History is being revived at the Benicia Capitol State Historic Park on March 3
The city of Benicia is rich with history, likely the reason why The American Civil War Association chose downtown’s Benicia Capitol State Historic Park as a location to host their upcoming Living History Event, Saturday, March 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Forty participants dressed in Union attire will demonstrate what living in a Civil War military camp was actually like. They’ll also reenact maneuver drills, and stage a black-powder firearm demonstration. It’s a rare opportunity for the entire family to learn interesting bits of history together – in a fun and interactive way.
While you’re there, make sure and tour the capitol building and grounds, 115 West G Street. Most people don’t know that Benicia was the site of California's third seat of government and served as the state capitol for 13 months during 1853 and 1854. The statuesque building was constructed in just three months from bricks and architectural materials salvaged from abandoned ships in San Francisco Bay.
The Benicia Capitol State Historic Park is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults, and $2 for youth ages 6-17 years; ages 5 years and under are free.
Another historic spot to see while touring the city is the Benicia Historical Museum at the Camel Barns, 2060 Camel Road. Just prior to the Civil War, Benicia made an unusual contribution to U.S. military history in the 1850s and 1860s. During that time the Army experimented with the use of camels as pack animals. However, because of the outbreak of the Civil War, the project was shelved. The museum showcases a variety of interesting exhibits recounting the history of both the city of Benicia and the U.S. Army Arsenal located in Benicia. Museum hours are 1 to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. For information, please call (707) 745-5435.
You can find out more about Benicia’s rich history by going to www.visitbenicia.org/history.
If you go…
The Benicia State Capitol Historic Park is conveniently located in the heart of scenic downtown. You’ll find plenty of dining options within walking distance along First Street to grab lunch. It’s also a nice location to stroll and shop, as Benicia’s downtown merchants are an eclectic mix of boutiques, art galleries, gift shops, spas and more. Views of the Carquinez Strait can also be enjoyed from many vantage points along First Street.