“California’s executive mansion”
California’s executive mansion, popularly known at the Governor’s Mansion, was built in 1877 for Albert and Clemenza Gallatin. Albert was a partner in the Sacramento hardware store of Huntington & Hopkins. The State of California purchased the house from Joseph and Louisa Steffens to use as a home for California’s first families in 1903 for $32,500. Victorian architecture was somewhat out of style by then, but the house was suitably impressive, conveniently located, and comfortable.
Governor George Pardee, his wife Helen and four daughters were the first residents of the “new” Governor’s Mansion. During the next 64 years it was home to the families of 12 other governors. Among these were Nina and Earl Warren with six children, and Nancy and Ronald Reagan with their two children. Warren later became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and Reagan became president of the United States.
Today’s guests see marble fireplaces from Italy, gold framed mirrors from France, and exquisitely handcrafted hinges and doorknobs, all of which are reminders of the Gallatins and the Victorian era. Outside some of the Mansion’s abundant vegetation includes flowers, shrubs, and trees dating back to 1877. But when visitors look behind the grape stake fence and see Governor Brown’s swimming pool built in 1959, they are reminded that the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park is really a walk through time.
Visiting Governor's Mansion State Historical Park was very educating. While we were on Sacramento, our hotel receptionist suggested we stop by this place.
We did, and we were impressed it was only us 4 and 8 more people. The tour within the Mansion was great and the staff explained each detail about every room within it.
Everyone was thrilled with the state of the Mansion and with the kindness of the staff!
Good experience, not very interesting for the really young ones but the staff does whatever it takes in order to let everyone happy.
The husband and I stopped here on a whim while in Sacramento once. We walked up to the gate and the little clock on it said we missed the most recent tour by ten minutes. It would seem most people don't take the tour because when we walked to the gift shop all the employees in period clothes were there and they were thrilled to see us. They said we weren't late, they were just waiting for us to give us a private tour! I never thought this kind of tour would be so interesting but we learned a lot about many of the more famous residents of the mansion and it's many famous visitors including JFK! We are pretty good at getting off the cuff 'well it's just you guys here' candid tours and our older guide did not disappoint with some funny and gross jokes about the cess pool that used to be beneath the building. "You know what a cess pool is? That's where your cra.... uh poo goes"
I will end this by saying it took everything in me to not get a photo op sitting on the toilet there so I could claim I sat on the same toilet Reagan and JFK sat on. SO TEMPTED!
You can't see the pool anymore, the fence is nearly solid.
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Governor's Mansion State Historical Park
- Sun, Wed - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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