By: Douglas Love, Grand Historian
Tucked in the golden foothills of the Mother Lode is a jewel of a town. As a matter of fact, it is known as “The Jewel of The Mother Lode” and it is Sutter Creek. Sutter Creek was founded by John Sutter in 1846 as a lumber camp. The lumbering in the area went well until the discovery of gold in 1848. By 1849, Sutter’s lumber camp had been overrun by gold seekers and Sutter returned to his fort on the American River.
By 1852, “Sutter’s Creek” had a post office and was attracting hundreds of gold seekers. While there was placer mining in the area, hard rock gold mining quickly became the town’s economic mainstay. The largest of the mines, the Central Eureka Mine was in operation from 1852, as the Old Eureka and Summit Mines to1942 and again from 1946 until 1951. During the course of its history, the Central Eureka produced $36,000,000 worth of gold and silver. Sutter Creek became a town in 1856 and incorporated as a city in 1913. After the mine closed in 1951, many of the residents moved on looking for work.