Squatters Riots plaque.

Squatters Riots Plaque

Field review by the editors.

Sacramento, California

In wild and woolly Gold Rush California, land claims and speculation became a point of friction between the nascent pre-state government and the flood of settlers and fortune hunters.

Squatters, essentially people with no recognized claim to land or residence, began to crowd into Sacramento. On Aug. 14, 1850, a "company" of squatters were believed by Sacramento Mayor Hardin Bigelow to be heading to free a squatter from a prison ship. The group clashed with a military militia summoned to quell trouble. In the ensuing gunfire, five men were killed (two of them bystanders). The mayor was severely wounded. A subsequent shootout killed more in the vicinity.

Today, at J St. and 4th St. -- the intersection where the Squatters Riots first erupted -- a plaque on the California Fruit Building notes the mostly forgotten melee. The plaque is courtesy of E Clampus Vitus and dates its installation as 1982. The riot is also mentioned over in the city cemetery on the tombstone of the mayor, who succumbed during Sacramento's big cholera epidemic later the same year. Fun times.

Squatters Riots Plaque

J St., Sacramento, CA
East of I-5, J St. at 4th St. on the California Fruit Bdg.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Delta King Paddlewheeler: Sleep or DineDelta King Paddlewheeler: Sleep or Dine, Sacramento, CA - < 1 mi.
Dive Bar: Mermaids and MermenDive Bar: Mermaids and Mermen, Sacramento, CA - < 1 mi.
Ship-shaped Water Intake FacilityShip-shaped Water Intake Facility, Sacramento, CA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
16-Foot-Tall Microscope, Vacaville, CA - 30 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in California

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in California.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

August 9, 2020

My Sights

My Sights

Save Cool Vacation Destinations!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Desert of Maine, Freeport, Maine (Aug 3-9, 2020)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now