World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Sutter's Mill

Sutter's Mill
Sutter's Mill in 1850
Official name: Gold discovery site
Designated March 7, 1955[1]
Reference no. 530
Modern reconstruction.

Sutter's Mill was a sawmill owned by 19th-century pioneer John Sutter in partnership with James W. Marshall. 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.


  • History 1
  • Location 2
  • In popular culture 3
  • Smithsonian 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


On January 24, 1848, Marshall found several flakes of gold 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 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 also 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.

See also


  1. ^ "Gold discovery site". California State Parks Offie of Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  2. ^ "Gold Nugget". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  3. ^ "California Gold An Authentic History of the First Find With the Names of Those Interested in the Discovery". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  4. ^ "The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith".  
  5. ^ William G. Hartley (September 1997). "On the Trail in September".  
  6. ^ "Sutter’s Mill Site". Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  7. ^ "Sutter's Mill by Dan Fogelberg".  

External links

  • Discovery of Gold, by John A. Sutter, Hutchings’ California Magazine, November 1857. Sutter describes how he wanted a sawmill near the Sacramento and how Marshall told him of the gold.
  • Early photographs, illustrations, and textual references to Sutter's Mill, via Calisphere, California Digital Library.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.