By Michele E. Buttelman
California State Parks are the home of 29 National Historic Landmarks, significant historic places designated by the United States Secretary of the Interior because of their value to the heritage of the United States. See the entire list at www.parks.ca.gov/29394.
Asilomar, Asilomar State Beach
800 Asilomar Ave.,
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Asilomar designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987 for the significant role it played in work of the YWCA and as an outstanding example of master architect Julia Morgan’s work. Born in San Francisco, Morgan was the first female architect to be licensed in California.
Big Four House, Old Sacramento State Historic Park
Sacramento, CA 95814
Designated a National Historic Landmark on July 4, 1961, the “Big Four House,” the birthplace of the Central Pacific RR, was relocated in 1967 to the north side of I street between Front and Second Streets to preserve this important piece of railroading history.
Bodie State Historic Park
Bridgeport, CA 93517
Bodie, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961 for its significance as the finest example of a genuine mining “ghost town.”
Casa de Estudillo, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
4000 Mason St.,
San Diego, CA 92110
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970 for its significance as one of the oldest, finest examples of a Spanish-Mexican one-story town house in California. It was constructed between 1827-1829 in San Diego.
Coloma, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
310 Back St.,
Coloma, CA 95613
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961, Coloma grew around Sutter’s Mill, the site of the gold discovery that began the greatest series of gold strikes on the North American continent.
Columbia State Historic Park
22708 Broadway St.,
Columbia, CA 95310
One of the best-preserved gold rush mining towns in the Sierras and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961. Gold was discovered March 27, 1850 and a mining camp with over a thousand prospectors was established. At one time Columbia was the second largest city in California.
Commander’s House, Fort Ross State Historic Park
19005 Coast Highway,
Jenner, CA 95450
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970, the Commander’s House is an excellent and rare example of Russian log architecture in the United States. The log house dates to 1836 or earlier. Fort Ross, a fur and agricultural settlement, was established by the Russian American Company in 1812.
Donner Memorial State Park
12593 Donner Pass Road,
Truckee, CA 96161
The site of the infamous Donner Party Camp was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961 for its significance in the settlement of the West.
A wagon train bound for California became stranded in the mountains in the winter of 1846/1847. After a four-month ordeal, only 47 of 89 members survived.
Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park
9980 Greenback Lane,
Folsom, CA 95630
Designated in 1981, the Folsom Powerhouse provided the first long distance transmission of electric power in 1895.
Jack London State Historic Park
2400 London Ranch Road,
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962, author Jack London’s Wolf House (1913), his wife Charmain’s House of Happy Walls (1919) and their graves are at London’s Beauty Ranch. London was the popular author of Call of the Wild (1903), The Sea Wolf (1904) and White Fang (1906).
Jose Castro House, San Juan Bautista State Historic Park
Second Street and Washington Street,
San Juan Bautista, CA 95045
Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1970. Completed in 1841, it is one of the best examples of Monterey Colonial architecture.
Locke Boarding House
13916 Main St.,
Walnut Grove, CA 95690
Locke Boarding House in the Locke Historic District, a Chinese-American Community established in 1915, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990. Locke is the largest, most intact surviving example of an historic rural Chinese-American community in the U.S.
Pony Express Terminal/BF Hastings Building, Old Sacramento State Historic Park
111 I St.,
Sacramento, CA 95814
The BF Hastings Building was the western terminus of the Pony Express from April 1860 to March 1861. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961, it also housed the State Supreme Court and Wells, Fargo and Company. The two-story brick building was constructed after the devastating 1852 fire which destroyed most of the Sacramento business district.
Sonoma State Historic Park
20 E. Spain St #5729,
Sonoma, CA 95476
The site of the raising of the Bear Flag during the revolt of 1846, Sonoma Plaza was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and consists of 12 one- and two-story buildings from the Mexican Period.
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
2701 L St.,
Sacramento, CA 95816
Sutter’s Fort represents the first pioneer settlement in Sacramento and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961.
US Custom House, Monterey State Historic Park
1 Custom House Plaza,
Monterey, CA 93940
One of the oldest buildings in California it was one of the first historic sites to be designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960. The Mexican government constructed the two-story adobe building in 1827 to collect custom duties.
US Immigration Station, Angel Island State Park
VHCF+3C Tiburon Belvedere,
Tiburon, CA 94920
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1997, it was the primary West Coast portal for immigrants to enter the United States from 1910 to 1940.
Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park
1727 E 107th St.,
Los Angeles, CA 90002
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990 as an important work of folk art, both sculpture and architecture, Watts Towers were created by Italian immigrant Simon Rodia over a period of 33 years.