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


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September 20, 2014

Feast at the Fort


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Events and Exhibits

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 (6:30pm – 9:00 pm) 


“Feast at the Fort”

***This event is sold out - if you would like to be on the waiting list, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .***

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.



November 15, 2014 – Hands on History - The Donner Party

10 am - 5 pm

$7 per adult (18 and older), $5.00 per youth (ages 6-17), free for children 5 years and under Hands on History: The Donners and Other Emigrant Wagon Parties Wagon travel across the Sierra Nevada was a dangerous proposition. In the winter of 1846-1847 over 80 emigrants became trapped in the Sierra snows. We know them as the Donner Party, but they were many different families and individuals. Sutter’s Fort was their destination and became their only hope of survival. Rescue parties of volunteers were assembled at the Fort, mules and packs were gathered, and a variety of food supplies were packed for the rescue. Few people are aware that the second relief party carried 100 lbs. of cocoa and 400 pounds of sugar among other more staple items. The Sutter’s Fort Collection is the largest repository of original source Donner Party material in existence. View replicas of these rarely seen original documents and hear the mysterious and haunting stories that have fallen through the cracks. Visitors will be able to pack a wagon or write in their journal with a quill pen, or make a corn husk or rag doll and create their own pioneer souvenir item. Come to the Fort and hear why there is so much discussion about the Donner Party – did you know the snowbound emigrants lived in two separate camps almost 5 miles apart? Cannon demonstrations will be held at 11, 1, and 3. For more information call 916 445-4422.



December 13, 2014  A Simple Emigrant Christmas 

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

A Simple Emigrant Christmas - Join us at Sutter’s Fort for this special seasonal event. In John Sutter’s day, people from around the world passed through the gates, each with their own customs and traditions for the holiday season. “A Simple Emigrant Christmas” presents several vignettes showing holiday scenes, including foods, music, decorations, and traditions from other cultures. During the day visitors will be able to dip candles, make cornhusk dolls, and create Christmas ornaments.  For more information, please call (916) 445-4422.