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For Immediate Release: 2/25/2015

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Sutter’s Fort to Present “Hands on History: Hard Working Women on the Frontier” on 3/21


Steve Beck,916-445-3996

Sutter’s Fort SHP

Lisa Mealoy, 916-323-7626

Friends of Sutter’s Fort


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Continuing a popular series of interactive and fun “Hands on History” activities each month, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) will present a special “Hands on History: Hard Working Women on the Frontier” event on Saturday, March 21, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In honor of “Women’s History Month,” Fort visitors will learn about three important but little-known women in California’s history: Nancy Kelsey, the first woman to cross the Sierra; Elizabeth “Jennie” Wimmer, who was present when gold was discovered and first tested the precious metal; and Mary Murphy, Donner Party survivor for whom the town of Marysville is named. Fort visitors will also have the opportunity to hear from special guest Cheryl Stapp, historian and author of Disaster & Triumph: Sacramento Women, Gold Rush Through the Civil War and Sacramento Chronicles: A Golden Past.  Cheryl will give presentations at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. (immediately following cannon firing demonstrations) and answer questions about frontier women in California and their role in family and community. She will also be available to sign copies of her books, available for purchase in the Fort Trade Store. 

Fort visitors will realize that emigrant women did not live lives of leisure and were vital economic partners in families. In fact, many pioneer women set up their own businesses selling eggs, milk, or baked goods to neighbors and travelers. Fort guests will also enjoy crowd-favorite black powder and musket demonstrations, Dutch oven cooking demonstrations, and an interactive wagon trail camp for visitors to experience what it was like to camp as part of a wagon train. Fort guests will also learn to carry water buckets, use a yoke, decide what supplies are necessary for the trip, help load the wagon and climb inside an authentic covered wagon to feel what it was like to journey across country.  Plus, rarely seen and relevant artifacts from the historic Fort Collections will be shown this one day only.

Admission to Sutter’s Fort SHP costs $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and is

free for children 5 and under. For more information, call 916-445-4422 or visit

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