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Sutters Fort Offers Hands On History
sutter fort

Continuing a popular series of fun and interactive “Hands on History” activities offered each month, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park and Friends of Sutter’s Fort will present “Hands on History: Frontier Medicine – Sacramento’s First Hospital” event on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fort visitors will be delighted to see the recently completed restoration of the historic exterior walls, gates and blacksmith shop plus have the opportunity to step back in time to the 1840s to learn more about intriguing frontier medicine. John Sutter used a medical book and a series of doctors to administer medical care. He also provided hospital facilities at the Fort for the citizens of his New Helvetia settlement and the thousands of Native Americans working on his land and living throughout the Valley.

Fort guests will be treated to demonstrations provided by several physicians and a midwife showing many aspects of 19th century medicine, including dentistry and homeopathic cures. A special guest will deliver interesting presentations about Gold Rush-era medicine at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. that will include intriguing artifacts on display such as an amputation kit circa 1870, bleeding and cupping implements, tooth extractors, ether mask, wooden splints, early medications and more. Demonstrations of black powder weaponry in action will take place, including the crowd-favorite firing of Sutter’s cannon at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

All “Hands on History” activities are included in the cost of admission. Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park admission costs are as follows: $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and free for children 5 and under. For more information, call 916-445-4422 or visit