Each copy includes upcoming speaker’s events including additional information about the presenter and topic, Out & About-information on other events in the area, Society business such as elections and board announcements, and articles submitted by members and guest authors. Issues available online cover from the April 2006, edition to the current issue.



After publishing over 100 Golden Notes, the Society launched its new, larger-format and higher quality Sacramento History Journal, featuring documents, photographs, ephemera, and articles never published before or very rarely seen and usually unobtainable. The Sacramento History Journals are outstanding publications of which the Society is quite proud.


In June of 1954, the first edition of Golden Notes was published by the Sacramento County Historical Society. It consisted of just four pages with a note about the Society from the President, Dr. Joseph A. McGowan; Sacramento 1853 authored by Mark Hopkins; a list of members and a History of the Sacramento County Historical Society.

Golden Notes continued for almost 50 years and covered subjects relating to Sacramento that could not be found any place else. It became a valuable resource tool for researchers, teachers, students, authors, and the very active history community of Sacramento. Over the years Golden Notes grew from a small newsletter to a substantial publication of many pages and forty-six volumes.

Authors included such well-known local historians as Allan R. Ottley, C.M. Goethe, Dr. Joseph A. McGowan, Frank Christy, Willard Thompson, Ted Baggelman, Joseph A. Pitti, Mary A. Helmich, William E. Mahan, and Arlean Towne. Topics covered everything from the African American experience during the Gold Rush; Prostitution in Sacramento; Irish nationalism in Sacramento; Chinese funeral customs; the Capital City Wheelmen of the 1890’s; Locke – the list goes on and on.

Although the Golden Notes contained a wealth of material it was not readily accessible, lacking an index. Member William E Mahan worked with the Sacramento Room in the Central Library (Sacramento Public Library System’s main library), as a docent, and as a retired history professor, he worked on many projects. Along with Clare Ellis he developed a detailed and complete index to the Golden Notes knowing that it would make an ideal tool for both librarians and researchers.

Bill Mahan worked for months on the indices you see here. We thank him with a great deal of gratitude for a difficult job well done. Thanks, too, go to Melva Mills for her technical expertise with this project. Many thanks also to the staff of the Sacramento Room, especially Tom Tolley. We hope you find these helpful and enjoy discovering new aspects of the history of Sacramento.

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Sacramento, CA 95816



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