Amador Canal was constructed as a 24-mile long mining ditch from 1870 to 1874.Amador Ledger Dispatch article by Deborah Cook on April 9 (updated April 27), 2017.

“Sutter Creek is home to many historic treasures, but none so unique as Knight Foundry. This engineering marvel was the product of the dreams and imagination of Samuel Newman Knight, a native of Maine, who came to California in 1862. Before purchasing the business in 1875, Knight worked for owners Horace Campbell and David Hall. Over the next several decades, he would, in partnership with A.C. Kinloch and George W. Horn, expand and improve the business. It would become recognized as one of the premier foundry operations in California. This would not have been possible without the ingenuity of Samuel Knight and the building of the Amador Canal. Prior to the construction of the Amador Canal, Knight Foundry may have used steam power for a time, but otherwise relied on the fluctuating seasonal water flow in Sutter Creek. Water wheels used to drive machinery could only operate at full power when water levels were high. With the building of the Amador Canal, Knight was provided all the water power he needed to keep his operation moving at full speed.”

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