How to Disappear

There’s another side to Sacramento, and it’s right under your feet.

What do you do when your city ends up nine feet underwater? Easy. You raise it.

Technically, not such a cakewalk, as Sacramento found out after succumbing to epic flooding in the 1860s. In a scramble to stay above water in the future, the city raised two-and-a-half miles of street and existing buildings—in what was considered more of a Herculean feat.

Today, on the Sacramento History Museum’s underground tours, guides download Old Sac history and walk you through it. Then, you can see what lies beneath on the 90-minute adults-only walkabout (there’s an all-ages tour as well). Gold Rush geeks will like the storytelling (of brothels and saloons, for example). In the end, it took workers more than a decade to raise Sacramento, lifting buildings a quarter of an inch at a time.

Underground Sac 1
Underground Sac 4
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