Loyola High School (Los Angeles)
Loyola High School of Los Angeles is a Jesuit preparatory school for young men. It continuously run educational institution in Southern California. Loyola is located in the Pico-Union neighborhood, 2 miles west of downtown Los Angeles, just north of Interstate 10, it admits students from 220 ZIP codes in the greater Los Angeles area, as they prioritize diversity in their study body and in the teaching staff. Service of others is a major part of the school program; the school teaches the young men to be a "man for others" Tuition & fees for a freshman in the 2018-2019 school year are $21,080. Loyola High School of Los Angeles is the region's oldest continuing educational institution pre-dating both the Los Angeles public school and the University of California systems; the school began in the downtown plaza Lugo adobe in 1865 as Saint Vincent's College at the behest of Archdiocese of Los Angeles Bishop Thaddeus Amat. After relocating to Hill Street in 1869 and to Grand Avenue in 1889, the Vincentian fathers ceded control of the school to the Society of Jesus in 1911, it relocated to Avenue 52 in Highland Park as the prep school Los Angeles College.
In 1917 the school moved to its current location on Venice Boulevard after the copper magnate and Irish philanthropist Thomas P. Higgins helped secure land for the school; the college was renamed Loyola College the following year, in honor of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus; until 1929, the campus housed the college, the law school, the high school. At that time, the Jesuits purchased additional property to house the college and separate facilities were acquired for Loyola Law School just west of downtown Los Angeles; the college, now Loyola Marymount University, was moved to the area now known as Westchester in West Los Angeles. Recent campus development of the school occurred in the 1980s: the gym and swimming pool, along with additional classroom space, were built after the administration secured major donations. A $30 million renovation with donations from the William Hannon Foundation, the Ardolf Family, others have provided for a new science building and student centers, additional classrooms, central plaza, which were operational as of June 2007, when construction of a new Xavier Center was begun.
Hannon Theatre on campus with its large stage serves the students along with actors from throughout Southern Califrornia. The primary admissions entry point for Loyola High School is in 9th grade, with varying transfer opportunities offered in 10th and 11th grades. Transfer is not allowed going except for rare situations. Admission is based on standardized test scores. Loyola draws its students from throughout the greater Los Angeles area, from Pacific Palisades to East L. A. from Pasadena to San Pedro, from the South Bay as well as the San Fernando, San Gabriel, Santa Clarita, Hidden Valleys. Nearly 50% of the student body is composed of individuals of African-American and Asian heritages, which serves to enhance the ethnic and socio-economic diversity of the school. 800 students apply for 310 slots in the freshman class each year. Four years each of social studies and English studies courses are required, along with three years of foreign language study and of science, one year of fine art. Eight semesters of theology are a central part of the curriculum, covering Holy Scripture, systematic theology, Catholic social thought, moral theology, one senior elective.
Advanced Placement courses are offered in 25 subject areas with a historical "pass" rate of 80%, students are encouraged to take a wide variety of electives outside of the required courses. Loyola offers more than 19 Honors courses. NInety-six percent of Loyola graduates attend a four-year college. In 2014 Loyola sent 23 students to USC which has an 18% acceptance rate: the Loyola contingent was the most from any school. In 2017, among 153 private high schools in the Los Angeles metro area, Niche ranked Loyola 13th in college readiness, among 52 Catholic high schools 2nd overall with an A+ grade. According to Niche, Loyola is the best all male school. Since the 1970s Loyola students have performed over one million hours of service to the community; as part of its commitment to educating men for and with others, Loyola students participate in four major service-oriented projects during their high school careers. The freshman serve as tutors on the Loyola campus for the award-winning High School Placement Test Prep Projects for 8th and 7th graders, as well as assist with the Special Olympics.
The second and third service projects include minimum 25-hour service projects during each of the sophomore and junior years. The Senior Service Project is a minimum 85-hour immersion commitment to a non-profit service organization in January of senior year. Inner city grade schools, special education schools, hospices and soup kitchens are preferred sites for this service experience. Now in its 29th year, the Senior Service Project was featured in "Making A Difference" as part of the NBC National News hosted by Brian Williams on March 11, 2010; the film clip is accessible on the NBC websites. Loyola students' community service has been featured on the local news programs of the ABC affiliate, Channel 7, including Kool Kids and a fundraising car wash conducted on behalf of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, the gang member reformation program founded by Greg Boyle, a Loyola graduate and former faculty member. Loyola sponsors one of the leading Com
History of California
The history of California can be divided into: the Native American period. California was settled from the North by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, it was one of the linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. After contact with Spanish explorers, most of the Native Americans died out from European diseases. After the Portolá expedition of 1769–70, Spanish missionaries began setting up 21 California Missions on or near the coast of Alta California, beginning with the Mission San Diego de Alcala near the location of the modern day city of San Diego, California. During the same period, Spanish military forces built three small towns. Two of the pueblos would grow into the cities of Los Angeles and San Jose. After Mexican Independence was won in 1821, California fell under the jurisdiction of the First Mexican Empire. Fearing the influence of the Roman Catholic church over their newly independent nation, the Mexican government closed all of the missions and nationalized the church's property.
They left behind a small "Californio" population of several thousand families, with a few small military garrisons. After the Mexican–American War of 1846-48, Mexico was forced to relinquish any claim to California to the United States; the unexpected discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848 produced a spectacular gold rush in Northern California, attracting hundreds of thousand of ambitious young men from around the world. Only a few struck it rich, many returned home disappointed. Most appreciated the other economic opportunities in California in agriculture, brought their families to join them. California played a small role in the American Civil War. Chinese immigrants came under attack from nativists; as gold petered out, California became a productive agricultural society. The coming of the railroads in 1869 linked its rich economy with the rest of the nation, attracted a steady stream of migrants. In the late 19th century, Southern California Los Angeles, started to grow rapidly. Different tribes of Native Americans lived in the area, now California for an estimated 13,000 to 15,000 years.
Over 100 tribes and bands inhabited the area. Various estimates of the Native American population in California during the pre-European period range from 100,000 to 300,000. California's population held about one-third of all Native Americans in what is now the United States; the native horticulturalists practiced various forms of forest gardening and fire-stick farming in the forests, mixed woodlands, wetlands, ensuring that desired food and medicine plants continued to be available. The natives controlled fire on a regional scale to create a low-intensity fire ecology which prevented larger, catastrophic fires and sustained a low-density agriculture in loose rotation. California was the name given to a mythical island populated only by beautiful Amazon warriors, as depicted in Greek myths, using gold tools and weapons in the popular early 16th-century romance novel Las Sergas de Esplandián by Spanish author Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo; this popular Spanish fantasy was printed in several editions with the earliest surviving edition published about 1510.
In exploring Baja California the earliest explorers thought the Baja California peninsula was an island and applied the name California to it. Mapmakers started using the name "California" to label the unexplored territory on the North American west coast. European explorers flying the flags of Spain and of England explored the Pacific Coast of California beginning in the mid-16th century. Francisco de Ulloa explored the west coast of present-day Mexico including the Gulf of California, proving that Baja California was a peninsula, but in spite of his discoveries the myth persisted in European circles that California was an island. Rumors of fabulously wealthy cities located somewhere along the California coast, as well as a possible Northwest Passage that would provide a much shorter route to the Indies, provided an incentive to explore further; the first European to explore the California coast was Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, working for Spain. He died in southern California in 1543. Cabrillo and his men found that there was nothing for the Spanish to exploit in California, located at the extreme limits of exploration and trade from Spain it would be left unexplored and unsettled for the next 234 years.
The Cabrillo expedition depicted the Indians as living at a subsistence level located in small rancherias of extended family groups of 100 to 150 people. They had no apparent agriculture as understood by Europeans, no domesticated animals except dogs, no pottery; some shelters were made of branches and mud. The Cabrillo expedition did not see the far north of California, where on the coast and somewhat inland traditional architecture consists of rectangular redwood or cedar plank semisubterranean houses. Traditional clothing was minimal in the summer, with tanned deerhide and other animal
Occidental College is a private liberal arts college in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1887 by clergy and members of the Presbyterian Church, it is one of the oldest liberal arts colleges on the West Coast. Occidental College is referred to as "Oxy" for short. Occidental College was founded on April 20, 1887, by a group of Presbyterian clergy and laymen, including James George Bell, Lyman Stewart, Thomas Bard; the cornerstone of the school's first building was laid in September 1887 in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. The college's first term began a year with 27 male and 13 female students, tuition of $50 a year. In 1896, the Boyle Heights building was destroyed by fire; the college temporarily relocated to the old St. Vincent's College campus on Hill Street before a new site was selected in Highland Park in 1898; the college erected three main buildings: the Academy Building, the Stimson Library, the Hall of Arts and Letters. The Highland Park site was bisected by the tracks of the Santa Fe Railroad, was the site of two presidential visits, first by William Howard Taft in 1909 and subsequently by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1911.
In 1909, the Pomona College Board of Trustees suggested a merger between Pomona and Occidental, but the proposal came to nothing. The following year, the college severed formal ties with the Presbyterian Church and became a non-sectarian, non-denominational institution; the small size of the 15-acre campus and the disruption caused by frequent freight trains pushed the college's trustees to find a new location. In 1912, the school began construction of a new campus located in Los Angeles' Eagle Rock neighborhood; the Eagle Rock campus was designed by noted California architect Myron Hunt known as the planner of the California Institute of Technology campus and as designer of the Huntington Library and Art Gallery and the Rose Bowl. That same year, Occidental President John Willis Baer announced the trustees' decision to convert Occidental College into an all-men's institution; however and faculty protested, the idea was abandoned. In 1913, the Occidental College Board of Trustees announced plans to convert the college to a men's school.
The plans were met with widespread backlash from students and faculty. The community outcry garnered national headlines and the board dropped the proposal. Two weeks after Booker T. Washington came to visit Occidental, on March 27, 1914, Swan and Johnson Halls were dedicated at its new Eagle Rock campus. Patterson Field, today one of the oldest collegiate sports stadiums in Los Angeles, was opened in 1916. In April 1917, shortly after the United States entered World War I, the college formed a Students Army Training Corps to aid the war effort. Under Occidental President Remsen Bird, the school opened a series of new Hunt-designed buildings, including Clapp Library, Hillside Theatre and a women's dormitory in 1925, Alumni Gymnasium, the Freeman Student Union and a music and speech building; the Delta of California Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was established at Occidental in 1926, at a time when the only other chapters in California were at Stanford, UC Berkeley, Pomona. English novelist Aldous Huxley, who spoke at Occidental's convocation ceremony in the then-new Thorne Hall in 1938, lampooned President Remsen Bird as Dr. Herbert Mulge of Tarzana College in his 1939 novel, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan.
Huxley was never again invited back to campus. During World War II, many students left Occidental to fight in the war. In July 1943, the U. S. Navy established a Navy V-12 officer training program on campus that produced hundreds of graduates before it was disbanded at the end of the war in 1945. Occidental President Remsen Bird worked behind the scenes to help Oxy students of Japanese descent continue their education despite mandatory evacuation orders. After having its first Rhodes Scholar, Clarence Spaulding, named in 1908, Oxy seniors John Paden and Aaron Segal were awarded Rhodes Scholarships in 1958. Rhodes scholars Aaron Segal and John Paden were among the 10 Occidental students who participated in Crossroads Africa that year, a forerunner to the Peace Corps that became a national program. In 1969, 42 students were suspended for peacefully protesting military recruiting on campus. One year faculty voted to suspend classes in the wake of the Kent State shootings and America's invasion of Cambodia.
Subsequently, Oxy students wrote 7,000 letters to Washington D. C. protesting U. S. involvement in the war in Southeast Asia. Occidental launched one of the country's first Upward Bound programs in 1966, aimed at increasing the number of low-income, underrepresented high school students who become the first in their family to go to college. In 1969, the school opened its first two co-ed dormitories, two more followed a year later. In 1988, John Brooks Slaughter became Occidental's first black president. Building on faculty and student advocacy and a series of grants the college had received to increase the diversity of the Occidental student body, Slaughter led the process of creating a new mission statement, still used today. Slaughter led the college's community outreach expansion with the creation of the Center for Volunteerism and Community Service, the predecessor for the current Center for Community Based Learning. In November 1990, the college established as a Presbyterian institution but is no longer religiously affili
History of Santa Barbara, California
The history of Santa Barbara, begins 13,000 years ago with the arrival of the first Native Americans. The Spanish came in the 18th century to occupy and Christianize the area, which became part of Mexico following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, the expanding United States acquired the town along with the rest of California as a result of defeating Mexico in the Mexican–American War. Santa Barbara transformed from a dusty cluster of adobes into successively a rowdy, lawless Gold Rush era town. Twice destroyed by earthquakes, in 1812 and 1925, it was rebuilt in a Spanish Colonial style; the lands flanking the Santa Barbara Channel, both the mainland including present day Santa Barbara, the Channel Islands, has been continuously inhabited by the Chumash people and their ancestors for at least 13,000 years. The oldest human skeleton yet found in North America, Arlington Springs Man, was unearthed on Santa Rosa Island 30 miles from downtown Santa Barbara. In more recent pre-Columbian times the Chumash had many villages along the shores and inland, at least one of which, on present-day Mescalitan Island, had over a thousand inhabitants in the 16th century.
They were peaceful hunter-gatherers, living from the region's abundant natural resources, navigating the ocean in tomols, craft related to those used by Polynesians. Their rock art work can be seen in nearby Chumash Painted Cave, their sophisticated basket weaving at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History; the Santa Barbara bands spoke the Barbareño language dialect of the Chumashan languages group. As Europeans settled in their homelands the Chumash population declined; the first Europeans to see the area were members of a Spanish expedition led by the Portuguese explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who sailed through the Channel in 1542, anchored in the vicinity of Goleta. On the return voyage, Cabrillo injured his leg during a fight with natives on Santa Catalina Island and died from gangrene, he was buried either on San Miguel Island or Mescalitan Island – the exact burial place of Cabrillo has long been a mystery. In 1602, Spanish maritime explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno gave the name "Santa Barbara" to the channel and to one of the Channel Islands in gratitude for having survived a violent storm in the Channel on December 3, the eve of the feast day of that saint.
A land expedition led by Gaspar de Portolà passed through in 1769, spent the night of August 18 in the area of today's lower Laguna Street, where at that time there was a freshwater pond. There was a large native town nearby, which Franciscan missionary Juan Crespi, who accompanied the expedition, named "Laguna de la Concepcion". Vizcaíno's earlier name, however, is the one; the next night, August 19, the expedition moved a short way to a camp by a creek Mission Creek, but not as far up as where the mission was established. Portola's expedition encountered large numbers of exceptionally friendly natives, many of whom lived in Syuxtun, a village just in back of the beach between present-day Chapala and Bath streets. Indeed, the natives – which the Spaniards dubbed the Canaliños for the "canoes" they used so skillfully – so irritated their guests with gifts and boisterous music that Portola changed the location of his camp on August 19 so the party could get some rest; the Portolá expedition was the beginning of Spanish efforts to occupy Alta California and fortify it against perceived threats from other encroaching European colonial powers – principally the early British Empire and tsarist Russian-Pacific Empire.
In addition, missions established by Franciscans under Junípero Serra were intended to convert the natives to Christianity and turn them into loyal Spanish colonists. Portola himself, did not stay, it was not until 1782 that a force of soldiers, led by Don Felipe de Neve came to build the Presidio of Santa Barbara, one of several military outposts meant to protect Alta California against foreign interests and to protect the missions against attacks by hostile natives; the Presidio was not completed until 1792, Father Fermín Lasuén dedicated the nearby Mission Santa Barbara on the feast day of Santa Barbara. He chose for his building site the location of a Chumash village on Mission Creek named Tay-nay-án. Many of the soldiers who came to build and garrison the Presidio had brought their families with them, after their terms of service ended settled in Santa Barbara, they built their adobes near the Presidio, arranged haphazardly. Most of Santa Barbara's old families are descended from these early settlers, many of their names linger in the street and place names, such as Cota, De la Guerra, Gutierriez and Ortega.
Building the Mission itself continued throughout the rest of the century, along with the work of converting the Indians to Christianity, a task which proved difficult: according to the Mission registers, by 1805, only 185 of the more than 500 Indians in Santa Barbara had been baptized. The burial register shows that 3,997 Indians died between 1787 and 1841, the majority from diseases such as smallpox, to which the natives had no natural immunity. By 1803 the Mission's chapel was finished, by 1807 a complete village for the Indians had been completed by their own labor; the site of this village is on the Mission grounds along modern-day Constance Street. On December 21, 1812
Los Angeles and Independence Railroad
The Los Angeles and Independence Railroad, opened on October 17, 1875, was a steam-powered rail line which ran between the Santa Monica Long Wharf and 5th and San Pedro streets in downtown Los Angeles. Intended to reach San Bernardino and Independence via Cajon Pass to serve the Cerro Gordo Silver Mines near Panamint, the line was never extended past downtown Los Angeles and was acquired by Southern Pacific Railroad; the right-of-way was purchased by Los Angeles Metro in 1990 and is now used for the Expo Line light rail line. The Los Angeles and Independence Railroad Company was incorporated in January 1875 with Francisco P. Temple, John P. Jones, Robert S. Baker, T. N. Park, James A. Pritchard, J. S. Slauson, J. U. Crawford, as directors. Col. Crawford was general manager; the 16.67 miles of track between Los Angeles and Santa Monica were built without government subsidies or land grants, all in a little over ten months - using 67 Chinese laborers imported for the task. Right-of-way between Los Angeles and Santa Monica was given by local ranchers who were anxious to have access to a railroad.
The line opened October 17, 1875, with two trains a day running between Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Southern Pacific Railroad's refusal to allow crossing of their main line tracks prevented construction east of Los Angeles. Combined with the unexpected depletion and closure of the Panamint silver mine in 1877 and the resulting fiscal difficulty, the young steam line was sold to Southern Pacific on July 4, 1877. New owner Southern Pacific extended the existing wharf to allow access to larger ships by 1891; this wharf allowed ship-to-shore offloading, making the line a freight and passenger hauler of growing importance. However, the U. S. Government's 1899 decision to build a breakwater in San Pedro and create the Port of Los Angeles doomed both natural harbors' use for commercial shipping traffic. With the Port of Los Angeles nearing completion in 1908 and Santa Monica shipping traffic ceasing, Southern Pacific leased the railroad line and Santa Monica wharf to Los Angeles Pacific Railroad. Which electrified the portion between Sentous in that year.
The remainder of the line was electrified by 1911 when various electric railroads merged under the Pacific Electric name. The wharf was demolished in 1913. By 1920 the line was well known as the Santa Monica Air Line of the Pacific Electric Railway, providing electric freight and passenger service between Los Angeles and Santa Monica; the line was subsequently purchased for use as a light rail line, which began operation in 2012. In 2015, a Santa Monica restaurant named; the Independence offers drinks named after the station stops and a 140th anniversary party for the steam line. Worsfold, David I. "The Railroad and the Old Palms Depot". "Los Angeles & Independence Railroad Depot 1875". USC Libraries Digital Archive. "Drawing of the Santa Monica wharf used by the Los Angeles & Independence Railroad, ca.1877". USC Libraries Digital Archive. "Los Angeles and Independence Railroad Depot, San Pedro Street & Fourth Street, before 1888". USC Libraries Digital Archive
Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, United States. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles – Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood on the northeast, West Los Angeles on the east, Mar Vista on the southeast, Venice on the south; the Census Bureau population for Santa Monica in 2010 was 89,736. Due in part to an agreeable climate, Santa Monica became a famed resort town by the early 20th century; the city has experienced a boom since the late 1980s through the revitalization of its downtown core, significant job growth and increased tourism. The Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park remain popular destinations. Santa Monica was long inhabited by the Tongva people. Santa Monica was called Kecheek in the Tongva language; the first non-indigenous group to set foot in the area was the party of explorer Gaspar de Portolà, who camped near the present-day intersection of Barrington and Ohio Avenues on August 3, 1769. Named after the Christian saint Monica, there are two different accounts of how the city's name came to be.
One says it was named in honor of the feast day of Saint Monica, but her feast day is May 4. Another version says it was named by Juan Crespí on account of a pair of springs, the Kuruvungna Springs, that were reminiscent of the tears Saint Monica shed over her son's early impiety. In Los Angeles, several battles were fought by the Californios. Following the Mexican–American War, Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which gave Mexicans and Californios living in state certain unalienable rights. US government sovereignty in California began on February 2, 1848. In the 1870s the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad, connected Santa Monica with Los Angeles, a wharf out into the bay; the first town hall was a modest 1873 brick building a beer hall, now part of the Santa Monica Hostel. It is Santa Monica's oldest extant structure. By 1885, the town's first hotel was the Santa Monica Hotel. Amusement piers became enormously popular in the first decades of the 20th century and the extensive Pacific Electric Railroad brought people to the city's beaches from across the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Around the start of the 20th century, a growing population of Asian Americans lived in and around Santa Monica and Venice. A Japanese fishing village was near the Long Wharf while small numbers of Chinese lived or worked in Santa Monica and Venice; the two ethnic minorities were viewed differently by White Americans who were well-disposed towards the Japanese but condescending towards the Chinese. The Japanese village fishermen were an integral economic part of the Santa Monica Bay community. Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. built a plant in 1922 at Clover Field for the Douglas Aircraft Company. In 1924, four Douglas-built planes took off from Clover Field to attempt the first aerial circumnavigation of the world. Two planes returned after covering 27,553 miles in 175 days, were greeted on their return September 23, 1924, by a crowd of 200,000; the Douglas Company kept facilities in the city until the 1960s. The Great Depression hit Santa Monica deeply. One report gives citywide employment in 1933 of just 1,000.
Hotels and office building owners went bankrupt. In the 1930s, corruption infected Santa Monica; the federal Works Project Administration helped build several buildings, most notably City Hall. The main Post Office and Barnum Hall were among other WPA projects. Douglas's business grew astronomically with the onset of World War II, employing as many as 44,000 people in 1943. To defend against air attack, set designers from the Warner Brothers Studios prepared elaborate camouflage that disguised the factory and airfield; the RAND Corporation began as a project of the Douglas Company in 1945, spun off into an independent think tank on May 14, 1948. RAND acquired a 15-acre campus between the Civic Center and the pier entrance; the completion of the Santa Monica Freeway in 1966 brought the promise of new prosperity, though at the cost of decimating the Pico neighborhood, a leading African American enclave on the Westside. Beach volleyball is believed to have been developed by Duke Kahanamoku in Santa Monica during the 1920s.
The Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome is a National Historic Landmark. It sits on the Santa Monica Pier, built in 1909; the La Monica Ballroom on the pier was once the largest ballroom in the US and the source for many New Year's Eve national network broadcasts. The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium was an important music venue for several decades and hosted the Academy Awards in the 1960s. McCabe's Guitar Shop is a leading acoustic performance space as well as retail outlet. Bergamot Station is a city-owned art gallery compound; the city is home to the California Heritage Museum and the Angels Attic dollhouse and toy museum. The New West Symphony is the resident orchestra of Barnum Hall, they are resident orchestra of the Oxnard Performing Arts Center and the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Santa Monica has three main shopping districts: Montana Avenue on the north side, the Downtown District in the city's core, Main Street on the south end; each has personality. Montana Avenue is a stretch of luxury boutique stores and small offices that features more upscale shopping.
The Main Street district offers an eclectic mix of clothing and other specialty retail. The Downtown District is the home of the Third Street Promenade, a major outdoor pedestrian-on
History of Sacramento, California
The history of Sacramento, began with its founding by Samuel Brannan and John Augustus Sutter, Jr. in 1848 around an embarcadero that his father, John Sutter, Sr. constructed at the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers a few years prior. Sacramento was named after the Sacramento River; the river was named by Spanish cavalry officer Gabriel Moraga for the Santisimo Sacramento, referring to the Catholic Eucharist. Before the arrival of Europeans, the Nisenan branch of the Native American Maidu inhabited the Sacramento Valley area; the Spanish were the first Europeans to explore the area, Sacramento fell into the Alta California province of New Spain when the conquistadors claimed Central America and the American Southwest for the Spanish Empire. The area was deemed unfit for colonization by a number of explorers and as a result remained untouched by the Europeans who claimed the region, excepting early 19th Century coastal settlements north of San Francisco Bay which constituted the southernmost Russian colony in North America and were spread over an area stretching from Point Arena to Tomales Bay.
When John Sutter arrived in the provincial colonial capital of Monterey in 1839, governor Juan Bautista Alvarado provided Sutter with the land he asked for, Sutter established New Helvetia, which he controlled with a private army and relative autonomy from the newly independent Mexican government. The California Gold Rush started when gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill, one of Sutter, Sr.'s assets in the city of Coloma in 1848. In the region where Sutter had planned to establish the city of Sutterville, Sacramento City was founded. However, its location caused the city to periodically fill with water. Fires would sweep through the city. To resolve the problems, the city worked to raise the sidewalks and buildings and began to replace wooden structures with more resilient materials, like brick and stone; the city was selected as the state capital in 1854 after Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo failed to convince the state government to remain in the city of his namesake. Indigenous people such as the Miwok and Maidu Indians were the original inhabitants of the north Californian Central Valley.
Of the Maidu, the Nisenan Maidu group were the principal inhabitants of pre-Columbian Sacramento. The first European in the state of California was conquistador Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese explorer sailing on behalf of the Spanish Empire, in 1542. However, no explorer had yet discovered the Sacramento Valley region nor the Golden Gate strait, which would remain undiscovered until 1808 and 1623. A number of conquistadors had completed cursory examinations of the region by the mid-18th century, including Juan Bautista de Anza and Pedro Fages, but none viewed the region as a valuable region to colonize. Neither did Gabriel Moraga, the first European to enter the Sierra in 1808 and was responsible for naming the Sacramento River, although he incorrectly placed the rivers in the region. However, Padres Abella and Fortuni arrived in the region in 1811 and returned positive feedback to the Roman Catholic Church, although the church disregarded their finds as they were in conflict with all previous views of the area.
The Mexicans, who had declared independence in 1821, shared Spanish sentiments, the area remained uncolonized until the arrival of John Sutter in 1839. The area that would become the city of Sacramento was observed by many European and American mapmakers as home to Great Plains-based rivers that stretched across the Rocky Mountains and emptied into the Pacific Ocean. Speculation at the time placed the fabled St. Bonaventura River where the American-Sacramento River complex was. John Augustus Sutter arrived in the city of Yerba Buena, which would become the city of San Francisco, after encountering a massive storm en route from the city of Sitka, Russian Alaska. Alvarado noted that he needed to establish a presence in the Sacramento Valley, realized that Sutter's ambitions allowed him an opportunity to secure the valley without committing extra troops to the region; as a result, he granted Sutter's request on the condition that Sutter would become a Mexican citizen. Sutter commenced to build a fort of his namesake, Sutter's Fort, in 1840.
New Helvetia was 44,000 acres in size until he negotiated an 1841 deal with the Russians to purchase Ft. Ross, which lay in present-day Sonoma County, consolidated all of Ft. Ross' holdings with those at Fort Sutter. Sutter's New Helvetia existed within Mexican borders. John Sutter employed both