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Sutters Fort
Sacramento, California

Swiss-born John Sutter established a huge rancho and associated enterprises in the Sacramento Valley during the Mexican period of California history. His headquarters was in what is now Sacramento, on high ground east of the modern city center. Enclosed within high adobe walls and armed with cannons purchased from the Russian colony at Fort Ross, it became known as Sutters Fort.

The Gold Rush ruined Sutter, his empire over-run by squatters, and the fort fell into disrepair. The two story main building was the only one to survive until restoration began in the 1890's. Now it is a state historical park and museum.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park
Wikipedia: Sutter's Fort

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Outer wall of Sutters Fort

Outer wall of Sutters Fort

Sutter's Fort certainly looks fortress-like, with its high wall at the top of a slight hill above L Street. There are carronades on either side of the south-facing gateway.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, Sacramento, California

Date photographed: May 11, 2016

Interpreters and  covered wagon

Interpreters and covered wagon

Tall lightweight wagons with big wheels like this were used by the pioneers to cross the continent from Missouri to California. Sutter's Fort welcomed (and rescued) many of the early pioneer parties.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, Sacramento, California

Date photographed: May 11, 2016

East Yard at Sutter's Fort

East Yard at Sutter's Fort

Sutter's Fort is now entered through a gate in the east wall. The East Yard contains a beehive oven and costumed interpreters.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, Sacramento, California

Date photographed: May 11, 2016

Interior of the Central Building at Sutter's Fort

Interior of the Central Building at Sutter's Fort

The Central Building is the only remaining original part of Sutter's Fort. It has simple rooms with small windows through thick adobe walls on the second floor.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, Sacramento, California

Date photographed: May 11, 2016

West Yard at Sutter's Fort

West Yard at Sutter's Fort

The West Yard at Sutter's Fort contains a well and is surrounded by simple workshops and storage buildings.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, Sacramento, California

Date photographed: May 11, 2016

South gate and Main Building at Sutter's Fort

South gate and Main Building at Sutter's Fort

The main gate is flanked by cannons on high platforms. The Main Building has storage on the ground level and an attic. It is built of adobe brick and is the only original part of the fort to survive.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, Sacramento, California

Date photographed: May 11, 2016

Trade store and workshops at Sutter's Fort

Trade store and workshops at Sutter's Fort

A recreated trade store and working carpentry and blacksmith shops in the West Yard at Sutter's Fort.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, Sacramento, California

Date photographed: May 11, 2016

Field howitzer at Sutter's Fort

Field howitzer at Sutter's Fort

A field howitzer, a small cannon that could be moved by a team of mules, in the West Yard. None of the cannons at Sutter's Fort were ever used as weapons.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, Sacramento, California

Date photographed: May 11, 2016

Carronades in the northwest bastion

Carronades in the northwest bastion

Two carronades (small cannons) in the northwest bastion, one removed from its carriage and the other suspended from a portable tripod gantry.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, Sacramento, California

Date photographed: May 11, 2016

Cannnons in the southeast bastion

Cannnons in the southeast bastion

Three carronades in the bastion - four would be needed to cover all directions including the side walls of the fort.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, Sacramento, California

Date photographed: May 11, 2016

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