Last updated at 12:35 PM on 06th March 2009
A century and a half ago it was at the centre of the Californian gold rush, with hopeful prospectors pitching their tents along the banks of the American River.
Today, tents are once again springing up in the city of Sacramento. But this time it is for people with no hope and no prospects.
With America's economy in freefall and its housing market in crisis, California's state capital has become home to a tented city for the dispossessed.
Rich and poor: The tents and other makeshift homes have sprung up in the shadow of Sacramento's skyscrapers
Shanty town: The tent city is already home to dozens of people, many left without jobs because of the credit crunch
Those who have lost their jobs and homes and have nowhere else to go are constructing makeshift shelters on the site, which covers several acres.
As many as 50 people a week are turning up and the authorities estimate that the tent city is now home to more than 1,200 people.
The credit crunch tent city which has returned to haunt America