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Coordinates: 38°23′35″N 120°48′09″W / 38.39306°N 120.8025°W / 38.39306; -120.8025

City of Sutter Creek
—  City  —
A view of Main Street (Old Highway 49) in Sutter Creek.
Nickname(s): Jewel of the gold country
Coordinates: 38°23′35″N 120°48′09″W / 38.39306°N 120.8025°W / 38.39306; -120.8025
Country United States
State California
County Amador
Settled 1848
Incorporated September, 1854
 - Mayor Tim Murphy
 - Mayor ProTem Bill Hepworth
 - State Senate Dave Cox (R)
 - State Assembly Alyson Huber (D)
 - U. S. Congress Dan Lungren (R)
 - Total 1.7 sq mi (4.3 km2)
 - Land 1.7 sq mi (4.3 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation [1] 1,188 ft (362 m)
Population (2007)[2]
 - Total 2,945
 - Density 1,732.4/sq mi (684.9/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 95685
Area code(s) 209
FIPS code 06-77392
GNIS feature ID 0277620

Sutter Creek (formerly spelled Sutter's Creek and Suttercreek;[3] formerly named Suttersville)[4] is a city in Amador County, California, United States. The population was 2,303 at the 2000 census. It is accessible via State Route 49.



Sutter Creek in 1853

Sutter Creek, known as the "Jewel of the Mother Lode," was named after John Sutter, who sent a party to the area in 1846 in search of timber. Sutter logged this area for a while before returning to his fort in Sacramento.

Sutter's discovery of gold at nearby Coloma in January 1848 triggered the California Gold Rush. After all his workers left him to go on their own hunt for gold, Sutter moved to Mormon Island with a couple of hands. After about 2 weeks miners flooded the island so Sutter and his hands left and once again went to Sutter Creek. Sutter said that, "I broke up the camp and started on the march further south, and located my next camp on Sutter Creek, now in Amador County, and thought that I should be there alone. The work was going on well for a while, until three or four traveling grog-shops surrounded me, at from one-half to ten miles (16 km) distance from the camp. Then, of course, the gold was taken to these places, for drinking, gambling, etc., and then the following day they were sick and unable to work, and became deeper and more indebted to me, particularly the Kanakas." Shortly thereafter Sutter moved out of Sutter Creek and back to his fort.[5]

Sutter Creek became a destination for fortune hunters and became a town in 1854. A post office was established in 1852.[4] Sutter Creek incorporated in 1913.[4]

Although plenty of placer gold was found there, gold bearing quartz deposits were discovered in 1851 and mining those deposits for gold became the mainstay of the local economy for many years. With the prosperity brought by quartz mining, Sutter Creek became a boom town. By 1932 the Central Eureka mine, begun in 1869, had reached the 2,300-foot (700 m) level. By 1939, it was the best-paying mine in Sutter Creek. The mines continued operations until 1942 when most gold mines were closed for manpower reasons during World War II. The Central Eureka mine re-opened after the war and then shut down for good in 1951.

Today, Sutter Creek is a tourist town with many shops and restaurants. The town itself is registered as California Historical Landmark #322. Many of the original brick buildings are still standing, as are some of the mansions built by wealthier residents. Leland Stanford was one of Sutter Creek's most famous residents.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.3 km²), all of it land.


Old Route 49

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 2,303 people, 1,025 households, and 658 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,377.3 people per square mile (532.5/km²). There were 1,106 housing units at an average density of 661.4/sq mi (255.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.45% White, 0.22% African American, 1.30% Native American, 1.04% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 2.13% from other races, and 3.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.82% of the population.

Of the 1,025 households 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.2% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.79.

23.2% of residents were under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 20.3% from 25 to 44, 28.1% from 45 to 64, and 22.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 83.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $47,000, and the median income for a family was $55,795. Males had a median income of $46,563 versus $30,188 for females. The per capita income was $23,100. About 4.9% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.5% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.


Sutter Creek Auditorium & City Hall also houses the Police Department.

In the state legislature Sutter Creek is located in the 1st Senate District, represented by Republican Dave Cox, and in the 10th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Alyson Huber. Federally, Sutter Creek is located in California's 3rd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +7[7] and is represented by Republican Dan Lungren.


Sutter Creek has two buildings on the National Register of Historic Places

Points of interest

  • Sutter Gold Mine
  • Sutter Creek Ice Cream Emporium
  • Hanford House Inn B+B
  • Chatter Box Cafe
  • Sutter Creek Theatre
  • Chaos Glassworks

In popular culture

High schools

Amador County is home to two high schools: Argonaut High School in Jackson, California and Amador High School in Sutter Creek. These two high schools are part of one of the longest running rivalries in the state. Both high schools are very small and compete in Divisions IV and V in the San Joaquin District.


  • Gianpaolo Zeni, En Merica! L'emigrazione della gente di Magasa e Valvestino in America, Cooperativa Il Chiese, Storo 2005.


  1. ^ "USGS—Sutter Creek, California". Retrieved 2007-05-24.  
  2. ^ "E-4 Population Estimates for Cities, Counties and the State, 2001-2007, with 2000 Benchmark. Sacramento, California, May 2007". State of California, Department of Finance. Retrieved 2007-05-07.  
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Sutter Creek, California
  4. ^ a b c Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Quill Driver Books. p. 565. ISBN 9781884995149.  
  5. ^ Mason, J.D. (1881). History of Amador County, California.. Oakland, California: Thompson & West. ISBN 0-938121-07-3.  
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  7. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2007-10-20.  

External links



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