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Early Sutter's FortSutter's "Fort" was built in Sacramento by Swiss immigrant John Sutter more than 150 years ago. The distinctly Californian experience of big dreams and bold adventures is manifested at Sutter's Fort State Historic Park.

John Augustus Sutter was born in Europe to Swiss-John Sutter's OfficeGerman parents in 1803. After several financial reverses, like millions of others in Europe during the time, Sutter set out to make his fortune in America. After arriving in Sacramento in 1839, he built what came to be known as Sutter's Fort - with walls that were 2 1/2 feet thick and 15 to 18 feet high - and developed what he considered to be the real wealth of California - crops such as grapes and wheat, along with vast herds of cattle.

For More Information

Sutter's Fort Living History Program
2701 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
Tel: (916) 445.4422
Email: ehook@sbcglobal.net
Sutter's Fort Living History Program
Hours of Operation
10:00 am - 4:00 pm (Daily)

Aligning himself with the Mexican authorities, at one point, with his various land grants, Sutter owned more than 150,000 acres of the Central Valley, and was a generous host to such colorful and historically important characters as John C. Fremont and Kit Carson.

In 1848, James Marshall, a carpenter working for Sutter, discovered gold at the sawmill Sutter was having built in Coloma, on the American River. Before the mill could be finished, word of the discovery was out. Sutter's workers deserted the Fort for the goldfields seeking their fortunes. By the 1850s, all that was left of Sutter's Fort was the central building.

The Native Sons of the Golden West were influential in the restoration of the Fort which began in 1891 and was completed in 1893. Donated to the State of California, Sutter's Fort became a part of the California State Park System in 1947. Sutter's Fort stands as the oldest restored Fort in the United States.

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