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Sacramento County

  • Sacramento, County, California, Mineral Resources & Introduction to the Sacramento County Area of California (circa 1915) - Excerpt from Sacramento Valley and Foothill Counties of California: An Illustrated Description of all the Counties Embraced in this Richly productive Geographical Subdivision of the Golden State, compiled and edited by Emmett Phillips and John H. Miller, Published under the direction of The Sacramento Valley Exposition, J. A. Filcher, Director-in Chief, January, 1915.

    Sacramento County

    "Sacramento County, situated at the southern end of the great Sacramento Valley, is the fourth in point of wealth and sixth in point of population in California. It is one of the oldest counties in California, having been formed by an act of the first Legislature that assembled in the Golden State. Its early history teems with interest as it records the stirring deeds of the brave pioneers who came here in the days of ’49 seeking fortunes in the mines.

    "But we are concerned now more with the present (circa 1915) and future of the county than its history. It is a growing and prosperous community, offering special advantages to the home seeker. It posseses soil, climate, water, transportation facilities and markets - the five factors that are essential to the farmer's success. Its farm products include all deciduous fruits, grapes, berries, nuts, citrus fruits, alfalfa, cereals, stock, poultry and eggs, butter and cheese, etc. It is a county in which large tracts are being subdivided into small farms, and hence, there is plenty of opportunity for the settler to purchase unimproved land.

    "Sacramento County has an area of 988 square miles, most of which is farm land. The population of the county in 1910 was 67,806. It is now estimated at 90,000, as there has been a noticeable increase during the past four years. The area is mostly either fertile bottom lands lying along large rivers, or rich alluvial plains. The altitude varies from 30 to 125 feet, the land rising in gentle slopes on the eastern border of the county to meet the lower foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

    "Sacramento County has an abundance of water, being supplied by many streams. The Great Sacramento River, which flows the full length of the Valley, from Mt. Shasta to San Francisco Bay, is the western boundary of Sacramento County for a distance of about one hundred miles. The San Joaquin River, the other great waterway of the interior of Northern California, touches the county on the south. The American, the Cosumnes and the Mokelumne, all streams of importance, carrying water the year round, flow across the county. The Sacramento, the San Joaquin and their tributaries through many years of constant flow, have formed the rich delta lands of southern Sacramento County. This delta was once a great area of swamp land, subject to annual overflow, but through expenditure of vast sums of money, has been thoroughly reclaimed by the construction of great dykes, called levees in California, which keep the water from the cultivated fields. The delta, often referred to as the Netherlands of California on account of the similarity of the reclamation work to the dykes of Holland, consists of a number of islands, each of which is surrounded by a navigable waterway.

    "No more fertile land is to be found anywhere in the world, not even in the famous Valley of the Nile, than this rich river bottom. Here are produced the vegetables that during certain months of the year supply the principal markets, not only of California but of several States, including Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Montana. This is also a district of luscious fruits and each year several thousand carloads go forward to Eastern markets from the river districts of Sacramento County alone.

    "Equally as rich as the land along the Sacramento River is that along the Cosumnes and American Rivers. Both of these districts are noted for a large variety of products which they produce to perfection. Hops that grow along the Cosumnes River are as fine as any grown in this world and command the highest prices in the market. This district is also noted for its fruit.

    "But all the land of Sacramento County is not river bottom land. There are great alluvial plains containing thousands of acres of fertile land suited to the culture of a vast variety of profitable products. Not many years ago these plain lands were all farmed to grain, but during the past few years, as in other sections of the Valley, grain farms have been subdivided and ten and twenty-acre tracts devoted to intensive cultivation have succeeded them. The plains are exceedingly productive when irrigated and this is made easy because of the inexhaustible supply of water that underlies the entire area of Sacramento County. All that is necessary to obtain water is to sink a well from fifteen to forty feet and a flow sufficient for irrigation is obtained. The water is lifted from the well by a pump run by either gasoline engine or an electric motor. Either is inexpensive. The possibilities of irrigating from wells in this county are well illustrated in the Florin district, just south of Sacramento City. This is a great Tokay grape and strawberry district. The only irrigation the plants received besides the natural rainfall, is from the well water. Florin annually ships many carloads of grapes and even more of strawberries to markets beyond the borders of the State.

    "Besides the bottom and the plain lands, there is still another class of productive land in Sacramento County. This is the rolling land at the beginning of the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. This rolling land lies north of the American River and is no doubt the most picturesque part of all Sacramento County. It includes the prosperous colonies of Orangevale and Fair Oaks, noted for their production of citrus and semi-tropical fruit. Practically all the oranges grown in Sacramento County come from the pretty groves on the gentle slopes of Orangevale and Fair Oaks. Here, like in all Sacramento Valley counties that grow oranges, the golden fruit ripens from six weeks to two months earlier than that of any other orange growing district in the United States. Olives and almonds are also profitable crops in these colonies and the homes of some of the owners of tracts, as picturesque as any in California, are indicative of prosperity.

    "Sacramento City, the county seat and the capital of the State, is situated on the east bank of the Sacramento River, which is navigable the year round as far north as Red Bluff, 150 miles north of Sacramento. It has a population of 75,000 and an assessed valuation of $65,000,000. Several lines of freight and passenger steamers ply between Sacramento and San Francisco and the passenger steamers are floating palaces similar to those on the Hudson River. Two transcontinental steam roads and four interurban electric lines enter Sacramento, which is an industrial city. The main shops of the Southern Pacific and Western Pacific railroads are located here. There are also three great fruit canning institutions and many factories of various kinds."

  • Sacramento County, California (circa 1915-1916) - Excerpts from Report XV of the State Mineralogist, Mines and Mineral Resources of Portions of California, Chapters of State Mineralogist's Report Biennial Period 1915-1916, Part III. The Counties of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Yuba, California State Mining Bureau, 1919, pp. 271-459.

    Sacramento County, by Clarence A. Waring, Field Assistant.

    Introduction. "Two weeks were devoted in October, 1916, to the mineral industry of Sacramento County...."


    Location, boundaries and area (of Sacramento County)

    "Sacramento County is bounded on the north by Sutter and Placer counties; on the south by the San Joaquin and Mokelumne rivers and Dry Creek; on the east by El Dorado and Amador counties, and on the west by the Sacramento River and Steamboat and Sutter Sloughs.

    "The county was organized in the year 1849 and covers an area of 983 square miles.

    Population and county seat (of Sacramento County)

    "The population of the county in 1913 was 90,000 - 75,000 of which were centered in Sacramento, the county seat and State Capitol, situated at the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers.

    Topography and drainage (of Sacramento County)

    "Sacramento County lies mainly in the central valley of California extending from the Sierran foothills on the east down to the Sacramento River on the west. The highest elevations in the county southeast of Folsom are less than 900 feet, while the lowest in the southwestern portion of the county are slightly below sea level...."

    Transportation (in Sacramento County)

    "The Southern Pacific main line enters the city of Sacramento from the southeast from Stockton and passes northeastward through the county to Roseville, Placer County. The company has branch lines from Sacramento to Placerville, El Dorado County by way of Folsom, and from Sacramento south along the east side of Sacramento River to Walnut Grove. The Western Pacific main line crosses the west side of the county from south to north through the city of Sacramento.

    "The Central California Electric Traction railway runs from Sacramento southeastward through the county to Stockton. The Oakland, Antioch and Eastern Electric railway crosses the river at Sacramento and runs southwestward to San Francisco. The Northern Electric railway runs north from Sacramento to Marysville.

    "Good highways radiate from the city of Sacramento to Stockton, Folsom and Roseville. Branch roads make all parts of the county easily accessible. River boats ply between Sacramento and San Francisco and furnish a cheap means of transportation.

    Economic Geology (of Sacramento County)*

    (* Page 401 footnote: For a geologic map of eastern Sacramento County see U. S. Geol. Survey, folio reprint 3, 5 and 11, 1914.)

    "The higher northeastern portion of Sacramento County, in the region east and southeast of Folsom, is made up of diabase, amphibolite schist and slate.

    "To the extreme northeast in the region of Represa these old metamorphics are intruded by granodiorite, which is being quarried for stone. Ancient river gravels overlie these older rocks in the region of Mormon Island, where they were placered in the early days.

    "Along the lower foothills sedimentary strata of upper Cretaceous (Chico) and upper Eocene (Ione) age are exposed. These strata are composed of shales, sandstones, clays, sands and gravels interbedded with volcanic tuffs and breccias. They are overlain along the edge of the valley by alluvium...."

    Mineral Production (in Sacramento County)

    "The mineral production of Sacramento County during the year 1915 consisted of gold, silver, platinum, brick, natural gas and granite, valued at $2,632,658. The county stands tenth among the counties of the state as a mineral producer and fourth as a gold producer."

    In the table on page 402 entitled, "Sacramento County - Table of Mineral Production, 1880-1915 (inc.)," the only statistics for the stone industry in Sacramento County are listed in a column with the heading, "Miscellaneous stone." The first entry for this column is for the year 1894 and states: "75,000 cu. ft. State's use. The next year, 1895, states "85,000 cu. ft. State's use." The monetary value of the stone statistics begins for the year 1896 with $12,018 and builds up to $284,127 for the year 1915. The total for the "Miscellaneous stone" column is $2,049,515.

  • Sacramento County Mineral Industry (circa 1919) - Excerpt from California Mineral Production for 1919, Bulletin No. 88, by Walter W. Bradley, California State Mining Bureau, 1920, pp. 159.

    Area: 983 square miles.
    Population: 90,978 (1920 census).
    Location: North-central portion of state.

    "Sacramento stands fourteenth among the counties of the state as a mineral producer, the output, principally gold, for 1919 being valued at $2,275,827, as compared with the 1918 production, worth $2,102,597. In regard to gold output alone this county ranks fourth, being exceeded only by Yuba, Amador, and Nevada counties. Its mineral resources include: Brick, clay, gold, natural gas, platinum, silver and miscellaneous stone.

    "Commercial production for 1919 was as follows:

    (Headings for the information below are: Substance, Amount, and Value.)

    Clay and clay products, ---, $113,000
    Gold, ---, $1,820,000 (estimated)
    Silver, ---, $5,000 (estimated)
    Stone, miscellaneous, ---, $276,432
    Other minerals,* ---, $61,395
    (Total value) $2,275,827

    (* Includes natural gas and platinum.)

    Sacramento County, 1916 Map, from California Mineral Production for 1919 (with County Maps), Bulletin No. 88, by Walter W. Bradley, California State Mining Bureau, San Francisco: California State Printing Office, 1920, pp. 188. Sacramento County , 1916 Map

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