For about a thousand years before Spanish explorer, Gabriel Moraga "discovered" what would eventually be known as Sacramento, the Miwok, Shonommey, and Maidu Native American tribes populated the area.

When Moraga arrived in 1608, he named the surrounding valley and river after the Spanish term for the Roman Catholic ritual of Holy Communion. With his armies, he marched through the valley, expelling its original inhabitants as he went.

In 1839, Swiss pioneer Johann Sutter arrived and established a trading colony and stockade known as Sutter's Fort, and built by Mormon settlers. In 1848, gold was discovered in nearby Sutter's Mill and the California Gold Rush was on!

In opposition to his father, John Sutter Jr. planned the city of Sacramento to take advantage of the state's prosperity-promising influx of gold seekers, whose numbers reached over 100,000 by 1849. The city's instant commercial success eclipsed the settlements founded by Johann Sr. and destroyed their relationship.

In 1850, the city charter was incorporated by the state legislature, making Sacramento the state's oldest incorporated city, and 1854 saw it established as the state capital. Unfortunately, the 1850s also witnessed devastation from floods, fires, and one America's worst known cholera epidemics. The Old City Cemetery located on 1000 Broadway, is the resting place of many of these victims, as well as some of Sacramento's other early pioneers.