Biography / Administrative History
Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Old Sacramento Citizens and Merchant Association records
Collection number: MS0044
Old Sacramento Citizens and Merchant Association
7 linear feet
Center for Sacramento History
Sacramento, California 95811-0229
Abstract: The Old Sacramento Citizens and Merchants Association collectively with the city of Sacramento, sought to preserve the historic
integrity and commercial interest of the Old Sacramento historic district. The collection was donated by local businessman
and association historian, William Atwell, in 2011. The collection contains correspondence related to the association and
city entities, monthly newsletters and bulletins, event related materials, association election materials, and artifacts.
The collection ranges in dates from 1970 to 2004 with the bulk of material from 1975 to the mid 1990s. The materials reflect
the business practices of the association, yearly promotional events, merchant concerns, and coordination with the city of
Sacramento to preserve the district and promote as a cohesive merchant area.
Physical location: McClellan
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research use.
All requests to publish or quote from private collections held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted
in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical
items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron.
No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.
[Identification of item and/or item number], [box and folder number], Old Sacramento Citizens and Merchant Association records,
MS0044, Center for Sacramento History.
Collection donated by William Atwell/Old Sacramento Citizens and Merchants Association to the Center for Sacramento History
in 2007 (accession #2007/040).
Old Sacramento Citizens and Merchants Association records were processed by Amy Long and Kristen Svozil, 2011. Finding Aid
prepared by Amy Long and Kristen Svozil.
Biography / Administrative History
William Atwell served as the Old Sacramento Citizens and Merchants Association historian from the 1970s to the 1990s. A participating
merchant in Old Sacramento, Atwell owned Mother Lode Company Leather. The association sought to work with the City of Sacramento,
property owners, and merchants to preserve and promote the area as both a historic district, and thriving commercial area.
The association published a monthly newsletter and held administrative meetings with a set of bylaws and elected officers.
In the spirit of the historic area, candidates ran campaigns based on Old Sacramento ties to the Gold Rush with stage names
and non traditional titles such as, Sheriff or Madam. Yearly sponsored events also played a vital role in the promotion of
local businesses. The association often used the districts proximity to the river, and Old West themes to showcase annual
events, many of which are still held today.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Old Sacramento Citizens and Merchants Association records include an extensive catalogue of correspondence within the
organization and city entities, monthly newsletters that include merchant news and events, redevelopment issues, media coverage,
Old Sacramento Events, promotional materials, and related artifacts, association election materials, and association minutes
and bylaws. The years of the collection range from 1970 to a few items in 2004. The majority of items are concentrated form
the 1970s to the early 1990s. The collection was originally eleven boxes of unsorted materials and now stands at seven boxes.
The collection is organized by series, but as of December 2011, only boxes one through three were organized by sub series
due to time restrictions, and interpreted importance. Boxes one through three include: administrative records, correspondence,
newsletters, events, merchant information, city entity correspondence, and association bylaws and minutes. Boxes four through
seven have been organized by series. They include: printed materials, artifacts, and oversized materials.
The Association’s goals were to preserve the integrity and maintain the commercial interests of the Old Sacramento district.
In 1965 Old Sacramento became the first historic district in the West on the National Register and a California State Historic
Park. It is an area comprised of significant Gold Rush commercial buildings. Some of the most notable include: The Eagle Theater,
B.F. Hastings Building that was once home to the California Supreme Court, and the Big Four Building. In addition, Old Sacramento
was the western terminus of the Pony Express postal system, the first transcontinental railroad, and the transcontinental
telegraph. The district has over 50 historic buildings. Today the properties in the district are primarily owned by private
owners, and leased to individual merchants. The continuous efforts of the city and merchants association, have maintained
the area as a both a historic and commercial attraction.
Series 1. Administrative records
Subseries 1.1 Bylaws
Subseries 1.2 OSCMA Board meeting notices and minutes
Subseries 1.3 Agencies and advisory boards
Subseries 1.4 Local and city ordinances/business codes
Subseries 1.5 Financial records
Subseries 1.6 Redevelopment
Subseries 1.7 Individual business entities
Subseries 1.8 Logistics and planning
Subseries 1.9 OSCMA Bulletins/Newsletters
Subseries 1.10 Business census / cards
Series 2. General correspondence
Series 3. Local events
Subseries 3.1 Old Sacramento election posters
Subseries 3.2 Railfair
Subseries 3.3 Railroad Museum opening
Subseries 3.4 Event guidebooks
Subseries 3.5 Promotions
Subseries 3.6 Cavert building
Subseries 3.7 Flyers
Subseries 3.8 Menus
Subseries 3.9 Theater and playbills
Subseries 3.10 Gold Rush Days
Subseries 3.11 Dixieland/Jazz Jubilee
Subseries 3.12 4th of July
Subseries 3.13 150th Anniversary
Series 4. Printed materials
Subseries 4.1 Magazines
Subseries 4.2 Newsletters
Subseries 4.3 Journal publications
Subseries 4.4 Newspapers
Subseries 4.5 Merchant menus/coupons
Subseries 4.6 Attraction publications
Subseries 4.7 Railroad Museum
Subseries 4.8 Newspaper clippings
Series 5. Artifacts
Series 6. Oversized
Subjects and Indexing Terms
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Old Sacramento Historic District (Sacramento, Calif.)
Sacramento (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc.