West End Jazz

By William Burg
Photos courtesy of Keith Burns


In the 1940s, Sacramento’s West End was filled with the sounds of jazz. Based around M Street (renamed Capitol Avenue by 1940), the neighborhood was radically changed by the start of World War II, the forced relocation of Sacramento’s thousands of Japanese Americans to internment camps, and a migration of African Americans to Sacramento. Many of these migrants came from the Southern states for jobs in Sacramento’s railroad shops and canneries, or at nearby airfields and Army bases. Some purchased businesses from the departing Japanese, opening a variety of businesses, but the best known were the jazz clubs. These clubs became so popular they crossed racial barriers and made Sacramento a stop on the touring circuit for the greatest jazz musicians of the 20th century.
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River City Write

Compiled by William Burg, James Cameron, Tim Foster, Becky Grunewald, Guphy Gustafson, Niki Kangas and Liv Moe

While William T. Vollmann is probably the most respected author to ever intentionally settle down in Sacramento, the River City has had its fair share of bright literary lights over the years Read more »

Very Old Spaghetti Factory

By William Burg Photo from Author’s collection

On August 21, 2010, Sacramento’s Western Pacific passenger depot at 1910 J Street marks 100 years since the arrival of its first passenger train. On that day a century ago, the Western Pacific Railroad began passenger operations in Sacramento Read more »

California State Fair: 20th and H in Midtown!

The California State Fair opens tomorrow… but did you know that the State Fair used to be held IN Midtown? Bill Burg’s got the details…

Midtown State Fair

By William Burg

The California Exposition and State Fairgrounds, site of the California state fair since 1968, seems like a permanent fixture to many Sacramentans. Older generations still remember the old fairgrounds at Stockton and Broadway. But that site was not the original location of the fair either; it was chosen when Sacramento’s urban growth crowded the fairgrounds out of their first permanent home – in Midtown at 20th and H Streets. Read more »

Interview: Shawn Eldredge

By William Burg  photos by Jesse Vasquez

Shawn Eldredge is a house painter, general contractor and neighborhood activist. His first attempt at public office, a bid for Sacramento mayor in 2008, gave him more notoriety for his long hair and Led Zeppelin T-shirts than his policy positions. After shedding the hair for a charity event this spring, and trading the T-shirt for a Kevin Seconds-designed “Shawn Eldredge for District 3” T-shirt (with a zeppelin on it), Shawn explained some of his vision for Sacramento while hanging out at Temple Coffee’s 28th & S Street location. Read more »

Sacramento: 1910

By William Burg  Photos courtesy of the Center for Sacramento History

In 1910, Sacramento was a city on the edge of change. Its rowdy Gold Rush era was long past, its role as western terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad superseded by Oakland, and its place as second-largest California city long since lost to Los Angeles. Despite these setbacks, Sacramentans felt that their city was poised for greatness. Read more »

Sacramento Steampunk Society

By William Burg  photos by Andy Pischalnikoff

One word, “Retro-future.”

Thus does adventurer, mad scientist and steampunk enthusiast Anton Macabre summarize the interests of the Sacramento Steampunk Society. Read more »