101 I Street across the street from the I Street parking garage-next to the Railroad Museum
Sun-Sat, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
(916) 808-7059
Executive Director
Marcia Eymann

The Historic Old Sacramento Foundation seeks to educate people about the history of Old Sacramento. They run the Sacramento History Museum as a way to accomplish this goal, using it to teach minds both young and old the wonders of our city's past. They are a very active organization, and according to Public Programs Coordinator Janessa West, they try to come up with creative and unique low-cost programs to accomplish their mission.

Its mission statement is: "Old Sacramento is a living historic district. The Historic Old Sacramento Foundation’s mission is to convey the importance of historic Sacramento as a place that connects our past to our present and future".

They are a non-profit organization and they receive county and city funds to aid them.

Educational Opportunities

The foundation offers several kinds of programs to teach both families and students the history of Old Sacramento.


The Sacramento History Museum, which the Historical Old Sacramento Foundation runs, is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. However, it is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. In addition to these closures, the museum may close early on "select other days". The museum is fully accessible to disabled persons.

Admission prices are as follows:

Age Price
Adults (18+) $5.00
Youth (6-17) $4.00
Children (0-5) FREE

Several exhibits spread throughout the museum tell the wonderful story of Sacramento's history and show how the past has defined our future, such as the Beginnings of Sacramento City exhibit, which explores the story of Sacramento's first 50 years, and the Community Gallery, which explores the stories from the more recent years of Sacramento history.


In addition to the museum, the foundation offers a variety of educational walking tours, which last about one hour and can cover a variety of topics.

One such tour is the Gold Rush Legacy tour, in which a 'historically attired guide' takes a group around Old Sacramento while describing life in Sacramento during the 19th Century Gold Rush. It tells the stories of miners, merchants, politicians, and others who lived in those historic times.

Another tour is the From Canvas to Brick tour, which emphasizes the history of Sacramento's architecture. It showcases how Sacramento evolved from a canvas tent city into a sprawling expanse of sturdy brick buildings.

These tours check in at the Sacramento History Museum, and it is recommended to arrive 10 minutes before a scheduled tour time. Tickets for these two tours can be purchased online, in person at the museum, or over the phone at (916) 808-7059. Prices are as follows:

Age Price
Adults (18+) $7.00
Youth (6-17) $5.00
Children (0-5) FREE

The foundation also runs special tours of the Sacramento Underground. These tours last an hour as well and send groups on an exploration of the areas beneath our buildings and sidewalks and tells the story of California's only successful street raising project, in which the streets of Sacramento were raised in order to avoid flooding.

2012 Tour Season Tour Times
April, May Saturdays and Sundays, 10:30AM-3:00PM. Leaving every half hour
June, July, August Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10:30AM-3:00PM. Leaving every half hour
September, October, November Limited Thursday and Friday tours, Saturdays and Sundays, 10:30AM-3:00PM. Leaving every half hour

Tickets for this tour can be purchased through the same methods as the general public tours, but it is recommended to get them early, as this tour fills to capacity quickly. This tour checks in at the Sacramento History Museum, and it is recommended to arrive 10 minutes before a scheduled tour time.

Prices are as follows:

Age Price
Adults (18+) $15.00
Youth (6-17) $10.00
Children (0-5) FREE

In addition to these tours, several themed private tours are available as well. These tours can cover many specific topics such as Medicine, the 1960s redevelopment of Sacramento, or the Political History of Old Sacramento.

Alongside these private tours, the foundation allows for school tours to be scheduled as well. Both private tours and school tours can be scheduled year round on weekdays, weekends, and weekdays. A minimum of 8 people is required to schedule a tour.

Call (916) 808-4980 or e-mail [email protected]] to schedule a private tour.

Time Travel Weekends

During July and August, the foundation puts on free Time Travel Weekends every weekend in Old Sacramento. They put on a grand show throughout the city, including re-enactments of historical events, craft activities, bowling, medicine shows, Civil War cannon firings, music, and more. In addition to these events, free silent films are screened in the Eagle Theatre every Saturday night at 7:00 PM.

Student Programs

The foundation welcomes students and teachers to learn more about the history of Sacramento. To do this, they have assembled several programs for students of all grade levels.

One such program is the Old Sacramento Puppet Show, a twenty-minute in-house program, in which puppets "tell the tale of the Gold Rush, the coming of the railroad, and life in Sacramento City". This program is for younger students in pre-K and up.

The Agriculture and Life on the Farm program is an hour long program which takes place both inside and outside the museum. It teaches students about life on the farm and the fruits and vegetables grown in Sacramento through interactions with farm equipment and hands-on activities. The program meets "California Curriculum Science Standards 2.a-2.e".

The foundation also offers the May Woolsey's Trunk program, another hour-long program which occurs inside and outside the museum. It teaches students how historians learn more about the past by using a clue-filled trunk to tell the story of a little Sacramento girl who lived in the 1800s. This program meets "California History and Social Science standards 1.4, 2.1.1, 2.1.2".

The Nisenan - California Indians of the Sacramento Region program teaches students about the Nisenan Indians that lived in the Sacramento Valley. It explores their customs, from how they obtained food and building materials to their special ceremonies and rituals. It is an hour-long program that takes place both inside and outside the museum, and it meets "California History and Social Science standards 3.2.1 – 3.2.4".

The Gold Rush program, an hour and a half long in-house and outreach program, explores the story of the California Gold Rush of 1849 and allows students to pan for gold and keep what they get from it. This program meets "California History and Social Science standards 4.4.1 – 4.4.9".

The last student-oriented program that the foundation offers is Head West. It is an hour long in-house and outreach program that explores the history of the westward trail and forces them to make some of the difficult decisions that the pioneers had to by using stories and historical artifacts. It meets "California History and Social Science standards 5.8.2 – 5.8.6".

In addition to these student programs, the foundation also offers discounted tour rates for student groups.

Prices for the student programs and discounted tours are as follows:


Students $3.00
Teachers FREE
1 Chaperone/8 Students FREE
Additional Adults $5.00 each


1 Presentation $200.00
Each Additional Presentation $50.00
Mileage (outside city of Sacramento) Varies


Students $3.00
Teachers FREE
1 Chaperone/8 Students FREE
Additional Adults $7.00 each


Student tour with museum visit $8.00
Student tour ticket $5.00
Teachers FREE
1 Chaperone/8 Students FREE
Additional Adults $15.00 each

Volunteer Opportunities

The Historical Old Sacramento Foundation thrives off the people of the community. Volunteers play a major factor in keeping it up and running. There are several types of volunteering.

Tour Volunteers

The first one is volunteering for The Old Sacramento Underground Tours. They are currently seeking 20-30 volunteers for this area and submitted application is required. Interested tour guides should have a passion for the history of Sacramento. It is preferred if the person has a customer service background. Some of the volunteer duties include assisting tour guides and collecting tickets. Volunteers should be prepared to spend a large amount of time outdoors and walking for extended periods of time.

Museum Volunteers

The second section is volunteering for the Sacramento History Museum. The duties of this position mainly include office related work and a submitted application is required. In addition to office work, there are three branches under this section a volunteer can apply for.

Docent Program

Volunteers can apply to become museum docents. A docent does student and adult group tours of the museum. Docent volunteer hours are flexible with a person’s availability and training is required before starting the position.

Museum Events

Volunteers can also work events which include fund raisers and mixers. Volunteers should be prepared to work mostly evening weekends and commit four to five hours each event. Duties involve setting up the event, greeting guests, and enforcing the rules of the museum. Students are always welcome to volunteer for any of these positions. It is a great opportunity to meet graduation requirements. A separate student volunteer application is required for this.

Living History Volunteers

The third section is volunteering for Living History. The Living History group reenacts the history of Sacramento in 1849. The volunteer must be at least 18 or have an accompanied parent or guardian, complete training, and able to attend meetings on the second Saturday of each month from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. For more information on this position please call 916-808-4980.

Additional information concerning volunteer positions is available on the foundation website if required.


The foundation is always seeking donations, both monetary and non-monetary, to help fund its mission. Donations can be made online or sending checks to Kristina Swanson, Deputy Director, by donating an item on their website Wish List, or by one of the methods described below.


One way to donate to the foundation is to purchase a membership with it. Becoming a member has several benefits, including free admission to the Sacramento History Museum all year long, invitations to member's only events, and discounts on museum merchandise, the Underground Tours, and at participating Old Sacramento Businesses.

Memberships can be purchased online, and the prices are as follows:

Regular Memberships

Family $45.00
Individual $35.00
Seniors (Age 65+) $25.00
Student (With valid student ID) $25.00

Premium Memberships

Quartz Circle $100.00
Copper Circle $250.00
Silver Circle $500.00
Gold Circle $1000.00


The foundation offers chances for businesses to sponsor foundation events in return for public exposure such as recognition signs on exhibits and tour sites, Sacramento History Museum passes and VIP Underground Tour Tickets, placing "Sponsored By" on their printed materials, and other promotional considerations.

For more information concerning sponsorship opportunities, e-mail [email protected]

See also other local services & organizations.


The organization usually holds fundraisers in June, based on a certain theme. One such fundraiser is the Riverboat Casino Night, which boasts 19th century games, food, living history, music, and a silent auction.

Sources Cited

Historical Old Sacramento Foundation. 2010. Web. 30 October 2011.

“This report was written for Cynthia Linville’s English 20 class at CSU Sacramento Fall 2011". See also other local services & organizations.


2011-11-01 15:27:18   The information for this page was taken from the foundation's website in October 2011 —AndrewDallosta