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!

Events

4/15-17 Traders Faire

Sutter’s Fort Sets Up Shop & Recreates

California’s First Mall during Traders’ Faire - April 15-17

 

California State Parks and Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) are proud to present a vibrant, educational and fun three day event -- “Traders’ Faire - California’s First Mall” -- on Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17, 2016.  Offered just once a year, this lively and highly anticipated interpretive event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and offers unique insights into the early days of the Fort when it served as a central and critically important trading post. Fort visitors will be delighted to see the recently completed restoration of the historic walls and gates plus have the opportunity to step back in time to experience what California’s first shopping mall was like in the 1840s.

 

While it is common knowledge that Sutter’s Fort marked the beginning of Sacramento, few people understand how the Fort served as a thriving commercial center in the early days of the Gold Rush. In fact, it was the only trading center on the way to the gold fields and literally thousands of gold miners passed through the Fort to purchase needed supplies from a variety of vendors hawking a variety of goods. Thus, Sutter’s Fort essentially became California’s first shopping mall. A score of merchants operated at the Fort, a sampling of which included Brannan and Co. general store; Hensley, Reading and Co. hardware store; Priest, Lee and Co. mining equipment; Peter Burnett, lawyer and real estate firm; Joseph Wadleigh, tinsmith and even a newspaper known as the Placer Times.

 

During the bustling Traders’ Faire three-day event and amid a lively shopping atmosphere, Fort visitors can watch artisans create pioneer goods for sale such as clothing, housewares, toys, beads and knives. Guests will also have the opportunity to make their own crafts, haggle with traders, hammer square nail and enjoy demonstrations of black powder weapons periodically throughout the day. In addition to the interactive opportunities, guests can also shop for artisan made hand-crafted items that make for treasured keepsakes, gifts and collectibles. 

 

Admission to this special event at Sutter’s Fort SHP is $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and is free for children 5 and under.

5/21 Hands on History - A Community of Many Faces

Sutter’s Fort to Present “Hands on History: 

A Community of Many Faces” on May 21

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Continuing a popular series of interactive and fun “Hands on History” activities each month, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) will present a special “Hands on History: A Community of Many Faces” event on Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fort visitors will be delighted to see the recently completed restoration of the historic walls and gates plus have the opportunity to step back in time to the 1840s to celebrate and honor the richly diverse cultures represented at the Fort. In fact, the Gold Rush of 1849 brought tens of thousands of people to California from all over the world. But even before the first gold seekers arrived, Sutter’s Fort was already a melting pot of ethnic, social and cultural diversity. In the New Helvetia Diary (the daily log book of Sutter’s Fort), there are at least 30 different groups of Native people mentioned as having visited the Fort and/or provided labor for John Sutter.  

On this special “Hands on History” day, representatives from the Hawaiian Community will be giving presentations about California’s earliest Hawaiians and their role in the history and culture of the Sacramento Valley and early California. In addition, there will rancho culture demonstrations and French and English fur trappers demonstrating how traps work. Interactive and fun hands-on craft making will be available for kids of all ages who are interested in creating special keepsakes to take home. Plus, Fort visitors will have the opportunity to taste samples of different ethnic foods that will either be baked in the on-site “horno” or provided by the Swiss Society. And, of course, demonstrations of black powder weaponry in action will take place including the crowd-favorite firing of Sutter’s cannon.  

All “Hands on History” activities are included in the cost of admission. Sutter’s Fort SHP admission

costs are as follows: $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and free for

children 5 and under. For more information, call 916-445-4422

 

2701 L Street
Sacramento CA, 95816
(916) 445-4422

 

 

Open 10 a.m. To 5 p.m.
Daily
Closed Thanksgiving,
Christmas and
New Year's Day
Adult Admission: $5
Youth Admission: $3 (Ages 6-17)
Children 5 and Under Free

On special interpretive
program days fees are
$7 for adults and $5 for youth

Prices subject to change,
please contact Sutter’s Fort
for most current pricing