Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Experience The History

After a hair raising drive East on Highway 50 out of Sacramento, I arrived at Old Town Folsom.  I say hair raising because I was going 70 mph .. the speed limit is 65 .. and literally everyone was passing me like I was standing still.  I now know where the "California Drivers" reputation comes from.  Eeeeeeek!!

I went a little early looking to gather some photos and was surprised to see most of the parking already taken.  Having Sunday morning breakfast on the streets of Folsom is apparently a must.  If you go for the shopping, it doesn't open until 11:00.

Although we were supposed to ride another train, the tracks washed out and our tour was cancelled.  Instead I walked around the depot area getting a feel for the Gold Rush town.  I was particularly interested in the Pioneer Village with it's working craftsmen, but of course it was Sunday and they were closed.
As a group, they will ride any train ... and I mean ANY train.  The Golden Spikes gathered over at the City Zoo and made all the little kids wait while they took a ride on THIS little train.  
In the meantime, I wandered around town loving all the old buildings that still remain on Sutter Street.  There's something for everyone, including housewares, olive oil, antiques, and of course my favorite, FOOD!!
This is Hop Sing Palace Chinese food, complete with original doors and brightly colored PINK napkins on the tables.  I rather imagine it was like this in the old days ... anything to attract attention and customers.
This is gold country and this town was originally named Granite City.  Joseph Libbey Folsom purchased this property from the heirs of San Francisco merchant William Leidesdorff, providing a place for gold miners heading to the Sierra Nevada foothills to purchase supplies.  He lobbied to build a railroad line to Sacramento, bringing even more people to the area.  
It's definitely a colorful little town, keeping many of the sights and sounds of yesteryear.  
The Sutter Street Theatre resides in this building.  Don't let your change jingle as you walk along ... I was hit up a couple of times for food money .. although very respectfully I must say.
They have a very small Folsom Historical Museum that on this date had quite a display of old quilts, made in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  Some of these were just amazing, having been all hand sewn and quilted.  They even had some you could purchase for very reasonable prices.  I've never seen THAT before.  Alongside the quilts were some vintage clothing, like this wedding dress that would fit a 15 year old.  It was the tiniest thing I've ever seen.  It shouldn't surprise me however, since my grandmother was married at 16.
Here's a closer look.  She must have come from a wealthy family.  The entire front is encrusted with beads.  
This quilt was found in a plastic bag in a garage sale.  After hand washing, it's a beautiful example of what a needle and thread can do in the right hands.  This one is dated back to the 1800's.
There are some hands on things in the little museum, mostly gold related.  This butter churn sure brought back memories.  I used to sit on the kitchen table and turn the handle until it got too hard to move.  The cow was milked and the milk strained through cheesecloth to remove little things like hair and bugs, before putting it in the ice box to chill.  The cream would rise to the top of the pan, where we used a round piece of tin to remove just the top layer.  That went into the churn, where the wooden paddles inside would agitate it as we turned the handle until it got thick .. voila ...BUTTER.

Just for information purposes, this does NOT come apart.  It was simply rinsed and left to dry.  The butter was then left out on the kitchen table.  Putting it back in the ice box meant it would get hard as a rock, making it unspreadable.  I used to sit on the kitchen table and eat it by the handful.  YUCK!!  For years after, I couldn't eat butter at all ..... margarine became my staple.
There were all kinds of people who were adventuresome and willing to do anything to make a living, unlike today where people expect a free handout.  The husband of this lovely couple became disabled and couldn't work.  His resourceful wife did what she had to, trading her favors for cash.  Eventually, she transformed their little chicken ranch into a brothel which she ran up until the early 1900's.  
This is one of her advertisement pictures.  Pretty racy for a time when you weren't even allowed to show your ankles!!
Outside, still hoping the Pioneer Museum craftsmen would show up, I took pictures of the turntable used in the old days.  Today it's just for the sake of history, as it doesn't turn engines around any more.
Also a small museum, this passenger car didn't get the memo.  10:00 am is the new time according to the townspeople.
If you're interested in anything Christmas, they have it in this little store.  As you walk through, it just goes on and on and on!!    I'm not sure this peacock turquoise tree is my style, but it was very pretty.
You know I can't pass up an ice cream store, so when I came to Snooks candy and ice cream, I had to stop.  More rocky road, although I think they left out the rocky part.  It was a delicious breakfast anyway.
Here's the best part .... the candy.  I'm not really much of a candy person, but when I saw this rocky road fudge, I just had to try some.  Good heavens this stuff is amazing!!!  It's so good I may even have to try making it myself!!
By then I was getting rather hungry for lunch, so I braved the breakneck speed highway and returned to the RV park.  There is one more attraction here that is definitely worth a look see, and that is Folsom Prison.  That's right, the one Johnny Cash sings about is here for your enjoyment.  It will have to wait for the next trip however.

It was a rather boring trip back home, ending in some head bashing, just in time for the Magic Kingdom of Bingo.   Woohoo!!! 

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