Poverty Ridge Historic Street Marker Walking Tour

Take a walk back in time and discover the pioneers who settled upon Poverty Ridge and built some of the most iconic late 19th and 20th century homes in all of Sacramento.

Poverty Ridge Historic Street Marker Walking Tour

Sacramento, California 95811, United States


Tour Information

*This free walking tour is comprised of excerpts from the pictorial history: Sacramento's Newton Booth and Poverty Ridge, which was authored by a neighborhood resident with support from the Newton Booth Neighborhoods Association (NBNA). This historical guide provides a broad view of the Poverty Ridge and Newton Booth neighborhoods from Gold Rush-era to the early 21st century. All author's proceeds from the sale of the book go to support our local non-profit, the Ella K. McClatchy Library Friends, which helps to organize and raise funds for reading programs and the structural maintenance of the historic Ella K. McClatchy Library branch. Thank you for your support!

The Poverty Ridge neighborhood is bounded by R Street to the North, Hwy 50 to the South, the 23rd Block to the East, and 19th Street to the West. Within the neighborhood is also the Poverty Ridge Historic District. In the early days of Sacramento, long before the levees were built, floods from the swelling Sacramento and American Rivers were a constant threat to inhabitants of the Capitol City. Local lore has it that during flood season, many riverfront residents would flee to the only high ground or hill within the City, where they would set-up a crude encampment until the flood waters retreated. The scene of this hastily built tent-city upon elevated-ground prompted the locals to coin the name - "Poverty Ridge," mostly due to the rough and unsightly nature of the camp. However, by the turn of the 20th Century, levees surrounded most of Sacramento and developers began to turn their attention to the undeveloped land along the prominent high point of the ridge. Soon the streets upon this hill were lined with beautiful and ornate mansions, thus becoming one of the most distinguished neighborhoods in all of Sacramento. The developers of these estates sought to rebrand the district with a more affluent name, "Sutter Terrace", but the name never stuck and people have continued to recognize the district as Poverty Ridge ever since. The neighborhood contains an eclectic blend of architectural styles, including Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Italianate, Eastlake, Queen Anne, American Foursquare, Tudor Revival, and Prairie School, to name a few. Notable residents included California's 23rd governor, Hiram Johnson, as well as famed architect, Rudolph Herold, who designed such buildings as the Sacramento City Hall, the Masonic Temple, and the Sacramento Hall of Justice. Sacramento Bee (McClatchy Newscorp) media moguls - Charles and Ella McClatchy, also decided to settle in Poverty Ridge, raising their children in a home designed by Herold, donated in later years by the McClatchy family to the City to be used as a children's library. The library still functions today and is largely supported by the non-profit organization, "Ella K. McClatchy Library Friends." National Book Award winning author and famed journalist, Joan Didion, also lived as a youth with her family in Poverty Ridge. Today, the Didion-Dolan home is considered by many to be one of the most authentically restored/preserved examples of early 20th century Colonial Revival and Prairie School style architecture in Central Sacramento.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Colonel J.C. Zabriskie arrived in Sacramento in 1849 and served as second magistrate to the original city government. Zabriskie was a well respected lawyer who purchased the north half block of T Street bounded by 21st and 22nd Streets, whe... Read more
In 1890, Portuguese pioneer Manuel Silva Nevis opened the Pioneer Winery at 20th and R Streets as well as the California Winery at 21st and S Streets. Nevis was an early Sacramento wine grower and vintner, as well as an early settler of t... Read more
In 1898, newlyweds Daniel and Myrtle (Robb) Carmichael moved into the majestic Queen Anne style home at 1903 21st Street in Poverty Ridge. The home was built by Myrtles's father, Charles Robb, who deeded the home to the young couple. The R... Read more
This iconic Queen Anne style home, with its towering turret and unique stained glass windows, is located at 1931 21st street and is believed to be the most photographed single-family home in the city of Sacramento. It was constructed in 190... Read more
In 1882, John and Eliza Stevens built a lovely Italianate home at 2110 U Street for their family of 4 children. The property was celebrated for its lush gardens, which used to extend the full ½ block of U Street between 21st and 22nd Stree... Read more
In 1884, Edward P. Sr. and Ella Howe purchased land at 21st and V Streets in Poverty Ridge and constructed a beautiful Italianate style home. The front door to the residence featured a unique upside down spade window, purportedly a referenc... Read more
Rudolph Adam Herold was arguably Sacramento’s most prolific architect of the early 20th-century. Herold designed such buildings as the Sacramento City Hall, the Masonic Temple, Marshall School, and the Sacramento Hall of Justice. Between... Read more
In 1910, Sacramento Bee Publisher and Editor, C.K. McClatchy, and his wife, Ella, constructed a residence at 2112 22nd Street. The home was designed in the Beaux Arts and Colonial Revival architectural styles by famed local architect, Rudol... Read more
The magnificent Colonial Revival mansion located at 2000 22nd Street was designed by Seadler & Hoen in 1911 for William and Mary Ross-Roan. Mary was the Director of the Board of the Bank of Sacramento. She passed away in the home in 1... Read more
The Arts and Crafts style home at 1929 23rd Street in Poverty Ridge was built in 1915 and was likely intended as a retirement home for the recently widowed state senator, Grove Johnson, father to California Governor and U.S. Senator, Hiram... Read more
Longtime Poverty Ridge resident, Judge Peter H. Shields, was born on a ranch along the American River in modern day Rancho Cordova. Shields’ father had purchased the ranch with gold nuggets that he’d personally excavated during the earl... Read more
The Colonial Craftsman home at 1900 23rd Street was built in 1941 for Henry and Sally Taketa. The day after the Taketas occupied their new home, panic swept the nation as the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The Taketa family managed to sell... Read more


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