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Dates That Matter

January 24, 1848

Gold is discovered at Sutter's Creek.

 Why does it matter?

John Sutter, an immigrant from Switzerland, came to the area which would become known as Sutter's Creek and established a a homestead he called Sutter's Fort. His intent was to build an agricultural empire, and it is believed he used Native Americans from the area as forced labor in order to establish his "rancho." Hoping to add a sawmill to his holdings, he partnered with John Marshall to construct the mill on the American River. Marshall discovered something much more profitable in the water: gold. Rapidly, the news spread, and the population of the area exploded. John Sutter tried to profit from the influx of gold seekers by operating a store to sell supplies to the miners, but in the end, financial losses led him to sell the land and move away. Late in life, living in Pennsylvania, he sought compensation from the US Government for helping colonize the state of California, but died before Congress could act.

For more information...

Welcome to Sutter Creek, California-History
The official site of the present day town of Sutter Creek, California. Includes an extensive history of the area from earliest explorers through the Gold Rush, and up until the present.

The Gold Rush
Associated with the PBS program on the Gold Rush, this is an excellent site with great information about California Gold Rush, including the early discovery at Sutter's Creek.

American Experience: The Gold Rush
A PBS Sponsored site associated with their American Experience series on the Gold Rush

Gold Rush Sesquicentennial
Another outstanding site on the Gold Rush. Information on John Sutter, Sutter's Ford, immigration influenced by the Gold Rush, maps of the Gold Rush area, and lots of content and photographs.