Sutter Creek

John A. Sutter arrived here in 1848 after the massive rush of gold seekers destroyed land near his initial discovery at Coloma. Using Kanaka (Hawaiian) and Indian labor, he began to mine gold along the creek, and soon a small camp grew up around a cloth tent where miners would gather when they couldn't travel to Drytown or Jackson. The camp soon took Sutter's name, being known as Sutter's Creek, Sutter, Sutterville, and finally just Sutter Creek. However, miners didn't take kindly to Sutter using others' labor to recover gold for him, and he finally left for Sutter's Fort, never to return.

By 1850 placer mining gave out at Sutter Creek, and it seemed that the camp would disappear. The next year, rich quartz deposits were uncovered and the town quickly grew as a center for not only quartz mining, but also foundries and as a supply center for the surrounding area. By the end of 1851, two quartz mills had been completed and placed into operation; this number soon climbed to ten. The early years were plagued by frequent cave-ins and other accidents, due to quartz mining still being in its infancy, but the mining continued anyway. By 1852, every kind of business could be found in Sutter Creek, and in 1854 the town of at least 200 was able to incorporate.

Sutter Creek continued to boom, despite a number of devastating fires that struck. The most productive mine, the Central Eureka, was located in 1869, and by the 1880s the population of Sutter Creek well exceeded 1000. Mining operations continued until 1942, when it finally ceased due to World War II. In the years since, Sutter Creek has continued to hold on as a small city of 2500. Tourism plays a big part of the local economy, and the town is a popular spot for travelers along Highway 49.

I Visited Sutter Creek

See Also
Amador City