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More history of the Major Delta Waterways
We thought we'd scan some of the older books page by page and also scan the sketches from the
books so you could get a good picture of what the Sacramento River, Steamboat Slough and
San Joaquin River looked like when California first became a state. 
Note that the river names changed, depending on who did the map and when:
Sacramento River from about Rio Vista to above Walnut Grove was called "Old River", Main Stem Sacramento and just Sacramento River.  "Old River" was used for the Sacramento River until at least 1919, when the county of Sacramento made substantial improvements to the roads in the Delta where modern-day St. Route 160 is located.

Steamboat Slough was called "Middle Fork" (of the Sacramento River), "West Branch", "Sacramento River", and most logically "Steamboat Slough" because it was the preferred route for steamship passage.  Sutter Slough also connected Steamboat Slough midway with the upper Main Sacramento.  Steamboat Slough was the main or preferred waterway route for ship passage between San Francisco and Sacramento, and the Pony Express used Steamboat Slough until roads were improved.

Cache Creek became Cache Slough and later a portion of the Sacramento Ship Channel.  Miner's Slough also ran along Cache Creek then curved around Ryer Island.  Miner's Slough or Cache Creek were also referred to as the west fork of the Sacramento River in the early 1850's.  Cache Creek/Slough is now a part of the "Yolo Bypass" flood control system.

San Joaquin River also split into east, west and middle forks.  Later, a section of the San Joaquin River became referred to as "Old River" which causes confusion for those unaware of true Delta history.

CLICK on each map or sketch to see the full size!

Sketch above is from an 1850 map and the written description as part of the official survey and
report to Congress indicates the "Middle Fork" very soon thereafter was named "Steamboat Slough"

Sketch above was made in the 1860's to be published in a book about California sites.  The
steamboat is leaving Steamboat Slough and entering the Sacramento River.

Remember to click (or double-click) on any of these graphics to see the full size!  The above is from a HUGE map found on a county wall and it lists all the waterway names in the Delta at 1891, and is the official map of California at that time.  Map clearly indicates the locations of "Old River" Sacramento, Steamboat Slough, and the different branches of the San Joaquin River.

Above is a section of an official survey of the area, and at the time of the survey the Sacramento River is labeled as we know it today, even though other maps call it "Old River".  The "Middle Fork" later becomes Steamboat Slough.  This map also provides that approximate area of "hogsback shoal", an important location for those who did not want to run aground in low tides!


"Old River" part of the Sacramento River and the "West Branch" of
the Sacramento River are note above.  Also note the island names in
the area...Tyler Island became Grand Island.  Priest and Sutter Islands
became Ryer Island.  Note that Brannan Island and Andrus Island
were seperated by a waterway or "slough".

  Snug Harbor Resorts, LLC
3356 Snug Harbor Drive, (& Port Lane, Starboard Lane and Marina View Circle are roads located within the resort grounds)
Ryer Island in Solano County.  near Rio Vista, CA
GPS:   Use Port Lane, Walnut Grove, CA  95690, even though we are located near Rio Vista, Solano County  
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