"My Home Town" Benicia by sgoet

Benicia Travel Guide: 41 reviews and 118 photos

California's First State Capital

Benicia is one of California's oldest cities, being incorporated in 1847. When the white men took California from the Mexicans, they selected Benicia as the State Capitol. It only lasted for one year. Sacramento businessmen sent a boat down the river with free booze and convinced the Legislature to move the capital. You can get more details on the history of the town by going to a local website: www.benicianews.com

Downtown

Benicia grew up along the banks of the Sacramento River as it empties into San Francisco Bay. This part of river moves through a relatively narrow section as is flows from Suisun Bay to San Pablo Bay, and is called the Carquinez Strait. The old center of town, and the location of most of the places of interest in First Street. The picture is looking south down onto First Street, toward the river. City Park is on the right. Stop by the Chamber of Commerce on First Street at F Steet to get information on places of interest.

Benicia Arsenal

The U.S. Army established the Benicia Arsenal just before the start of the Civil War. They closed it in the early 1960's. The Army gave it to the City, who then leased most of it to a company called Benicia Industries. There the company built a large industrial park which includes a major oil refinery (Valero) and a port. It saved the town by bringing jobs and tax revenue to the City. Many of the old buildings were sold and turned into businesses. The City kept a couple of the old buildings like the Clocktower, which is a big assembly hall used for community events. The Army used the Clocktower to store munitions. The munitions exploded in the late 1800's and blew off the top floor. It used to have 3 stories.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Water views, historical, close to SF and the Wine Country
  • Cons:Not much excitement
  • In a nutshell:A scenic small town on the river by the big city.
  • Intro Updated Dec 19, 2004
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