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Robbers exhibit and more celebrates 150 years of Sutter Street

By October 12, 2010

Arts and entertainment columnist

The Golden State has always been a source of many treasures. So it stands to reason that many people would pursue them Ñ including gangs, swindlers, murderers and stagecoach robbers.

Stagecoach robbers?

Yes, IÕm speaking of the ÒRobbers and Other Bad GuysÓ exhibit now on view at the Folsom History Museum, not the current state of affairs in the streets of Sacramento.

This quaint presentation is an exhibit about Òlegendary and lesser known robbers in the greater Northern California area in the 1800s and early 1900s,Ó according to Melissa Pedroza of the Folsom History Museum.

While not as extensive a display as previous presentations by the museum, it is nonetheless interesting. Visitors will have the opportunity to ÒmeetÓ some of the colorful men and women who eventually became Folsom PrisonÕs earliest residents. The exhibit will run through Nov. 7.

Sesquicentennial celebration

On Friday, Oct. 15, the Wells Fargo Building on Sutter Street, which was the Palmer and Day Assay Office on Sutter Street (and is part of the present-day museum), will celebrate its 150th birthday. A special celebration will be held to recognize the event, which also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Folsom Historical Society (FHM).

The FHM was founded half a century ago by area residents who were concerned that the areaÕs local history was going to be lost. The majority came from Folsom, although a few were from Clarksburg and Mormon Island. As a group, they united to save the then-dilapidated Wells Fargo Building. You can see their names on the gold bricks in the wall inside the building. The celebration will be this Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Pardon our dust

When you visit Old Town Folsom, you will note that the streets, buildings and infrastructure are in various stages of Òrevitalization.Ó Businesses are open during the construction of new sidewalks, historically appropriate sidewalk/building awnings, new plumbing and sewage lines and a brand-new street and landscaping.

The revitalization is something to be excited about. After more than 10 years of meetings and discussions with residents, business owners and city planners, new life is coming to Sutter Street that is an homage to that cityÕs history. The $8.4 million project is funded with redevelopment funds generated from the cityÕs Historic District.

Some of the new sidewalks are already in place; others are coming. What is there is very walkable, although one might miss that when observing all the faades of the buildings that are now exposed for the first time in 50 years.

Interpretive signs, totems, plaques and kiosks will further enhance visitorsÕ appreciation of the history of FolsomÕs Sutter Street. Even the manhole covers (now in place) reference FolsomÕs history.

The majority of the construction is slated to be completed by late November. After a break for winter weather, work will continue in 2011 to complete landscaping, any remaining faade work and to install the signage.

The Folsom History Museum is located at 823 Sutter St. Parking is available in the parking structure and lot across the street, but there may be some walking involved to get there due to revitalization efforts. Fear not and enjoy the walk as part of the experience to see Sutter Street as a dirt road one last time.

ÒRobbers and Other Bad GuysÓ runs through Nov. 7. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for youth ages 12 to 17 and free for children under 12 and Folsom Historical Society members. For more information call (916) 985-2707 or visit

Send your event for consideration in SusanÕs column to [email protected]

Susan Laird

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