The History of Sutter Park

Sutter Park is nestled in the heart of East Sacramento and was named after Sutter Township that was established in the 1800’s. The community was built with a connecting string from past to present that is essential for every Sacramento citizen to know! Join us as we adventure into the history of Sutter Park.

Sutter’s Fort

John Sutter, a Swiss immigrant, received a land grant in the Sacramento Valley from the Mexican government in 1839. He set up a town and an agriculturally-rich empire named New Helvetia, meaning New Switzerland. Sutter Fort was then built to protect his agricultural dominance.  In 1849, gold was discovered by James Marshall who was working for Sutter as a carpenter. Within the decade, the town had been overrun by gold miners. Sutter’s workers joined the search  for gold leaving his fort unprotected and eventually it turned to ruins. All that remained of New Helvetia was the central structure, which can still be visited today.  

Sutter Township

From part of the land that John Sutter had received in the grant came Sutter Township. It was established as a town in the mid-1800’s and the area grew through farming, dairies, orchards, and nurseries using the surrounding agricultural land. Not only did it grow, but these establishments became some of the most productive in the region. One of these establishments was the Smith Pomological Gardens which is now known as River Park. Anthony Preston Smith purchased 50 acres from John Sutter and set up a nursery, garden, and orchard. Within a few years, he had a stock of over 15,000 plants.

Aerial shot of Sacramento agriculture

A Growing Town

Around 1910, the first residential developments began in Sutter Township. As the years passed, the town flourished with expansion of trolley lines, automobile ownership and the economic boom after World War I.  In 1937, Sutter Memorial Hospital was established on the very site Sutter Park residents call home. 

Sutter Park Today

As a tribute to the history of Sutter Township and East Sacramento, Sutter Park was designed to embody its spirit. A Camellia Bush that was adorned at the Sutter Memorial Hospital in 1937 has been replanted within our park as a memorial to the site’s history. The park is lush with trees and a rose garden in acknowledgement of the gardens that defined the area over 100 years ago.  

Are you ready to become a part of this land’s lush history? Contact us today to learn how with a home in beautiful Sutter Park.