Sutter Creek History

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The Northern Sierra Miwok who originally called this area their home were gatherers. A great part of their sustenance came from acorns and other seeds. Just east of Sutter Creek you can visit the Indian Grinding Rock State Park. The Park with the largest collection of mortar holes in North America, also features a number of Petroglyphs.

The town derives it's name Sutter Creek after John Sutter. Sutter as early as 1844, had in pursuit of timber, established whipsawing pits and an outdoor manufacturing business named Pine Woods. It was this area near the creek, which runs behind City Hall, that became the site of new and permanent settlement. It is told the settlement started because of a single tent raised there for miners to use on rainy Sundays when they could not get to Jackson or Drytown. Sutter Creek truly established itself permanently when Gold quartz was discovered in 1851 and the became a major supply center.

MuseumSutter Creek's rich history includes many famous names like Sutter himself, but the story is in complete without mentioning two names, first, Hetty Green the one time richest woman in the world and owner of the Old Eureka Mine, who's tailings are all that remain for tourists to see today. Second, Leland Stanford for whom the distinguished university is named. Stanford, received stake in the Sutter Creek's Union Mine, (later renamed the Lincoln), for payment of a debt. After many discouraging failures at the mine, and almost ready to call it quits the Lincoln Mine hit the proverbial "Mother Lode". With unlimited finances behind him Stanford became a Railroad baron, a U. S Senator and finally Governor of California.

Among other notable historic landmarks like Knight Foundry and the nearby Kennedy Mine, visitors should take some time to enjoy the historic wine country surrounding Sutter Creek. Wine production in the area dates back one hundred fifty years, when pioneers seeking their fortunes in gold found the ideal climate for growing wine grapes. Today Amador County boasts twenty-two wineries and is famous for its red Zinfandels.


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