Continuing a popular series of interactive and fun “Hands on History” activities happening on the third Saturday each month, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park and Friends of Sutter’s Fort will present a special “Hands on History: War in California” event on Saturday, June 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As part of this special event, Fort visitors will take a step back in time to 1846 when Mexican California was in a continuous state of political unrest and threats from foreign powers were a constant menace. During that time in history, the English Navy was anxious to have a good seaport on the Pacific Coast and kept warships in the area, French emissaries had approached John Sutter for an alliance, and President James Polk was supporting the concept of “manifest destiny” and the dream that the U.S. would extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The conflict and confrontations reached a climax in mid-June when Americans and other foreign nationals revolted against the California Mexican government.
At the exciting and interactive “Hands on History” event, Fort visitors can, take photographs in a covered wagon, view classic firearms that range from pocket derringers to a 40-pound musket, make rope, learn how to tie knots used by sailors (and find out why there were sailors in Sutter’s Fort in the first place), sit and work a real loom in the Fort Loom Room, learn how to stamp leather, make a keepsake souvenir fob, and watch black powder weaponry in action – including the crowd-favorite firing of Sutter’s cannon. Guests will see a display items such as 19th century coins, replica maps and historical documents on special display. They will also hear debates about which alliance Sutter and the Fort should take in the conflict, find out which flags may have flown over the Fort, learn how the Bear Flag was designed and what each symbol represents, see a replica of the original Bear Flag and a copy Proclamation of Independence declaring the Bear Flag Republic.
Admission to this special “Hands on History: War in California” event at Sutter’s Fort State Historical Park is $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6 to 17) and is free for children 5 and under (regular admission pricing is $5 per adult, $3 for youth). For more, call 916-445-4422 or visit www.suttersfort.org.