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For Immediate Release: 4/10/2015

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Sutter’s Fort Sets Up Shop and Recreates California’s First Mall at Traders’ Faire - April 17-19


Steve Beck

Sutter’s Fort SHP


Lisa Mealoy

Friends of Sutter’s Fort



Sacramento, CA – California State Parks and Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) are proud to present a vibrant, educational and fun three-day event -- “Traders’ Faire - California’s First Mall” -- on Friday, April 17 through Sunday, April 19, 2015. Offered just once a year, this lively and highly anticipated interpretive event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and offers unique insights into the early days of the Fort when it served as a central and critically important trading post.                                                                                                                                                                                   

While it is common knowledge that Sutter’s Fort marked the beginning of Sacramento, few people understand how the Fort served as a thriving commercial center in the early days of the Gold Rush. In fact, it was the only trading center on the way to the gold fields and literally thousands of gold miners passed through the Fort to purchase needed supplies from a variety of vendors hawking a variety of goods. Thus, Sutter’s Fort essentially became California’s first shopping mall.  A score of merchants operated at the Fort, a sampling of which included Brannan and Co. general store; Hensley, Reading and Co. hardware store; Priest, Lee and Co. mining equipment; Peter Burnett, lawyer and real estate firm; Joseph Wadleigh, tinsmith and even a newspaper known as the Placer Times.

During the bustling Traders’ Faire three-day event and amid a lively shopping atmosphere, Fort visitors can watch artisans create pioneer goods for sale such as clothing, housewares, toys, beads and knives. Guests will also have the opportunity to make their own crafts, haggle with traders, hammer square nails and enjoy demonstrations of black powder weapons periodically throughout the day. In addition to the interactive opportunities, guests can also shop for artisan made hand-crafted items that make for treasured keepsakes, gifts and collectibles.

Admission to this special event at Sutter’s Fort SHP is $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and is free for children 5 and under. For more, call 916-445-4422 or visit

And, as added treat on Saturday morning, a portion of the exterior lawn on the Sutter’s Fort grounds will be over-run by the Vintage Corvette Mid-Year Stingray Club. Completely free and available for the public to enjoy, eye-catching Corvette Stingrays from the years 1953-1973 will be on display on the south lawn from 9 to 11 a.m.


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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.