Before Restoration - The Main Building

The Main Building, a two story adobe building constructed between 1841 and 1843, is the only surviving 'Sutter period' structure remaining at the reconstructed Sutter's Fort State Historic Park. It was in this building on January 28, 1848 that James Marshall met privately with Captain Sutter to show him the gold he had found at Sutter's sawmill, on the American River, over the previous 4 days.


 Approaching the building.

 On the southwest side.

 East side of building.


 On the northeast side.

 In the 1880's.

 The east side with people

In late 1849 Sutter sold his fort for $7,000 to Alden Bayly and moved near Yuba City to his ranch, Hock Farm, with his wife and children. Later, during the 1850's , all that was left of the fort was this building. The Native Sons of the Golden West purchased it in 1890 and gave it to the State of California in 1891.

The California Legislature agreed to accept the fort and promised to restore it to it's former glory. Rebuilding was begun in 1891.

Student Activity 4


In small groups or individually, you can review information about Sutter's Fort in the years following the gold rush. Write a story of what happened to the fort. Why did Sutter sell it? Why was only the main building of the fort left standing? What happened to the creek that ran beside the fort? Write in paragraphs.

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