Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation Newsletter


We need work project leaders to coordinate volunteers during work project.  Please contact Tim Murphy at 267-5392 or

**WORK PROJECT OPEN HOUSE: July 15th from 6 to 8pm at the School House**

July 25th 8am to 5pm

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Sutter Creek, CA 95685 
(209) 560-6880 

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Now that we've broken ground (and even stopped traffic) at the Miners' Bend Park on South Main the Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation is excited to move on to the second major phase of the Sutter Creek Grammar School Restoration. Most construction work at the Grammar School is limited to during summer break and we have a long to do list - NOW WE NEED YOUR HELP!

The restoration work on the 145 year old, Historic Sutter Creek Grammar School is well underway. The initial major improvements have been focused on the front entrance and first floor of the building. The bell tower has been repaired and repainted; the front stairs are currently being replaced by concrete stairs as existed from the mid-1920's through 1985; the front porch is being renovated and the south side entrance is being rebuilt. The $40,000 cost of these four major projects was funded entirely by local private and corporate donations.

Although impressive progress has been made, there is more to do before the building can be returned to active use by the community.

We plan on being able to reoccupy the first floor and part of the second floor by this fall.
In order to do so we have a lot of cleaning up and finish work to be done on the interior and exterior of the building. Many of you have asked how you can help (aside from financial contributions) and now is the time. We will be hosting a volunteer-open-house-sign-up-recruitment- day on July 15from 6 to 8pm at the school.   The event is intended to provide the interested public with a first hand look at our progress and remaining challenges, as well as to recruit volunteers to provide the funds and/or labor to finish the remaining cleanup and minor interior improvements (we have a job for everyone at any skill level).  The scheduled workday will be held on Saturday July 25 from 8am to 5pm with a BBQ to follow. 

The stated purpose of the restoration project is to return the building to public educational, service and recreational use. Many different proposed uses have been discussed including a Sutter Creek Museum. The museum is proposed to provide local residents with a centralized site to honor and celebrate our local mining, cultural and personal histories.

With your help and continued public support we can open up part of the Grammar School this Fall and enjoy this unique part of our local history for many years to come.

Thank you for your support of the Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation and the Historic Grammar School Restoration Project.  For those who wish to donate or volunteer, please contact Tim Murphy at 267-5392 or  

As you know the new city park located on the south end of Main Street has been officially named Miners' Bend Park.  Not only does this name have a ring to it, but it also has a historical significance.  Below is the design map for the "new" highway - this map is from the late 1920s. On the map the area of the Miners' Bend park and the apartments is in that area labeled "Camp Grounds, Central Eureka Mining Company."

On that same hill side is a spring that runs year round and back in the time of horses there was a watering trough in this area to water the horses before they headed up the hill.  Please see the History Corner section below for more historical information on the area across from Miners' Bend Park.

As a progress update on the Park, foundations were poured last week to support the historic stamp mill and compressor that will be displayed in the park.  For those who wish to donate or volunteer please contact Frank Cunha at 3049192 or

Sutter Creek History Corner - "The Amador War"
In 1871, miners at the Oneida, Amador and Keystone
mines went on strike against the Amador Mining Co. The
strikers forcibly removed the company's engineers from
their jobs. One engineer was shot in the confusion. The
miners demanded better pay, better hours, safer working
conditions and the removal of all Chinese miners, whom
they viewed as undercutting the labor force. The president
of the company, Gen. David Colton, successfully
lobbied the California state militia to march on Sutter
Creek. The militia stayed near Colton's house on a section
of land that came to be known as "Camp Colton."

Camp Colton was located on Old 49 across from Miners' Bend Park on the knoll between the highway and Skunk Hollow was a California Militia Camp known as Camp Colton.  The knoll is in the foreground of the photo from 1891.  You can see the gash in top of the knoll and the remains of a mining operation.

The militia helped to resolved the dispute peacefully and the only demand that was meet by the mining company was the removal of the Chinese miners.

Information provided by Ed Arata and Sierra Lodestar article on November 11, 2012


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