Continuing the popular series of fun and interactive “Hands on History” activities offered each month, Fort visitors will be delighted to step back in time to the 1840s to learn how and why Sutter’s Fort was the first commercial center in the Central Valley. Fort visitors are invited to spend the day at the newly refurbished venue to enjoy hands-on activities helping the laundresses, seamstresses, cooks and leather workers make belts, pouches, outer-ware, and saddlery.
In addition, there will be a display of guns and weapons from the Gold Rush era and demonstrations of black powder weaponry in action, including the crowd-favorite firing of Sutter’s cannon. As a highlight, historian and author Cheryl Anne Stapp will deliver special presentations in the Distillery to talk about her recent book, Before the Gold Rush.
John Sutter left Europe and settled in the Sacramento Valley hoping to build a better life. Because Sutter had to find a market for his agricultural goods and his manufactured products, he built a Fort that became a haven for other Europeans and Americans also looking for a new life and a trading center that provided goods and services to trappers, sailors, settlers, farmers, Native Americans, and gold seekers.