In the heart of Midtown Sacramento, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park captures the pioneer spirit of families arriving in wagon trains at the dawn of the California Gold Rush. John Sutter built the Fort and his agricultural empire, was critical in the rescue of the tragic Donner Party and served as a diplomat with the Mexican government until it all came crashing down in 1848. A fascinating place to visit for history field trips, kids and adults!

August 16, 2014

Sutter's Fort 175th Anniversary


More Information...

September 20, 2014

Feast at the Fort


More Information...

Events and Exhibits


August 16, 2014 Hands on History: 175th Anniversary Celebration

(10:00 – 5:00) 

$7 per adult (18 and older), $5.00 per youth (ages 6-17), free for children 5 years and under 


On Saturday, August 16, 2014, California State Parks and Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) will present a special “Hands on History” event commemorating John Sutter’s arrival to the Sacramento region 175 years ago that led to the building of Sutter’s Fort, the discovery of gold and the founding of the City of Sacramento.  As background, John Sutter landed on the bank of the American River in August of 1839 and went on to found the New Helvetia area on which Sutter’s Fort was later constructed. 


To commemorate Sutter’s arrival 175 years later, Sutter’s Fort SHP is presenting an interactive and interpretive event that will include a number of special activities for Fort visitors.  Some of the planned activities include the following: the arrival of a wagon -- provided by Top Hand Ranch – that will transport local dignitaries from Sutter’s Landing to the Fort as the Park opens for the day; rarely-seen Sutter family and Fort artifacts on display such as a work boot that purportedly worn by Sutter and a geography book that belonged to Sutter that was published in 1838 when he first set out for California; and special guests on-site (some offering presentations throughout the day) by the Native Sons and Native Daughters of the Golden West, Sacramento Helvetia Verein, Sacramento County Historical Society, Rick Adams of the Hutu Anape Cultural Association and Sutter’s family descendants. 


Plus, a few of the interactive activities and stations set-up for the day include the following: a stencil rubbing station of John Sutter’s brand (once used on cattle, horses, mules, sheep and his property as well); a pioneer dress-up station where families dress as pioneers (perfect for picture-taking!); pen and quill activity station;  period-appropriate laundry station; period games for kids;  a corn husk doll craft station; cooking demonstrations using iron ware with tastings of food prepared in the outdoor brick bake oven, and a display of guns and weapons from the Gold Rush era complete with demonstrations of black powder weaponry highlighted by the crowd-favorite firing of Sutter’s cannon. 

And, because the 175th anniversary of Sutter’s Fort happens the same year that California State Parks is celebrating its 150th anniversary, Fort visitors will have the opportunity to watch a short pictorial history of California State Parks and find out how the anniversary commemoration for California State Parks and Yosemite, the first State Park, evolved.   Presented by Mike Lynch, co-chair of the California State Parks 150th Anniversary Committee, the special presentation will include a showing of the Ken Burns film Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit.




September 20, 2014 Hands on History – Harvest: The Real Gold in California

10 am - 5 pm

$7 per adult (18 and older), $5.00 per youth (ages 6-17), free for children 5 years and under


When John Sutter arrived in California in 1839, his dream was to build an agricultural empire that would encompass all of the Sacramento Valley, filling it with ranchers, who owed fealty to Sutter and had to buy all their supplies from his trading post. Unfortunately, the Gold Rush crushed Sutter’s dream by re-routing the water courses without a thought for environmental damage and mountains reduced to gravel by hydraulic mining, all of which left tons of dredge tailings on the fertile soil. It took many years for California’s agricultural industry to recover, but we eventually achieved the agricultural prominence about which Sutter had dreamed. Join us and be part of life during harvest time at the Fort. If you were injured during the harvest, how were you treated? For more information, please call (916) 445-4422.



September 20, 2014 (6:30 – 9:00) 


“Feast at the Fort”

***Note, tickets go on sale August 1 and a rapid sell-out is expected; please email if you would like to be on the e-blast.***

Attention foodies and history enthusiasts...Friends of Sutter’s Fort is proud to present the 5th Annual Feast at the Fort, a unique culinary event that includes a four-course, sit-down dinner prepared by Sacramento’s top chefs amid a beautiful setting inside the historic walls of Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park.  After being greeted to lively music, tasty appetizers and wine and beer tastings, guests will enjoy a delicious and bountiful meal served family-style.  The theme for the event this year is incorporating cheese into each of the newly-created recipes that will also incorporate vibrant local ingredients. The amazing dishes will be created by chefs from popular restaurants such as Hock Farm Craft & Provisions, Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co., Red Rabbit and Ten22 Restaurant and served family style.  To finish off the meal, guests will enjoy a delicious dessert created by Estelle’s Patisserie. A sell-out is expected so get your tickets early to attend the fun and the memorable culinary experience at “Feast at the Fort”!


A fundraiser for the Friends of Sutter's Fort, Sacramento's innovative Farm to Fork chefs create a very special dinner featuring a different focus every year.   Tickets go on sale six weeks prior to the event.  If you would like to be on the list announcing when the tickets are available, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  For more information about sponsorships or tables please call (916) 323-7626.


Beginning at 10 am on August 1, tickets will be available at:



October 24 – 25, 2014  The Haunted Fort

(6:30pm – 9:00pm) 



Sutter’s Fort, once a portal for weary pioneers, again serves as the gateway to their restless spirits, who return to tell the tales of their lives and melancholy deaths at this special family friendly event. Tours leave every 10 minutes; tickets available one month prior at For more information please call (916) 323-7626.