As part of a special and continuing interactive program happening on the third Saturday of each month, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park will present a special Hands on History: Trappers, Trades and Treaties event on Jan. 18.
Visitors to the Fort will step back in time to the 1840s to learn why trappers were considered “jacks of many trades” and experience how they lived, worked, explored new territory and traded with local Native Americans. Fort visitors will see, handle and hear about many items that were commonplace in the middle of the 19th century but seem strange now.
Guests will also learn about many fascinating aspects in the life of a trapper, see examples of game traps and how they work, plus learn about the important “barter process” Sutter used to hunt and trap on Native lands. Fort visitors will have the opportunity to examine fur pelts, create souvenir documents with a quill pen and oak gall ink, string trade beads and watch how flint and steel can be used to start a fire.
As an event highlight, an original oil painting of Sutter’s Fort — titled “Welcome” — will be unveiled that was created by local historian and artist Mark Davidson.
Hundreds of hours of research went into creating an accurate depiction of the Fort (and daily life) before the Gold Rush. To provide insight, two special presentations will be offered that day by Davidson and Steve Beck, History and Education Programming Lead at Sutter’s Fort, about the painting, its nuances and the research that went into its creation.
Hands on History: Trappers, Trades and Treaties will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18, with special presentations and 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., cannon firing demonstrations at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. and musket demonstrations periodically throughout the day.
Cost is $7 per adult, $5 per youth (ages 6-17), free for children 5 years and younger. Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is located at 2701 L St., Sacramento For more information call (916) 445-4422 or visit suttersfort.org.
About Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is operated by California State Parks with financial assistance from the nonprofit Friends of Sutter’s Fort. Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located in midtown Sacramento on L Street between 26th and 28th Streets, the fort offers monthly “Hands on History” activities and special events throughout the year. Established in 1839 by Swiss immigrant John Augustus Sutter, Sutter’s Fort was at the center of a flourishing agricultural empire named New Helvetia (New Switzerland.) This empire established Sacramento’s earliest settlement and the first European settlement in California’s Central Valley.