This self-proclaimed "Nicest Little Town in the Mother Lode" along Highway 49, named for Gold Rush pioneer John Sutter, features plenty of Gold Rush history and charming shops and four bed and breakfast inns. Considered the best-preserved town in the Mother Lode, many of its buildings were built or remodeled in the 1890s when the region enjoyed a lode mining boom. In 1990 the population was 1,835. Central Sutter Creek, only five blocks long and two blocks wide, is an excellent town for walking. Stroll down Spanish Street and you'll find the largest magnolia tree in California.

The Central Eureka Mine, marked by piles of tailings at the south end of Sutter Creek, closed in 1958. Production exceeded $34 million, an amount exceeded only by the North Star in Nevada City. Leland Stanford, better known as founder of Stanford University, Governor of California and one of the Big Four who helped build the trans-continental railroad in the 1860s, made his fortune from his investment in the Lincoln Mine just north of Sutter Creek. Historic structures include the Masonic and I.O.O.F. halls, built in 1865, the stone Brignole building (1859) and the Bellotti Inn, built in 1860.

The nearby Sutter Gold Mining Company features underground tours.

The Knight Foundry (81 Eureka Street) is the last water-powered foundry and machine shop in the world. It has been in continuous operation since 1873, when quartz mining started here. The foundry designed and produced water wheels and other machinery for stamp mills in the West. An original 42-inch water wheel still runs the foundry's machinery. The foundry has been designated an historical landmark.

Sutter Creek has its own website. Great resources and goodies here!

Here's an aerial view of downtown Sutter Creek.
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