Sutter's Fort has been reconstructed at its original location. It commemorates John Sutter's creation of the "kingdom of New Helvetia" near the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers.
Following the discovery of gold on the south fork of the American River in 1848, Sutter's empire collapsed in the chaos of the rush for wealth, but Sacramento grew up between the fort and the river. For many, Sutter's Fort represented the end of the California Trail. On June of 1846 Lt. Joseph W. Revere "came to some extensive fields of wheat . . . and saw the white-washed wall of the fort, situated on a small eminence commending the approaches on all sides. . . . The appearance of the fort, with its crenelated walls, fortified gateway and bastioned angles; the heavily bearded fierce looking hunters and trappers, armed with rifles, bowie-knives and pistols . . . and the dashing horsemen scouring in every direction . . . carry me back to the romantic east, and I could almost fancy . . . that I was . . . the guest of some powerful Arab chieftain in his desert stronghold."
The fort is of adobe-stucco construction and takes up the better portion of a large city block. Sacramento Area State Parks maintains the replica fort and provides exhibits and living history interpretive services.
How do I visit?
Sutter's Fort State Historic Park
Last updated: February 21, 2020