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!

February 21, 2015

Hands on History: By Land and By Sea


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March 21, 2015

Hands on History: Hardworking Women of the Frontier

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Events and Exhibits



21 – Hands on History: By Land and By Sea


Continuing a popular series of interactive and fun “Hands on History” activities each month, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park will present a special “Hands on History: By Land and By Sea” event on Saturday, February 21, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Through special presentations, exciting demonstrations and hands-on activities, docents will help Fort visitors understand the two different ways emigrants originally came to California -- by land or by sea -- while sharing the unique challenges they faced and what daily life was like during their journeys. A special station will be set up with pioneer clothes where visitors can select outfits and have their pictures taken with the wagon or with another pioneer setting (using their own cameras). More hands-on activities also await Fort visitors as they will help pack a wagon or trunk, make choices about what to bring along for their “journey of a lifetime,” learn how to use a nautical compass, hoist a laden barrel, weave rope, learn simple knots, create maps with available resources and even join the Navy and receive pay in Stonington Bank $2 bills.


As a highlight, guest speaker Dr. Richard Kaufman, a professor emeritus from CSUS and author of Saving the Donner Party -- a new book that uses modern geographic techniques to identify specific routes used by the parties sent to rescue the people trapped in the mountains -- will give special presentations at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. His presentation is focused on reconstructing the routes of the “Forlorn Hope Party” -- a group of young adults from the Donner Party that tried to break through the snow to get help. Dr. Kaufman’s satellite research identifies the crucial landmarks from testimony of the survivors and perhaps alters previous interpretation as to precisely what happened. Also, Dr. Kaufman will be available to sign books available for purchase at the Fort Trade Store.


Admission to Sutter’s Fort SHP costs $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and is free for children 5 and under. For more information, call 916-445-4422



21 – HOH: Hard Working Women on the Frontier



11- Girl Scouts

17 - 19 – Traders Faire (Sac’s 1st Mall)



09 – Girl Scouts

16 – HOH: Community of Many Faces



20 – HOH: War in California



11 – Girl Scouts will not be held in July

18 – HOH: Mining the Miners (Was there Gold at Sutter’s Fort?)




15 – HOH: Kids Fun on the Frontier



19 – HOH: Wagons West



10/4 – 10/10 – Trapper’s Camp (Red Bluff)

10/12 -10/17 – Trapper’s Camp (Colusa)

23 & 24 – Haunted Fort



*14 – Girls Scouts

21 – First Person Event (The Real Life in Sutter’s Fort 1846)

21 – Candle Light Tours (Evening)



12 – HOH: A Simple Emigrant Christmas



Due to ongoing restoration of Sutter’s Fort SHP all dates are subject to change and/or cancelation.