Sutter’s Fort presents special activities

By From page B8 | August 09, 2013

As part of an ongoing focus to provide high-energy, interactive and educational activities, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) is proud to present a special “Hands on History: Tools, Talent and Technology — Jobs at Sutter’s Fort” event on Saturday, Aug. 17.

In 1839 when John Sutter elected to build his agricultural empire, some believed he would never succeed. He located his establishment in a region densely populated with Native Indians (who it was believed would surely chase him off or kill him) and his nearest source of supplies was nearly 100 difficult miles away.

Sutter instead entered into alliances and treaties with the local Natives and incorporated them into his endeavors.

Sutter hired anyone with a skill — trappers, sawyers, blacksmiths, gunsmiths, rope makers, wagon wrights, carpenters, coopers, weavers, bakers, distillers, cooks and clerks. In a few short years, Sutter transformed the fort into a bustling western hub.

During a special “Hands on History” event, fort visitors will see demonstrations of how these skilled craftsmen plied their trades, learn how much goods cost at the time and even see a replica of an original ledger kept by fort clerk John Bidwell in 1846.

Fort visitors will also have the hands on opportunity to straighten nails at the carpenter station, fetch water for the cooks using carry-yoke, handle furs and skulls, help the trappers make fire with flint and steel, and help pack the wagon.

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.

“Hands on History: Tools, Talent and Technology — Jobs at Sutter’s Fort” will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m on Saturday, Aug.17, at  Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, 2701 L St. in midtown Sacramento.

Admission is $7 per adult, ages 18 and older; $5 per youth, ages 6 to 17; and free for children 5 and under.

For more information call 916-445-4422 or visit


Sutter's Fort

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