Originally established in 1839 and known today as a popular tourist destination, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is offering exciting new enhancements to delight fort guests from near and far — including the iconic Patty Reed doll.
A series of recently completed enhancements are designed to enrich the visitor experience and assist in the interpretation and educational efforts of the fort. In addition to a newly reconstructed ticketing kiosk that guests will experience when they first arrive, there are recent developments.
In an effort to introduce the many different facets of Sutter’s Fort and to properly showcase the Patty Reed doll going back on permanent public display after a 15-month hiatus, the “One Fort, Many Views” orientation gallery and permanent exhibit has officially opened.
The installation of the orientation gallery, theater and permanent exhibit will set the stage for fort visitors to begin to understand the complexity of the fort’s role in California history that extends far beyond that of John Sutter and his ill-fated dreams.
One of the goals of the orientation gallery and exhibit is to highlight how the fort was a central gathering place for many diverse cultures including Native Americans and Hawaiian emigrants.
In addition to an introductory film and the crowd-favorite Patty Reed doll, the orientation gallery and exhibit will also showcase life-sized character sketches representing diverse cultures, and a 5-foot plow made from a tree branch that was excavated at the fort in the 1930s or 1940s.
As visitors venture deeper into Sutter’s Fort, they will undoubtedly notice the two new towering raised cannon platforms located on either side of the south gate, which once served as the original main fort entrance. Twelve-foot in height, the raised cannon platforms and genuine refurbished cannons serve to remind fort visitors how California’s earliest residents had to prepare to defend themselves and their establishment from perceived threats.
Updated and re-merchandised museum store
After visiting Sutter’s Fort, many guests will also enjoy perusing the recently renovated museum store in search of a special gift or treasure to remind them of their visit. With all new shelves, fixtures and an emphasis on period-appropriate finishes, the popular museum store now offers an intriguing mix of new and tried-and-true historically appropriate merchandise such as historic writing instruments, beautiful traditional home décor items and souvenirs including the best-selling replica of Patty Reed’s doll.
These exciting developments at Sutter’s Fort SHP are just part of a continuing process to interpret history for fort visitors and were made possible by Proposition 84 funding, California State Parks, Friends of Sutter’s Fort, the non-profit Sacramento Trust for Historic Preservation and dedicated volunteers.
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is located at 2701 L St. in Midtown, Sacramento. Fort hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Regular fort admission is $5 per adult (18 and older), $3 per youth (ages 6-17), free for children 5 years and under. On Special Interpretive Program Days the cost is $7 per adult and $5 per youth.
For more information call 916-445-4422 or visit the Website at suttersfort.org.