Sutter's Mill

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Sutter's Mill
Sutters Mill.jpg
Sutter's Mill in 1850
Official name: Gold discovery site
Designated March 7, 1955[1]
Reference no. 530
File:Sutter's Mill (2).JPG
Modern reconstruction

Sutter's Mill was a sawmill owned by 19th-century pioneer John Sutter. It was located in Coloma, California, at the bank of the South Fork American River. Sutter's Mill is most famous for its association with the California Gold Rush.


On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall found several flakes of gold and told Sutter. The news got out and that began the transformation of the territory to a bustling center of activity.[2] On February 2, 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in Mexico City which transferred the American Southwest to the United States. During the next seven years, approximately 300,000 people came to California (half by land and half by sea) to seek their fortunes from either mining for gold or selling supplies like picks and shovels to the gold prospectors.

Henry Bigler[3] and Azariah Smith,[4] wrote about their experience in their respective recollection or diary. Like several other people working at the mill, these two workers were discharged veterans of the Mormon Battalion.[5] After this discovery at the mill, the "gold rush" era began and many people came from the east to find fortune. The era helped to transform people like Levi Strauss and Luzena Wilson.


The site of the mill is located on the South Fork American River. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is registered as California Historical Landmark #530.[6] The current Sutter's Mill is a replica of the original building. It was built using Marshall's own drawings and an early day photo as reference for the recreation of the mill.

In popular culture

The mill was the namesake and inspiration for a song by singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg.[7] The mill was also the namesake for a song by the New Riders of the Purple Sage, and for Herb Sutter's blog.


The original flake of gold discovered at the mill is currently at the Smithsonian Institution.[8]

See also


  1. "Gold discovery site". California State Parks Offie of Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2014-08-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Gold Nugget". Retrieved 2010-04-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "California Gold An Authentic History of the First Find With the Names of Those Interested in the Discovery". Retrieved 2010-04-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith". BYU. Retrieved 2010-04-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. William G. Hartley (September 1997). "On the Trail in September". Ensign. LDS Church: 40–41. Retrieved 2010-05-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Sutter's Mill Site". Retrieved 2010-04-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Sutter's Mill by Dan Fogelberg". Retrieved 2010-04-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "First gold found at Sutter's Mill, California, 1848". Retrieved December 15, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.