History

ESTABLISHED AS A RESULT OF THE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH IN THE MID-1800S, THE TOWN OF RANCHO CORDOVA HAS A RICH HISTORY TIED TO THE WESTERN EXPANSION OF THE UNITED STATES.

Situated in the heart of the Northern California gold country and a pivotal stop along the early transcontinental railroad, Rancho Cordova is rich in history and culture. Whether you are hoping to walk the historic neighborhoods, stroll the area's parks, tour one of the many museums, or experience Gold Country first-hand, Rancho Cordova has an abundance of things to do for history buffs of all types.

Historical Districts

  • Folsom’s Historic District: Above the placid waters of Lake Natoma resides one of the region’s hidden historical gems. Stroll along Sutter Street where unique shops and restaurants await.
  • Placerville: Infamously known as “Hangtown,” Placerville offers a throwback experience with a stroll-able historic district featuring bars, restaurants and boutique shops. Don’t miss the El Dorado County Historical Museum for a real glimpse of history.
  • Old Sacramento: Step back in time for riverside fun in the original Sacramento. Shops, restaurants, boat rides, train rides, and the California State Railroad Museum make this a perfect place for all ages.

Parks & Museums

  • Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park: Explore Sacramento’s earliest settlement, and first non-native settlement in California’s Central Valley. The fort is named for Swiss immigrant, John Sutter.
  • California State Railroad Museum: Celebrate the history of our railroads with interactive exhibits and plenty of big and small trains to explore. Ideal for kids of all ages.

Gold Rush History near Rancho Cordova

The discovery of gold ignited a mass migration toward the west. In Rancho Cordova, you can travel and explore the treasures of Gold Country just off of historic Highway 49. Here are a few of our favorite places to visit for Gold Country history:

  • Marshall Gold Discovery Park: Experience the history of the California Gold Rush in Coloma with a visit to the Marshall Gold Discovery Park, where James W. Marshall first discovered gold, and marked one of the most significant historical land marks in the United States. Explore the landmark's gold discovery tours, youth programs, living history days, hiking and picnic areas with the whole family.
  • Hangtown's Gold Bug Park and Mine in Placerville: Create memories at the Hangtown's Gold Bug Park and Mine in Placerville, and explore deep inside the mountain to discover hidden treasures of the California Gold Rush. Spend the whole day at the park and visit the blacksmith's shop, stamp mill, museum, gift shop and more!