Benicia State Capitol and Historical Park, Benicia

(4.1/5 based on 50+ reviews on the web)
Benicia Capitol State Historic Park is a state park in Benicia, California. The park is dedicated to California’s third capitol building, where the California State Legislature convened from February 3, 1853 to February 24, 1854, when they voted to move the state capital to Sacramento. It is the only pre-Sacramento capitol that survives. The park includes the Fischer-Hanlon House, an early Benicia building that was moved to the property and converted into a home in 1858, after the legislature departed. Benicia Capitol State Historic Park just off the city's main street also includes a carriage house, workers' quarters and sculptured gardens.HistoryFollowing large complaints by state legislators of inadequate furniture and sleeping quarters in Vallejo in early 1853, the Legislature, with the consent of Governor John Bigler, relocated the state capital to nearby Benicia that same year. The Legislature would convene in the Benicia City Hall for a little more than a year, when again complaints over poor weather conditions, inadequate and uncomfortable sleeping quarters, and "the insecure condition of the public archives" arose in January 1854.After a proposal by Sacramento to use the Sacramento County Courthouse free of charge as a capital building, the Assembly and Senate passed an enabling act, voiding all previous legislation, to move the state capital to its new location upriver in Sacramento. On February 25, 1854, Governor Bigler signed the act into law, moving the capital to its current location. The Legislature and governor climbed aboard the steamship Wilson G. Hunt to take up its new quarters. "So much opposed to the removal were the good people of Benicia," the Sacramento Union reported, "that the owners of the wharves, it is stated, refused to permit the steamer... to land to take on the legislative furniture, unless she would pay $500." This request was refused and the furniture was shipped from a different wharf.
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  • i love the small, quaint town of Benicia - a tiny jewel along the bay with a rich history. One of the best stops in town is the old state capitol building - perfectly preserved - with friendly, inform...  more »
  • We didn't intend to visit this historical sight, but a search for a bathroom led us here. It was very interesting and the person on staff at the time was friendly and interesting to talk to. 
  • Benicia is one of these jewels often overlooked by visitors who are heading for the major sights. This quiet historic town offers enough to spend a few hours exploring: a small but fairly nice histori...  more »