Living in the Past: Old Sacramento Living History

Tour: Touring in Old SacramentoTour: Touring in Old SacramentoWe are merchants, miners, doctors, proper ladies, soiled doves, blacksmiths. In short, we are the citizens of Sacramento City. Old Sacramento Living History is a volunteer organization dedicated to keeping the past alive. Through a series of monthly re-enactments, "Take it to the Streets," Living History Days, activities, events, and performances we use the backdrop of Old Sacramento's historic buildings and streets as a living street museum. Our most renowned events and activities are the annual Gold Rush Days event held over Labor Day weekend and Ghost Tours in the month of October. Members of this active group share knowledge, skills, and interests in California's 19th Century history through costume classes, workshops, themed discussions, and chorus group practices.

Argonaut Gazette: 2015

The Argonaut Gazette is the monthly published newsletter for Old Sacramento Living History. Members and friends of Living History may be added to a direct mail list.

Old Sacramento Walking Tours

Guided Walking Tours of Old Sacramento are available year-round! Schedule a private tour for a family re-union, outing, or company event any day or time. Weekend drop in tours begin in May and extend through August. Guided Walking Tours are only $5 per person. Themed tours are available and currently include:
Sacramento City: Gold Rush Boom Town!
Looking Up: Old Sacramento's Architectural Tour
River City: On the Banks of the Sacramento

To schedule a private tour, contact or call 916 808 4980

May-August drop in tour tickets are available online at, at the Sacramento History Museum or by calling 916 808 7059

Old Sacramento Underground Tour

Get the real dirt and discover the secrets to the city in an Old Sacramento Underground Tour. Visitors uncover evidence of the city's successful attempts to raise its streets, including historic buildings and basements, exposed retaining walls, dipping alleyways, and underground hollow sidewalks. A fun and educational experience for all all. These 1/2 mile guided walking tours last approximately one hour and visit areas with uneven surfaces and low ceilings.

Tour Availability:

Tours run regularly from March through December
March-May: Saturdays and Sundays only
June-August: Seven days a week
September-December: Saturdays and Sundays only

Adults $15
HOSF Members $12
Youth $10
available online at, in person at the Sacramento History Museum, or by calling 916 808 7059.
* Advanced ticket reservations are recommended!!!!

Ed's New California Songster

The OSLHP Parlor Singers music book is now available on Amazon!

Many years in the making, Ed's New California Songster includes Early and Mid-Victorian popular vocal music, as performed in Old Sacramento. This large collection drawn from original sources includes songs of the California Gold Rush, American mid-19th century popular and patriotic songs, comic and stage songs, hymns, Christmas carols, and a selection of British and Irish songs. More than 120 authentic mid-Victorian songs, recommended for Civil War groups, Old West re-enactors, and anyone who loves the history of music in America.

History of the American Waltz

The American Waltz is the dance's most common name today, but it is also known as American Slow Waltz, American Box Step and sometimes the Boston Waltz or simply the Boston. The Boston Waltz is the dance's original name because it was introduced in Boston during the 1830s.

The dance was much slower than the prevailing standard waltz of the 19th century, the rotary or circular waltz and the Viennese Waltz, being danced at merely 28-30 measures per minute, rather than the Viennese or Quick Waltz's 54-58 measures per minute. This allowed dancers not only the ease of a slower tempo, but afforded them more time during the music's measures to introduce elements like rise and fall which we have come to distinguish waltz by in the modern mind.

Calling Cards

I have been requested to review the conventions for use of the calling card.

As you are likely to know, calling cards have been used for decades in polite society. They are an important part of the custom of paying calls on ones friends and neighbors. Upon arriving during calling hours on a lady’s calling day, or upon calling on a gentleman, one presents a calling card to the servant who answers the door. One waits patiently in the receiving hall while the servant determines if the person you are calling is “at home.” The receiving area usually has a display of the calling cards of previously received callers. Reviewing these is a good way of catching up on the connections of your friend. Most gracious households provide some other amusements such as well-chosen prints or perhaps a Bible tract in their hall.

Colt 1849 Revolver Teardown

The most popular personal weapon in the 1850's was the .32 caliber five or six shot Colt revolver. 150,000 were made during the decade. (The runner-up is the 1851 Navy with 93,000.) This article will tear down a relic example of this revolver along with a modern reproduction.

More gold rush and civil war era firearms are in our Virtual Museum, at this link.
1849 Colt Revolver1849 Colt Revolver

Spring Work for April

APRIL—By the first of April, the cellar should be carefully looked over, and all impurities removed; if the soap-grease has not been throw into the lye (as it accumulated during the winter) it should now be sent to the factory, or be mixed with strong lye, preparatory to soap-making.

All refuse vegetables ought to be thrown out; the potatoes selected; the small ones given to the cow, if there is one, and the best reserved for spring use.

Juvenile Roguery

The arrest of the juvenile thieves at San Francisco, mentioned in our telegraphic dispatches yesterday, led to the discosure of a singular series of robberies. one of the principal rogues in the gang, whose name is Durkin, confesses, according to the Herald's report, that he has accomplished so many robberies that it is impossible for him to recollect and enumerate them; but that within eight months he was committed nearly six hundred robberies—in some places getting not more than three bits, and in others securing one hundred dollars.

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