Edward Cleveland Kemble, circa 1880. After a 20-year-old Kemble visited Sutter’s Fort in 1848, he wrote in vivid detail about his journey by “adobe cart” from Sutter’s Embarcadero on the Sacramento River to the Fort, a route that would take him along Alkali Flat. “A forest of Noble sycamores, dense and deep, guarding a mighty solitude like a vast army of giants” he wrote, stood amidst “miniature lakes…prophets of the floods that were to drown the fortunes of thousands in subsequent times.” While indeed prophets of flooding, they too would portend the drying, then deposit of alkali rings and a Sacramento district’s eventual namesake. Kemble went on to found Sacramento’s first newspaper, the “Placer Times.”
This photo and many more like it can be found in the Sacramento Public Library’s Sacramento Room which is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 1 to 5, and Thursday 1 to 8.