War the topic at next Hands on History

By June 04, 2017

Continuing a popular series of interactive and fun Hands on History activities each month, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park will present a special Hands on History: War in California event on Saturday, June 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fort visitors will be delighted to see the recently completed restoration of the historic walls, gates and blacksmith shop plus have the opportunity to step back in time to the 1840s to a time when Mexican California was in a continuous state of political unrest and threats from foreign powers were a constant menace. As background, at that time the English Navy was anxious to have a good seaport on the Pacific Coast and kept warships in the area; French emissaries had approached John Sutter for an alliance; United State President James Polk was supporting the concept of “Manifest destiny” and the dream that the U.S. would extend from the Atlantic to Pacific Oceans. The turmoil reached an apex in June of 1846, when as many as five flags may have had a turn flying over Sutter’s Fort.

At the special Hands on History event, guests will see a display of fort artifacts such as 19th century coins, maps and historical documents. Plus, visitors will hear debates about which alliance Sutter and the fort should take in the conflict and find out which five flags may have flown over the fort. During this exciting day, interested fort guests will also be treated to a series of special presentations in the on-site distillery, including:

  • At 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. local historian Mark Davidson will speak about California and the Civil War
  • At 3:15 p.m. History Program Lead Steve Beck will give a compelling talk on The California Revolt of 1845: John Sutter’s War.

Fort visitors can also participate in history-themed scavenger hunts and watch black powder weaponry in action including the crowd-favorite firing of Sutter’s cannon. All Hands on History activities are included in the cost of admission. Sutter’s Fort SHP admission costs are as follows: $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and free for children 5 and younger. For more information call 916-445-4422 or visit suttersfort.org.

Traci Rockefeller Cusack


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