Benicia State Capitol and Historical Park, Benicia

#173 of 262 in Historic Sites in California
State Park Historic Site
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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  • Had a few days in the San Francisco area and as we were staying in Benicia we did a little local sight seeing as part of our trip. There is quite a bit of interesting history in the Benicia area which...  more »
  • This is a simple place to stop in and learn some California history. It is interesting to hear and know that so much took place in this little building.  more »
  • This is a great Historical place to visit. I hope the state grants the citizens of Benicia money to complete the restoration of a gem. This was the 2cnd Capital of california before the Capital was mo...  more »