Scrapbookpages Blog

November 6, 2010

Governor’s mansion in Sacramento, the capital of California

Filed under: California — Tags: — furtherglory @ 2:36 pm

The Governor's Mansion in Sacramento, CA

In the Spring of 1967, I was taking photographs in a residential section of Sacramento called “the Fabulous Forties.”  This is like the Beverly Hills of Sacramento, where some of the wealthiest inhabitants of Sacramento live.  All of a sudden a big, black car drove up and several men in dark suits leaped out and rudely ordered me to stop taking photos. I didn’t know what in the hell was going on.  

I was taking a photo of the gate into the back yard of a house on 45th street which is on a double lot. I was using a Speed Graphic camera, so maybe they thought I was a press photographer.  It was not yet known by the general public that Ronald Reagan was moving out of the governor’s mansion and into a private home.

I was told that Governor Ronald Reagan had selected the 6-bedroom house on this double lot to be his new home; after only three or four months in the Governor’s mansion at 16th and H streets, he was moving out.  I knew then that Nancy Reagan was the boss.  Ronald Reagan would not have done something so outrageous on his own.

Currently, the state of California does not have an official residence for its governor. After Reagan moved out of the mansion, the state built a  new, modern governor’s residence in the Sacramento suburb of Carmichael, which was completed just as Reagan left office.  Jerry Brown, who succeeded Reagan, refused to live in the house and it was finally sold in 1982.

The Governor’s mansion at 1526 H St. is now part of the California State Parks system and it is open to tourists.    So California is the only state in the Union which does not have a mansion for the governor to actually live in.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the outgoing governor, lives in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles and commutes in his private plane to Sacramento.  He has a suite in a hotel near The Capitol where he sometimes stays.

The newly elected governor, Jerry Brown, lived in the Governor’s mansion after his father, Pat Brown, became the governor in 1959. He might want visit his old room in the mansion, but he wouldn’t want to live there now.  Previously, when he was the governor of California, Jerry Brown lived in a modest apartment overlooking the grounds of the State Capitol.

The California governor’s Mansion was built in 1877 for Albert Gallatin, who was a partner in the Sacramento hardware store of Huntington & Hopkins, located in what is now known as “old Sacramento.”  The State of California purchased the house from Joseph and Louisa Steffens in 1903 for $32,500.

Governor George Pardee was the first California governor to live in the mansion. During the next 64 years, it was home to 12 other governors.   The decor in the mansion is from the Victorian era, and the velvet draperies in the two parlors are the original draperies that were installed in 1877 when the house was built.

I previously blogged about the house on H Street where Dorothea Puente, the serial killer, lived in an old Victorian house; her house was in the 1400 block of H Street and only two short blocks from the governor’s mansion.

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