Summer Staycation Guide

Tip #2: Underground Sacramento with a Sac State Twist

Underground tours offer insight into the past. 

Ever been interested in time travel? The Underground Tour in Old Sacramento is the outing for you. Dim lights, faded brick walls, old whiskey bottles and tin cans are displayed throughout the Hall Luhrs & Co. building as if it was 1885. And all takes place 10 feet beneath the surface.

“The tours are a fun way to inform yourself about the unique history and are a snapshot of how life was back then,” says Kathryn McAlpin ’04 (History), the Underground Tour manager. “All the tours are very interactive, so the guides aren’t the only ones sharing stories,” she says, noting military veterans and other long-time Sacramentans add their perspective to the tours.

The hour-long tour beneath the streets reveals how the city looked more than 150 years ago, before a flood caused the city to raise the streets. Tour guides, dressed in old western attire, inform guests how people lived, through comical ghost stories and shocking tales of historic criminals.

“When the tours were first created by Heather (Lavezzo) Downey ’07, (Social Science), MS ’10 (History), she set the basis of the interpretive guide for our tours,” says McAlpin. “Over the past year I have furthered that research and have added new tours such as the Hall Luhrs & Co. building tour. It’s an old grocery store, where guests learn the unique role it played in the street-raising project.”

Sac State alumni have their footprints above ground as well, with Time Travel Weekends, which run until Aug 25.

“It’s a volunteer-run program with shows and performances made by everyday people who create them with their own families and friends in mind,” says Old Sac Public Program Coordinator Janessa West ’05, (History), MS ’08 (Public History). “These are quality, free performances that appeal to all audiences.”

Information about the tours, events and museum is available through the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation.

Submitted by new alumnus Luis Kischmischian ’14 (Communication Studies)

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