Sacramento Discovery Museum - Old Sacramento, California



California Museums


Discovery Museum History Center, 101 I Street, Old Sacramento CA 95814 / (916) 264-7057 

The Discovery Museum Gold Rush History Center is one of several museums operated under the auspices of a nonprofit organization also in charge of the Discovery Museum Science and Space Center and Challenger Learning Center. The Discovery Museum History Center is a recommended stop in your vacation or journey to Sacramento. While many visit the California State Capitol, Old Sacramento features world class museums displaying artifacts, exhibits and information about Californiaa's golden past and Sacramento's growth during the discovery of gold in the mid-1800's.


Sacramento's Buried Past


As you enter the Discovery Museum, you'll be spellbound by an exhibit that showcases Sacramento's buried past. Displayed beneath a beautiful glass-panel floor visitors can walk on in the Central Gallery, are artifacts and objects from four historic sites between I & J Streets and  8th & 9th Streets in downtown Sacramento.  Excavation of this archaeological site in the summer of 1988 was performed by Anthropological Studies Center, Sonoma State University under the direction of Dr. Adrian Praetzellis. The items were catalogued and later were recognized for their cultural and historic interest. Integrated into a Discovery Museum exhibit, the fabulous display opened in 2003 and was an instant success.


Sacramento's Buried Past contains items from a neighborhood inhabited by individuals from different cultures, religions and backgrounds. The exhibits include The Mary Collins Assemblage: A Family of the late 19th and early 20th Century, The San Fong Chong Laundry, 1895 - 1954, Junk! Archeology of the Pioneer Junk Store, 1877 - 1908 and For a Good Boy: Victorians on Sacramento's J Street.  Guests stand on a tinted glass floor designed to absorb reflecting light. The tempered glass shields the depths of a display with recessed lighting under the floor to highlight clothing, broken pottery and a variety of objects. This floor display provides a "wow" factor to rival any museum experience.  Available for rent, it provides a great location to host special events and functions in Sacramento.


The Mary Collins Assemblage: A Family of the late 19th and early 20th Century, includes contents of a cellar from a house that stood until 1905. San Fong Chong Laundry, 1895 - 1954" was located at 814 I Street includes items from that facility, operating for nearly a century. Junk! Archeology of the Pioneer Junk Store, 1877 - 1908, displays items from a Jewish immigrant, Samuel Stein.  He owned and operated a business in Sacramento, having come from Posen, Poland in 1869 (approx.) Stein sold quality, second-hand items. For a Good Boy: Victorians on Sacramento's J Street contains items from four residences dating from the 1850's. A German baker, German shoemaker, a gold merchant, a carriage/lumber merchant and an African American barber are all represented through items they owned.


This exhibit is worth the modest admission fee alone (well under $10), but there are many more items, displays and artifacts to explore on your visit.  As you depart, be sure to stop by the gift store that sells great souvenir gifts.




California Military  Museum 1115 Second Street (916) 442-2883  An interpretive museum with authentic clothing, equipment and stories from our nation's rich military past.


California State Railroad Museum 111 I Street (916) 445-6645   The largest interpretive railroad museum in the nation with exhibits and activities for the whole family. See beautifully restored  locomotives and cars from the 1860s to the 1960s.

Crocker Art Museum  Third and O Street  (916) 264-5423  Featuring Victorian architecture, Early California  painting collections, Old Master drawings and colorful contemporary California art.


Discovery Museum 101 I Street  (916) 264-7057   A public service, educational institution established to foster the wonder and curiosity in us all.  Explore, experience and examine.  Learning has never been more fun.


Schoolhouse Museum  Front and L Street  (916) 483-8818  An authentic one-room  schoolhouse.


Spectacular Russian  Dinosaur Exhibition 1126 Second Street 888-264-8763  World's largest, authentic, traveling dinosaur exhibition, including the 20 foot Saurolophus and the 16 foot Tyrannosaurus. Open to the public. Call to schedule groups.


Sutter's Fort  2710 L Street (916) 445-4422  Sacramento's earliest settlement was founded in 1839. Self guided audio tours are available.


California Automobile Museum  2200 Front Street (916) 442-6802  Featuring exhibits of the American Automobile.


Wells Fargo Museum  Corner of Second and J Streets (916) 440-4263   Stagecoaches, gold, mining, business, commerce are all colorfully interpreted for visitors. ATM, W.A.

Additional Resource: The California Dream-The Donner Party Heads Toward Sacramento


Nearby Cities Accommodations and Reservations:
AuburnDavisDixonEl Dorado Hills Elk Grove FolsomGaltGold RiverMcclellanNorth HighlandRancho Cordova Rocklin RosevilleSacramentoWest SacramentoWoodland