SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California State Parks, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) and Friends of Sutter’s Fort are proud to present an interactive and fun “Hands on History: Catch Gold Fever – The Year of 1849” event on Saturday, January 19, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fort visitors will have the unique opportunity to step back in time to explore an era that changed California forever. The gold discovery at Coloma echoed around the world and triggered the largest migration in United States history. Thousands of immigrants gambled and came to early California to try to strike it rich. They left family behind, spent life savings, and borrowed money all in the pursuit of gold. Many miners bought one-way passage on ships bound for California, and abandoned ships clogged the port in San Francisco as miners and sailors took off for the hills. Miners stopped at Sutter’s Fort before they headed for the hills in their quest for gold, and the Fort was often the first place to which they returned for supplies and entertainment. Sadly, the dream of riches was not often the reality and many left the hills with only disappointment in their pockets.

As an event highlight, Fort visitors are invited to spend the day enjoying hands-on activities such as gold panning, miners’ camp, games of chance, and money and trade activities where guests learn what it meant to “mine the miners.” 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 the Fort’s cannon. Friends of Sutter's Fort will also be sampling out popular gold rush nugget chocolates and featuring gold rush-related items for sale in the on-site Trade Store so visitors can bring a bit of gold rush history home with them.

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 or visit

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Friends of Sutter’s Fort
The Friends of Sutter’s Fort is a nonprofit 501 (C) (3) organization that believes experiencing history first-hand at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park can be a positive life-changing experience for all generations. As a Cooperating Association, we work to provide California State Parks with critical funding for restoration and preservation projects, and we support the Fort's renowned educational programs. For more information, please visit

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Sutter''s Fort SHP

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