Editor’s Letter, April 2010

Posted on April 1, 2010 – 2:45 AM | by OldManFoster
  • Share

So, the Old Timey Issue.

It was probably only a matter of time before we got around to a history-themed issue – given the history-nerd makeup of our editorial staff and contributors, I’m actually surprised it took this long.

The idea for the Old Timey Issue sprung from the realization that 1910 was really the end of an era in Sacramento. Exactly one century ago, the city found itself on the verge of huge changes- changes that would completely redefine the City of Sacramento. The city charter was revised in 1911, eliminating the existing Strong Mayor system in favor of a governing commission that was the forerunner of the Council system we have today.  Perhaps even more important was the annexation of East Sac and Oak Park which were incorporated into the city in 1911, thus beginning the process of expansion that led to the sprawling suburban footprint that is a hallmark of Sacramento today.

Bill Burg’s examination of 1910 Sacramento was an obvious starting point for the issue, but other contributors were also rife with Old Timey concept pieces- the hard part was figuring out what not to do.   Becky Grunewald took advantage of the theme to explore some Sacramento institutions and culinary landmarks that had so far escaped her critical wanderings.  Tony King looks at the anniversary of the Shady Lady, a Midtown watering hole that only seems to be a century old.  Niki Kangas visits Sacramento City Dry Goods, an Old Sac curiosity shop that would make a 1910 Sacramentan feel right at home.  Jim Cameron profiled two repositories of local history, and Bill Burg added a piece on the Edwardian futurism of the Sacramento Steampunk Society.  And then we have our regular not-so-Old-Timey features as well.

Researching background for this issue, I turned up some interesting factoids I hadn’t known before:

There used to be a genuine wharf district along the riverfront.

The Sacramento Bee was circulating about 22,000 copies a day in June 1910.

There was once an automobile manufacturing company based in Sacramento.

A used Renault cost more than a new Ford in 1910.

It used to be newsworthy when no California legislators were sick.

As a total history geek, I loved putting this issue together.  From helping Jesse Vasquez coordinate the cover shoot (thanks Chris, Peter and Johnny!) to watching Judd rework the cover layout to 1910 specs, to fact-checking details for various articles, I had a gas.

I only hope you readers enjoy it at least half as much as we did putting it together!

  1. 1 Trackback(s)

  2. May 11, 2010: Editor’s Letter | Midtown Monthly

Post a Comment