Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sacramento Journal: Sutter's Landing Park

Sutter's Landing Park (watercolor by Hallie Cohen)
John Sutter bought the area known as Sutter’s Fort from the Mexicans in 1841--seven years prior to the Gold Rush. It stands at the intersection of the American and Sacramento Rivers. The waters all descend from the Sierra Nevada where Lake Tahoe continues to be a central attraction for skiers and winter vacationers. It’s still a bucolic spot on whose banks families picnic on sunny afternoons. Now Sutter’s Landing Skate Park occupies a huge tin hanger only steps from the river, with the crashing sound of boarders performing daredevil feats drowning out the sound of the gently flowing waters nearby. A few feet away are bocce ball courts and the Two Rivers Trail. It’s an iconic image of California life, in which the only constant is change and, historically, legions of new settlers transformed the landscape overnight. John Sutter’s fortunes fell precisely at the moment when gold was discovered on his property and it was, in fact, his son, John Augustus Sutter Jr., not John himself, who would found a town named after the Sacramento River. 

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