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Hidden Gem in California

Updated on July 11, 2010

Woodland, California

Lately I have been seeing new towns in and around California that I never really took the time to visit. Many of these small towns hold so much historical value, yet they are overlooked daily. Recently, some of my boyfriend's work took us to Woodland, California. When we pulled up to the hotel right off of the Interstate 5 my heart sank. There was this really nice hotel but nothing around it. There is a rice mill down the street, a gas station in the same parking lot, and an abandoned Denny's building that some other company had bought to restore. I was preparing myself for a long and boring few days at the hotel.

So I decided to work on some homework. I worked on my homework for a few hours and then decided I needed to get out. I got online and researched Woodland's interesting facts. From where I was the town seemed dead but I was sadly mistaken. I was able to call a taxi, from A-1Taxi (the nicest taxi drivers I have ever met) and a local taxi driver picked me up for my downtown adventure.

As we headed downtown my wonderful taxi driver began pointing out places of historical interests and really neat Victorian houses. This taxi driver had lived in Woodland her entire life and was a wealth of information in the last place I would have ever looked.

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Sights to See

The historical and architectural value in downtown Woodland is abundant. There is so much history in this small town. If I could have spent more time exploring the residential areas of Woodland, I am sure I could have even shared with you more about this hidden gem.

One place of historical interest to me personally was the Opera House. The original Opera House was built in 1885. However, a fire a few short years later in 1892 burned down the original Opera House. Through much effort the Opera House was rebuilt on the same foundation, using some of the original brick walls, and re-opened in 1896.

Since then the Opera House started booming. There were all kinds of performers and theatre companies that performed on the stage through the years. However, somewhere in the 1920-1930's the theatre was closed due to a lawsuit involving an injury. Sadly, the Opera House remained boarded up until the Yolo County Historical Society bought the building in 1971. The historical society was able to get the building on the California State Landmark List. The building is now California State Historical Landmark #851; and as of 1986 a California State Historical Park.

The Yolo County Historical Society along with many other members and groups in the community came together and revamped the opera house. The Opera House was given a face lift. Every painstaking detail down to the carpet, seating, wallpaper and wood interior, was repaired to the period the building was built. Unfortunately, the Opera House only has tours on Tuesdays from 1p.m.-4p.m. and I was not in town on a Tuesday, so I was unable to take pictures of the inside.


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      Charlinex 7 years ago

      Thanks for your hub about California. Will try to check them out next time I go! Best of luck on the hubpages. :)