Traveler Lifes

Browse Traveler lifes Travel to get information about the world's most popular places, tourist Attraction, holiday destinations, vacation spot, historical places, where to go, places to visit, things to do, best places to stay, top hotel and restaurant, Activities, adventure, tourism information, travel tips and travel guide with expert advice...

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Discovering the Historic Legacy: Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park, Folsom, CA

  Rajesh Kumar Rana       Thursday, February 22, 2024

Uncover the fascinating history of electricity and marvel at vintage machinery at Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park, a must-visit for history buffs and science enthusiasts alike!

Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park, Folsom, CA

Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park, Folsom, CA
Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park, Folsom, CA
Source: Wikipedia 

Nestled in the heart of Folsom, California, the Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park stands as a living testament to the vibrant history of Sacramento and the incredible advancements in the use of electricity for commercial purposes. This historic site, with its vintage generators, control switchboard faced with Tennessee marble, and General Electric transformers, offers visitors a captivating journey back to 1895 when it was first built by H.P. Livermore and his partners.


  • Historic Powerhouse: Explore the original brick and granite structure, marvel at vintage generators, and learn how electricity was generated over a century ago.
  • Interactive Exhibits: Discover the history of the powerhouse, the science behind electricity, and its impact on Sacramento's development through engaging exhibits.
  • Guided Tours: Take a docent-led tour for a deeper understanding of the powerhouse's operations and significance.
  • Scenic Views: Enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Natoma and the surrounding landscape.

Exploring the Folsom Powerhouse: A Glimpse into the Past

Historical Significance

The Folsom Powerhouse (Wikipedia) played a pivotal role in Sacramento's history, marking a groundbreaking moment in the utilization of the American River for generating electricity. The visionary H.P. Livermore harnessed the power of the river to turn generators 22 miles downstream in Sacramento, leading to the construction of the powerhouse.

Grand Electric Carnival

The opening of the powerhouse was celebrated with a "grand electric carnival" parade through downtown Sacramento, highlighting the magnitude of this achievement. A 100-gun salute added to the festivities, creating a spectacle that echoed the city's enthusiasm for this technological marvel.

Vintage Generators and Marble-Faced Switchboards

Today, the powerhouse welcomes visitors to witness the vintage generators and the control switchboard faced with Tennessee marble. These elements are a visual journey into the past, allowing an understanding of the technology and infrastructure that powered the region over a century ago.

The Canal System and Forebays

The tour of the powerhouse extends to explore the forebays and canal system that efficiently transported water from the dam to the powerhouse. This intricate system, a marvel of engineering for its time, adds depth to the visitor's understanding of the facility.

Beyond the Powerhouse:

  • Picturesque setting: Enjoy scenic views of Lake Natoma and the surrounding landscape.
  • Hiking trails: Explore the park's trails for a refreshing walk or bike ride.
  • Picnic areas: Pack a lunch and enjoy a relaxing meal amidst historical surroundings.

Practical Information for Visitors

Operating Hours

The Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park is open to visitors during specific hours:

  • Wednesday to Friday: Noon to 4 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 9 am to 4 pm

Dog-Friendly Environment

Visitors can explore the park with their canine companions. However, dogs are not allowed inside the buildings, ensuring the preservation of historical artifacts.

Accessibility and Annual Passes

The park offers accessible features, making it inclusive for all visitors. Annual passes are available for those who wish to frequent this historical site.

Getting There and Group Tours

Location and Directions

Situated near the town of Folsom, the park is easily accessible via Highway 50 or I-80, offering a convenient location for history enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

Group Tours

For a more in-depth exploration, group tours are available by special arrangement. Interested parties can contact Nicole Barden at or call 916-985-4843 (only answered during open hours).

Special Events and Programming

Guided Events and Special Programs

Throughout the year, Folsom Lake SRA and Folsom Powerhouse SHP host a myriad of guided events. These are regularly updated on the Facebook page @Folsom Lake State Recreation Area and the monthly newsletter. To stay updated, visitors can sign up for the newsletter on the official website.

Special Events Coordination

For those interested in hosting special events, Bernard Leach, Folsom Lake Special Events Coordinator, can be contacted at or (916) 988-0205. It's recommended to submit special event permit applications at least 45 days prior to the event date.

Conclusion: Reliving the Past in Folsom, CA

The Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park invites you to step back in time and witness the marvels of early electricity generation. With its well-preserved infrastructure, educational programs, and dog-friendly policy, it offers an immersive experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you're a history buff, nature lover, or simply looking for an educational outing, the Folsom Powerhouse promises an enlightening and enjoyable adventure. Plan your visit to this historic gem and let the stories of Sacramento's past come to life amid the vintage machinery and scenic surroundings.


Thanks for reading Discovering the Historic Legacy: Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park, Folsom, CA

« Prev Post