Virtual Guidebook to Marin and the North Bay Counties
Benicia
Solano County California


Benicia was named for General Vallejo's wife, Francisca Benicia Carillo de Vallejo. They decided to use her second name to avoid confusion with San Francisco, which had previously been known as Yerba Buena. Benicia served as California's third state capital (after Monterey and Vallejo) in 1853-54, using what had been the city hall. But the legislators didn't like it and moved to Sacramento after one year.

The Benicia Arsenal dominated the town from statehood to the 1960's, the primary US Army weapons and logisitics depot on the west coast. The site now belongs to the city and is notable for its artists live-work spaces. The elegant sandstone Camel Barns date from an unsuccessful experiment with camels as desert pack animals in the 1850's.



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The old California State Capitol Building in Benicia

(December 15, 2001)


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The Camel Barns at the Benicia Arsenal

(December 15, 2001)


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