After learning so much about our own little slice of town nicknamed Poverty Ridge, we wanted to explore the narrations of our neighboring neighborhoods. Yes, we’re big history buffs, but we also love trivia night, so we hope that you enjoy our research and find as many uses as we do. Here are a few facts about some of the name origins of Sacramento's more prominent neighborhoods, besides our own.
Many of the neighborhoods took their names from historical figures or prominent Sacramento area residents. Land Park, for example, got its name from William Land, the former mayor and hotel owner who bequeathed $250,000 to Sacramento to develop an urban park. Today, that park boasts several attractions, including the Sacramento Zoo, Fairytale Town, and a golf course. Curtis Park was named after William Curtis, who had a successful dairy in central Sacramento. McKinley Park, known best for its rose garden, duck pond, and library, was named for President William McKinley. Newton Booth neighborhood, which is adjacent to Poverty Ridge, was named after the California Governor and Senator. And Tapestri Square was named after the "tapestry" of diverse persons who join our community and add their unique color to the fabric of our community - yep, you're famous at our club!
In addition to honoring prominent citizens, many Sacramento neighborhoods took their names from the local flora. Neighborhoods like Orangevale, Citrus Heights and Lemon Hill likely got their names in an attempt to capitalize on the booming citrus industry of the early 20th Century; Fair Oaks and Arden, meanwhile, were named for their massive oak trees (it's thought that the Arden area was named after the Arden Forest in England).
Many other neighborhoods, though, including Poverty Ridge, got their names as a result of the frequent flooding that plagued Sacramento during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Whiskey Hill, near the intersections of 12th Avenue and Franklin Boulevard, was one of the few places above the flood line and was named for its many saloons (since citizens worked and lived by the railroad, the need to escape the flooding in this area meant work was placed on hold… and, naturally, replaced with booze and gambling). Alkali Flat (from A Street south to G Street, and 13th Street to the Old Southern Pacific Railyard) was once a flatland vulnerable to flooding; the excess water would flood the area, then dry up and leave behind a chalky residue of minerals, called alkali. The name stuck because a neighborhood boys’ baseball team named themselves the “Alkali Flat Gang” (maybe they were trying to scare away their opponents?).
So unless the person competing with you on trivia night is 80 years old and has lived in Sacramento his or her whole life, you'll probably know more than the average Joe. We hope you win an awesome prize.