Benicia Capitol

State Historic Park - California

Benicia Capitol State Historic Park is dedicated to California’s third capitol building, where the California State Legislature convened from February 3, 1853 to February 24, 1854, when they voted to move the state capital to Sacramento. It is the only pre-Sacramento capitol that survives. The park includes the Fischer-Hanlon House, an early Benicia building that was moved to the property and converted into a home in 1858, after the legislature departed. Benicia Capitol State Historic Park just off the city's main street also includes a carriage house, workers' quarters and sculptured gardens.

maps

Overview Map of the East Bay Regional Park District in California. Published by the East Bay Regional Park District.East Bay Regional Parks - Overview Map

Overview Map of the East Bay Regional Park District in California. Published by the East Bay Regional Park District.

brochures

Brochure of Benicia Capitol State Historic Park (SHP) in California. Published by California Department of Parks and Recreation.Benicia Capitol - Brochure

Brochure of Benicia Capitol State Historic Park (SHP) in California. Published by California Department of Parks and Recreation.

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=475 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benicia_Capitol_State_Historic_Park Benicia Capitol State Historic Park is dedicated to California’s third capitol building, where the California State Legislature convened from February 3, 1853 to February 24, 1854, when they voted to move the state capital to Sacramento. It is the only pre-Sacramento capitol that survives. The park includes the Fischer-Hanlon House, an early Benicia building that was moved to the property and converted into a home in 1858, after the legislature departed. Benicia Capitol State Historic Park just off the city's main street also includes a carriage house, workers' quarters and sculptured gardens.
Benicia Capitol State Historic Park Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. “ This is one of the finest public buildings in the State, and as it stands in commanding position, presents a most imposing appearance from California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (707) 745-3385. This publication can be made available in alternate formats. Contact interp@parks.ca.gov or call (916) 654-2249. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov Discover the many states of California.™ Benicia Capitol State Historic Park 115 West G Street Benicia, CA 94510 (707) 745-3385 © 2014 California State Parks the bays and Straits of Carquines.” Placer Times and Transcript December 30, 1852 B enicia Capitol State Historic Park is home to the oldest original California State House still standing. From 1853 to 1854, 90 lawmakers held part of California’s fourth and fifth legislative sessions in this new building. Between February 9, 1853, and February 25, 1854, this august body of lawmakers moved quickly to enact several significant laws on the issues of the day. park history The Southern Patwin Historians believe about 3,300 Southern Patwin, the southern branch of the Wintun people, hunted and gathered in today’s Solano County about 1,000 years ago. Benicia Capitol circa 1860 In the early 1800s, padres from Missions Dolores, San José and San Francisco Solano brought the Southern Patwin into servitude at the missions. In 1834, General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo used them as labor on his 175,000-acre land holdings. By the early 20th century, about 200 Patwin people were left. Most had died from deprivation, forced labor and European diseases. Modern-day Patwin and Wintun descendants keep their cultures alive on or near several rancherias throughout Northern California. General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo California’s Capitals The first capital existed before statehood, under both Spanish and Mexican rule. From 1775 to 1846, Monterey was the capital of Alta California. On July 7, 1846, Commodore John D. Sloat raised the American flag over Monterey. In 1849, the new constitution crafted at Monterey’s Colton Hall made the city of San Jose the seat of California’s first state government. During San Jose’s 1849-1851 session, the building’s low ceilings, bad lighting and poor ventilation led the lawmakers to seek another location. Dubbed the “Legislature of a Thousand Drinks,” for calls to close the session at the nearest saloon, this group was happy to accept General Mariano Vallejo’s offer to build a new capitol in Vallejo at no cost to them. Francisca Benicia Carrillo de Vallejo On January 5, 1852, they arrived to find total chaos. That day the Sacramento Daily Union reported: “The furniture, fixtures, etc., are not yet in their places; many of them have not yet arrived . . . no printing materials . . . music of the saw and hammer heard night and day.” There was almost no local housing, food or laundry service. Eleven days later, the legislators moved to Sacramento. On January 3, 1853, the fourth session began in Vallejo but moved mid-session — to the newly constructed city hall in Benicia. The town, named for General Vallejo’s wife, Doña Francisca Benicia Carrillo de Vallejo, offered them the structure that was to be their city hall. Its interior pillars were carved from the masts of salvaged ships abandoned in San Francisco Bay during the gold rush. The town’s meager amenities, however, caused the legislators to leave in 1854 during the fifth session. On March 4, the governor, the state officers and members of the legislature boarded the paddle-wheeler Wilson G. Hunt and headed upstream to Sacramento. At the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers, Sacramento had had one brief tenure as California’s capital. Despite its history of floods and fires, the Legislature again chose Sacramento as the state capital. Lawmakers held sessions at its county courthouse from 1854 to 1869. Construction on today’s Sacramento capitol began in 1860. Eager to meet in their own space, lawmakers moved into the present building in 1874, five years before it was completed. Benicia’s Old Capitol Benicia’s fast-moving, exciting days were over, but its fortunes would grow Courtesy of California State Library, Sacramento, California Benicia Capitol; former wing attached at right was the first firehouse in Solano County in other directions. Benicia, a busy port city, was served by the international Pacific Mail Steamship Company. Later,

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