been to Texas but not Austin but I know Franklin Barbecue is one of the better and more famous places in Austin Texas. They are 2 totally different restaurants with completely different types of customers but both in liberal places. I think it makes a good comparison of quality time and money.

A quick check at their menu to see what $125 will get me as 1 person has left me jealous of Texas. For $125 before drinks, tip and taxes I can get around 5 pounds of BBQ that took hours and hours to create. For the price of 1 person at a high end Berkeley restaurant I can spend the same amount and get enough food to serve 4-6 people at Franklin BBQ.

At Franklin BBQ as a customer I would get more food and food cooked in a way that was more effort that traveled less distance for the same price something that was simple but sounds complicated and made difficult for no reason.

As a customer I would choose the Texas way 9 times out of 10 over the California way.

liberty bell replica capitol park

The liberty bell is in Philadelphia. It has not left Philadelphia for over 100 years. The last major trip she took was to the Pan Pacific World's Fair in San Francisco in 1915.

The Liberty Bell was the star attraction for that world's fair at the palace of fine arts near the marina of San Francisco.

when I visited the liberty bell I was wearing my sf giants hat, and I asked the park ranger about the filming of the national treasure movie. He informed me that most of the scenes in the movie were actually filmed at Knott's berry farms in Southern California. the conversation then switched to the historic trip of the liberty bell to the west coast.

there was some bribery between San Francisco and Philadelphia officials to get the liberty bell to the fair. that much is for certain. they built a special rail car to transport the bell, the car had special shocks to absorb the vibrations as to prevent further damage to the bell.

the park ranger was unaware of two noteworthy stories about the liberty bell's trip. I was happy enough to share them.

the first was the liberty bell was a crime stopper. when the bell stopped in Sacramento at capitol mall to say hello. there was a large crowd of the public that gathered. one of the sheriff officers in the crowd recognized a man wanted for murder. he was caught because he wanted to sneak a peak at the liberty bell.

the second is a story about cold feet by some wood be terrorists. When the fair in San Francisco was coming to an end, the liberty bell was given a parade before it headed south to San Diego and then back home to Philadelphia.

there was a group of anarchists who planned to bomb the liberty bell at the parade and destroy it. fortunately for history and for the United States of America, one of the members of the cell decided to flip on his co conspirators and turned himself in to SFPD before the parade. local law enforcement was able to foil the plot and no further damage was done.

not only was the liberty bell the most popular attraction. it caught a few criminals while she was on vacation.

But her traveling days are over.

cities don't have parents

even as a government major with some pretty extensive experience as an intern in the ca legislature. I am still not sure what this whole sister city thing actually is. nobody has ever given a good explanation as to why or what goes on or if anyone in the public even knows this situation exists or cares about it. One thing is for certain, nobody has every voted against a city council member because of a problem with a sister city arrangement.

at the end of the day. Cities exist. people travel. people live and work in cities. also from a strict constitutional perspective states and cities are not supposed to engage in foreign affairs.

so what's up with this thing of being related to cities on the other side of the world?

Sacramento is not the only city with a lot of sisters. Lots

is it like being a Neighbor city?

Davis CA is just down 80. for East Coasters who might be reading this... this is where #YOLO comes from. Davis CA is in Yolo County. It's also a college town. Lots of #Yolo! things happen on Friday nights in Davis CA in Yolo County.

sisters are supposed to be close to each other and share information. So it would make more logical sense for Sacramento to have a "sister city" of Davis, Dixon, Fairfield, Vacaville, Placerville, Roseville, Yuba City, Stockton and so on.

but that's not how that government thing of sister cities seams to work. I don't know why, and I don't really care to hear an explanation from a local government wonk. no offense to the wonks of local government, they do some great work to help people.

psychology what is it?

This is a my quick 1 minute summary of the entire field known as "psychology" basically, any psychological problem is solved by gaining more knowledge and learning new things.

and pretty much every psychological problem comes from what other people say or from knowledge and/or experience.

it is a never ending cycle that goes in an endless loop. psychological problems can sometimes be caused by having too much experience and knowing too much.

but eventually get solved by gaining more experience and learning more stuff.

Van Life and Homelessness

homelessness is a major problem in many cities. So travel to Seattle to see some thoughts I have on this issue.

Head West to the home of the original Capital City of California