We’re going to Sutter’s Fort, the birthplace of Sacramento. It is two square blocks located between 26th and 28th Streets and between L and K Streets in Sacramento’s Midtown area. Or you can just follow these signs after you exit the Captial City Freeway (Business Route for I-80).
John Sutter, a swiss immigrant (real name Johan Augustus Sutter), first came to the Sacrameneto Valley in 1839. In 1840 he, along with a work force and the local indians, started work on this adobe fort. The walls were 2 1/2 feet thick and 15-18 feet high while being 320 feet long. He named his new settlement “New Helvetia” or “New Switzerland”. A few years later it was renamed Sacramento after the Sacramento River.
The main entrance to the fort. The US Flag and the Bear Flag of the California Republic (representing California’s brief time as an independent country and which flew over Sutter’s fort in 1846). The fort became a refuge for traveling pioneers and later as a waystation for the gold mines.
The sign showing the years it was opened. By 1850 the fort had eroded enough so that only the main central building remained. The fort was reconstructed in 1891.
You can sleep in and have a large, leisurely breakfast because the fort doesn’t open until 10 am. It closes at five, just in time to freshen up for dinner. I believe it is closed on Mondays.
Sutter’s Fort is a Registered National Historic Landmark.
Marker about the Coloma Road. Sutter also owned a sawmill in the foothill town of Coloma about 47 miles east of here. It was at this sawmill in 1848 that Sutter’s employee, James Marshall, discovered gold. No internet or CNN then so it took a year for word of this to reach the east coast of the US. By 1849 the stampede to California was on. Everybody was going to get rich in the gold fields of California and the great Gold Rush was on. The miners were called 49’ers because of the year the rush started.
Statue of John Sutter. It’s actually located across the street from the fort in front of the aptly named Sutter General Hospital.
The plaque beneath the statue.
Wait a minute. What’s the Flag of Mexico flying here for? Well, when Sutter came here and built the fort California was Mexico! In fact, the land he owned (47,287 acres), including that under the fort, was a land grant that he received from Mexican Governor Alvarado.
Just inside the fort was this covered wagon. These wagons carried not only the pioneers who travelled here but also their provisions and sometimes everything they owned.
Closer look at some of the materials they used.
The yoke in front of the wagon. The heads of oxen or horses would fit into the holes and they would pull the wagon.
Mrs. Goyo saying “Sige! C’mon bring the horses I wanna ride!” Hmmm, I wonder if she would have been a good cowgirl?
This is the main central building. Inside were Sutter’s office and a doctor’s office, as well as other rooms.
Looking down from the central building. Is that a real well or a wishing well? Hey, I’ve got a wish. I want to win the lottery! 🙂
Behind the fort are some of the beautiful trees that surround this State Historical Park.
What’s that over there?
It’s a nice little pond. That’s a cool walking bridge.
The other side of the pond.
Mga itik. That means “a lot of ducks” in the Bisayan dialect of the central Philippines.
More ducks. Many years ago when I was single I had an apartment just a few blocks from here. Many evenings I would ride my bicycle up here and feed some bread to the ducks. They got to know me after a while and soon as they’d see me drive up they’d start greeting me. Quack, quack, quack. It was a lot of fun. I now own a house near the edge of the city limits but I still like to come and feed the ducks every once in a while.
Coming soon, inside the fort.