5 unbelievable facts about Sacramento

a ground-level view with pebbles in the foreground, the reflecting waters of Folsom Lake in the middle, and large clouds at top.

You don’t have to believe: Somewhere out there at Folsom Lake is a submerged ghost town. | Photo by @creignakano

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Did you know that Sacramento has the lowest elevation of any city in California? Just kidding.

Believe it or not, the River City does have some pretty unbelievable facts some think are April Fools’ Day jokes.

🌊 Fact 1: Subterranean Sac

There’s a network of tunnels beneath Old Sacramento that traces the history of the original city before it was “jacked up” to a higher elevation in the 1860s-70s in an effort to avoid flooding.

🛶 Fact 2: A rowing inauguration

Speaking of flooding, the impact of the Great Flood of 1862 was so great on Sacramento that Governor Leland Stanford had to travel by rowboat to his inauguration at the State Capitol Building.

✂️ Fact 3: “Whiskerinos”

This has to be one of the most interesting gambits to draw tourism ever dreamed up by the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce: the Days of ‘49 Facial Hair Growing Contest of 1922. Awards were given out to participants who were judged to have the longest mustache, to be the best looking, or (in our opinion, the best laurel ever handed out) the best imitation of a sagebrush.

👻 Fact 4: Mormon Island

Under Folsom Lake rests the remnants of Mormon Island — a Gold Rush-era ghost town that was founded by the Mormon Battalion. It was destroyed by a fire in 1856, and last year — due to our historic drought — it became exposed.

🌳 Fact 5: Roots in peace

A lesser known detail about C.K. McClatchy is that he was a crusader for the “City of Trees” reputation — something he felt so strongly about that he would write obituaries in the Sacramento Bee for vandalized trees.

These could’ve fooled us. Do you have a crazy SAC fact that still has you second guessing? Let us know and you just might make it into the newsletter.

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