Continuing a series of fun and interactive “Hands on History” activities offered each month, Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) and Friends of Sutter’s Fort are proud to present a special “Hands on History: The Donner Party and Westward Migration” event on Saturday, November 18, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fort visitors will be delighted to see the recently completed restoration of the historic walls, gates, blacksmith shop and current restoration of the interior walls plus have the opportunity to step back in time to learn more about the Donner Party and western migration in general.

Early in California’s history, wagon travel across the Sierra Nevada was a dangerous proposition and more than 80 emigrants became trapped in the Sierra snows during the winter of 1846-47. The group is now known as the Donner Party, but they were actually many different families and individuals. Sutter’s Fort was their destination and became their only hope of survival. As part of the next “Hands on History” event, Sutter’s Fort guests will have the opportunity to learn fascinating details and gain an interesting understanding about the arduous journey. Fort visitors will also be able to pack a wagon, write in their journals with a quill pen, make a corn husk or rag doll, create their own pioneer souvenir item to take home and play pioneer games such as grace and bean bag toss. In addition, interested Fort visitors are encouraged to bring a camera or use a smartphone to take memorable photos while seated in the covered wagon (which might also work as a unique holiday card this season).

The special “Hands on History” event costs $7 per adult, $5 per youth (ages 6-17) and is free for children five years and under. For more information about this special event or Sutter’s Fort SHP in general, please call 916-445-4422 or visit

Subscribe to California State Parks News via e-mail at or via RSS feed.

California State Parks Mission
To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.

Friends of Sutter’s Fort
The Friends of Sutter’s Fort is a nonprofit 501 c 3 organization dedicated to the enhancement, preservation and protection of Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park, and educational and interpretive programs at the park. Friends of Sutter’s Fort is a Cooperating Association for California State Parks since 2006. Friends of Sutter’s Fort is the major funder of both restoration work and programs at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. Through the generosity of our donors, in the past 3 years alone, we have funded several major projects including the painting of the exterior walls, the restoration of the blacksmith shop and the painting of the interior walls (currently underway). In addition, we are proud to provide funding to support the educational programs at the park. For more information, please visit

Social Media Tags: #SuttersFort, @SuttersFort

Sutter''s Fort SHP

Event Dates