Northern California March 31, 2017
The Historic State Park That All Northern Californians Need To Visit At Least Once
Smack dab in the heart of our state’s capitol is a historic state park that celebrates the pioneer spirit that brought Americans out to Northern California in the first place. Sutter’s Fort State park is an incredible homage to the Old West. You can still go there today to learn about Northern California life before the gold rush even began, and you will be greeted by docents in living history gear who will teach you more than you even thought there was to know about the pioneer days.
Now a historic state park, Sutter's Fort was once a thriving agricultural and trade center.
It was established by John Sutter in 1839 when he received a grant from the Mexican Government.
At that point in time, California was owned by Mexico, but more and more Americans from the east were heading out west as pioneers.
John Sutter was a Swiss immigrant who named the Sacramento area New Helvetica, or New Switzerland.
In 1847 Sutter sent aid to the Donner Party, a group of immigrants trapped in a winter storm in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Word spread and Sutter became known for his hospitality and for providing temporary refuge to travelers. This reputation made New Helvetia the destination for early immigrants to California.
John Sutter also owned the mill where gold was discovered in 1849 by John Marshall in Coloma.
Despite the growing community that surrounded New Helvetica and Sutter's Fort, once gold was discovered, the area became overcome by miners seeking their fortune.
Sutter's Fort fell into disrepair but was eventually turned into a state park.
In 1891, the Native Sons of the Golden West, who sought to safeguard many of the landmarks of California's pioneer days, purchased and rehabilitated Sutter's Fort when the City of Sacramento sought to demolish it. Repair efforts were completed in 1893 and the fort was given by the Native Sons of the Golden West to the State of California. In 1947, the fort was transferred to the authority of California State Parks.
Today, the state park is a popular stop for school and other tour groups. People come to soak in the history of the past and learn about the early Californians.
Visitors get to interact with docents in period wear. Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is alive with activity throughout the year. Regular living
history events re-create life and activities of Sutter’s time.
"Hands-on History Days" feature
costumed staff demonstrating the tools, skills, food, and games of early Californians. Both
daytime and evening special events are
offered. Educational programs are presented
for school groups.
The Fort is located in what today is Midtown Sacramento. It's a slice of history in an otherwise urban environment. The city was built up around it and Northern Californians are lucky to have access to a historic, educational, and lovely state park right at our fingertips.
Sutter’s Fort is located at:
2701 L Street, Sacramento CA, 95816 (916) 445-4422
And you can learn more by visiting
their website. Have you visited Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento? For Northern California experiences, check out There’s An Adventure Park Hiding In This Northern California Forest And You Need To Visit.