Make golden discoveries at Sutter’s Fort

By From page B5 | July 19, 2013

As part of an ongoing focus to provide high-energy, interactive and educational activities, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP), 2701 L St. in midtown Sacramento, is proud to present a special “Hands on History: Mining the Miners” event on Saturday, July 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost is $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6-17) and free for children 5 and under.

“There’s gold in them thar hills!” was the cry that echoed around the world in 1849 and precipitated the largest unforced migration in the history of humanity. People from everywhere descended on the lightly populated and ungoverned land of California and their primary destination was Sutter’s Fort before they headed for the hills in their quest for gold.

Sutter’s Fort was the last “civilized” place the new miners visited and the first place to which they returned for supplies, entertainment or, in many cases, disappointment.

Many of these miners were innocent adventurers and their gold pokes became the target of nefarious traders, businessmen and gamblers anxious to fetch easy money without having to wipe the sweat off their brows.

The most profitable game in town became “mining the miners.”

Fort visitors are invited to spend the day enjoying hands-on activities such as gold panning, playing games of chance, period-appropriate bowling and the opportunity to win “Sutter Bucks.”

There will be a display of guns and weapons from the Gold Rush era and demonstrations of black powder weaponry in action including the crowd-favorite firing of Sutter’s cannon.

Sutter’s Fort SHP is open daily and more information is available at 916-445-4422 or

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is operated by California State Parks with financial assistance from the nonprofit Friends of Sutter’s Fort.

Established in 1839 by Swiss immigrant John Augustus Sutter, Sutter’s Fort was at the center of a flourishing agricultural empire named New Helvetia (New Switzerland.) This empire established Sacramento’s earliest settlement and the first European settlement in California’s Central Valley.

Sutter's Fort

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