Sutter's Fort is a recreation of the fort built by John Sutter in 1840. A German born Swiss, Sutter secured a Mexican land grant of over 47,000 acres by becoming a Mexican citizen. He sought to establish a self sufficient colony which he called New Helvetica (New Switzerland).
He had a successful farming operation, growing barley, peas, beans and cotton in addition to wheat. He raised cattle, sheep, horses and mules.
Of course, who could imagine a frontier outpost without whiskey?
Docents in period costume explain and demonstrate life at the fort. Many displays have audio explanations that turn on when the visitor approaches.
Sutter's colony did not last long. John Marshall's discovery of gold in 1848 at the lumber mill he ran for Sutter was the beginning of the end. Sutter could not hold his land against the hordes of gold seekers that began coming to California in 1849 and the American courts did not recognize his Mexican land grants.
By 1860 all that remained of Sutter's Fort was the central building. In 1890 the site was purchased by the Native Sons of the Golden West and reconstruction was started a year later based on a map that had been published in Germany in 1847.
Today the Fort is a living history museum, a place where school children can come and learn about life in 19th century California and get some hands on experience in some of the skill that were needed then.
This is one view of our amazing world, see other views at Our World, Tuesday, hosted for us by Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy.