Restoration and Preservation Efforts
The Friends of Sutter’s Fort is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the restoration, educational and interpretive programs at Sutter's Fort State Historic Park. One of our priorities is funding critical restoration projects.
In the past 3 years, Friends of Sutter's Fort has provided over $800,000 in restoration funding to support the following:
- Rebuilding the Carpenter's Ramada
- Painting of the Exterior of the Fort
- Restoration of the Blacksmith Shop
In August of 2017, work will begin on the painting of the Interior Walls of the Fort- another project that we are proud to be funding.
Please help us continue funding critical restoration and preservation projects at Sutter's Fort by making a donation today.
Detailed information about Restoration and Preservation Projects Supported by Friends of Sutter's Fort
Renovation and Restoration of the Blacksmith Shop
Through a generous donation from our friends at the Sacramento Pioneer Association, the Blacksmith Shop at Sutter's Fort was restored in Spring of 2017. This is the first restoration of the Blacksmith shop since 1890! As one of the most popular rooms in the Fort, this $26,000 restoration is very exciting.
In the News
Carpenter's Ramada Restoration
June 25, 2016
A tremendous THANK YOU to the Sacramento Area Woodworkers (SAW), Sutter's Fort docents, and California State Parks staff for the rapid rebuild of the Carpenter's Ramada! Destroyed in this winter's storms, it took a team effort to get it back up and looking great by the end of June.
The Sacramento Area Woodworkers are a talented group who very generously donated their time, knowledge and skills, braved the heat and made quick work of the project - everyone at the Fort appreciates you!
Special thank you to Steve Prey for lots of pre-work on the scope and design, project planning, recruiting the Sacramento Area Woodworkers and his day-of efforts. Thank you to Judy Prey for the beautiful pictures!
As always, the Sutter's Fort docents who came to lend support to the project were much appreciated.
Tim White, Lane Jorgensen, Juan Nunez and Juan Villa from California State Parks's maintenance team, handled a huge amount of prep and on-site work and without their skills and hard work, the day would not have gone so smoothly. Thank you to Tim Gellinck, Parks Maintenance Chief, for procuring the wood and supplies as well as moving the project forward.
For a fun overview - see the build in quick time: FOSF YouTube Channel
There are always many hands involved in these projects - too many to list. We are making such huge strides on our Restoration and more is to come!
Painting of the Exterior Walls
December 15, 2015
California State Parks and the Friends of Sutter’s Fort are proud to announce Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is fully open to the public after the completion of major restoration efforts on the exterior walls, gates and pathways. While additional restoration projects will continue at the Fort in phases, the recently completed restoration efforts represent the most significant since a major reconstruction effort in the 1890s. The completed restoration projects include the following: restoration of the historic exterior walls; repair or replacement of the east and south gates; upgrades to various pathways in and around the Fort, and seismic stabilization of the historic central building. Led by California State Parks, the work was coordinated by State Park’s Northern Service Center. The next restoration efforts will include restoration of the interior walls; rehabilitation of the blacksmith and candle making exhibit rooms; and installation of concealed outdoor lighting for the interior courtyards.
All of these important restoration projects have been made possible through a successful combination of public funds and private donations with the support of California State Parks, Friends of Sutter’s Fort and private donors. For information about the Friends of Sutter's Fort, the 501c3 supporting Sutter's Fort SHP, please call 916-323-7626.
Grading and Drainage at the Fort
September 9. 2015
The grading and drainage project is done on the west side of the Fort, and the exhibit rooms and store are open again. Come walk on the new pathways and you will see a huge difference; we are thrilled that those with mobility challenges will be able to move through the Fort much more easily! The work has moved to the east side and moving quickly, trenches are being dug and forms placed.
6/15/2015: Sutter’s Fort to Undergo Most Extensive Restoration Since the 1890s
Exciting Rehabilitation Efforts Made Possible Through
Successful Public & Private Partnerships
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California State Parks and the Friends of Sutter’s Fort are proud to announce a number of major restoration projects for Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) that, in total, represent the most extensive restorations at the Fort since a major reconstruction effort in the 1890s. While some of the Fort upgrades have already begun, the overall scope of the current restoration project includes the following: restoration of the Fort’s historic exterior wall; repair or replacement of the east and south gates; seismic stabilization of the historic Central Building; upgrades to various pathways in and around the Fort; and installation of outdoor lighting for the interior courtyards. Led by California State Parks, the work is scheduled to occur in phases with most of the work being coordinated by the State Parks Northern Service Center. Most of these exciting restoration projects are expected to be completed in 2015 with even more rehabilitation developments in the works for 2016.
These important restoration projects are made possible through a successful combination of public funds and private donations with the support of California State Parks, Friends of Sutter’s Fort and private donors. In fact, after being impressed with and motivated by the major roof rehabilitation project that was completed on the Central Building in 2013, Fair Oaks resident and involved community member Ron Leineke pledged to donate needed funds to the Friends of Sutter’s Fort (the non-profit foundation that raises funds for Sutter’s Fort SHP) to restore the historic walls and gates at the Fort.
Rebuilt for the first time in the 1890s (to replace the adobe structure with more sturdy brick) then resurfaced in the 1950s (after damaging vines were removed), the iconic exterior walls of the Fort are once again in dire need of restoration to preserve the historic masonry. The current restoration project will include repointing mortar, repairing cracks and applying fresh “breathable” paint to protect the surface.
East & South Gates
Recently completed, much-needed restoration of the historic gates was concluded in late 2014. The rehabilitation work included the replacement of the east gates and the repair of the south gates to the Fort. As background, the east gate was previously rebuilt in 1956 and the south gate in 1991. As part of this current restoration process for the historic east gate, “new” redwood was used (repurposed from a previous State Parks project) and the aging hardware for both gates was refurbished and reinstalled in good working order.
Seismic Stabilization of the Central Building
Seismic stabilization of the historic Central Building will provide much needed support and stiffen the structure in the case of a seismic event. The Central Building is the only lasting original structure in the Fort that dates back to John Sutter’s time.
As part of the restoration efforts happening at the Fort in the summer of 2015, various pathways in and around the Fort – including the exterior pathway from the east gate to the bus stop -- will be addressed. New grading, enhanced drainage and resurfacing will a more solid surface for greater ease and accessibility that will not wash away during heavy storms.
Additionally, specially-designed outdoor event lighting will be installed in 2016 to the Fort’s interior courtyards to enhance the safety and festive atmosphere for guests during increasingly popular evening events.
While the public will be able to visit the Fort as usual for most of 2015 – and be able to see glimpses of the important restoration progress underway -- the work will require the Fort to be closed to the public for 30 days beginning July 13, 2015, to maximize guest safety and project efficiency (note the dates could slide a few days earlier or later if needed)*. Additionally, rehabilitation work will continue through November and possibly into December. To find out if there will be any impacts during planned visits to the Fort, please call 916-445-4422.
How can you help?