Old Sacramento is a 28-acre National Historic Landmark and State Park located along the Sacramento River. It was here that Sacramento's urban core first developed during the height of the California Gold Rush in the mid-nineteenth century. The area was redeveloped in the 1960s, and the resulting district is a mix of public spaces, museums, restaurants, and shops. Building facades, cobblestone streets, and boardwalk sidewalks are just some of the historic features that visitors to Old Sacramento encounter. The Sacramento History Museum (SHM) is one of several museums that can be found within the boundaries of the Old Sacramento Historic District. The museum traces the history of the city and county of Sacramento from the communities that lived in the area before settlement, through the Gold Rush period and into the 21st century. The museum has been a feature of the District since it first opened in 1985.
Since its founding in 2003, the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation (HOSF) has been the nonprofit organization dedicated to providing innovative educational experiences to all visitors to the Old Sacramento Historic District. HOSF's early activities focused largely on providing historical interpretation and reenactments for the benefit of the public. After realizing that both organizations shared similar goals and vision, HOSF merged with the Sacramento History Museum in 2008. The SHM has expanded its offerings and now leads regular tours of Old Sacramento, produces exhibitions in the museum galleries, manages a robust schedule of school group programs, and participates in large-scale community events. Today, the museum serves a diverse audience of locals from the Sacramento region and out-of-town visitors to Old Sacramento. Locally, we directly serve the individuals and families who reside in Sacramento, Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Yuba, Sutter, and Yolo counties. HOSF also enhances the experiences of visitors who come to Old Sacramento from other parts of the state, country, and world. The SHM works closely with the Sacramento Association of Museums, the Convention, and Visitor's Bureau, local arts organizations, schools, and community service groups to form partnerships and collaborations. The projects, events, and programs that develop from these collaborations help to ensure that HOSF succeeds in its vision of bringing history to life for the benefit of the individuals and families who reside in or travel to the Sacramento region.