Built in 1873 at the height of the Gold Rush’s second wave, Sutter Creek’s Knight Foundry was one of the nation’s first hydroelectric foundries. Today it’s the last of its kind. (Photo: Jackie Burrell/Bay Area News Group)
SUTTER CREEK — Long narrow belts whir across the ceiling of the cavernous structure, the sound buzzing, thrumming and reverberating through the warm, dusty air. You may not see the rush of water powering this 19th-century hydroelectric foundry, but there’s no mistaking the effect as giant wheels, gears, lathes and planers glide into motion. Sutter Creek’s Knight Foundry is the last of its kind — and for Gold Rush history buffs, it’s absolute catnip.
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