Time Travel: Sutter’s Fort by Candlelight

Step into a special Living History tour that takes place after sundown.

Sutter's Fort

OBSERVING A LOCATION BY CANDLELIGHT... is something of a staple as the holidays grow close. Candles, after all, are common objects in many of our oft-told Christmas tales, and the flicker and glow invokes a coziness that's synonymous with the season. But often the candles in question are lighting an area that was built after the invention of electricity, so the small flames provide more of an elegant enhancement to the scene, rather than any sense of actual reality or history. But journey to a place like Sutter's Fort State Historic Park in Sacramento for a Candlelight Tour and you know you are in a place that, at one time, relied solely upon wax and wick to illuminate the time from sundown to sunrise. Candlelight Tours aren't every night at the storied site, a site very much associated with some of California's beginnings as well as the Gold Rush and the Donner Party, too. It's difficult to discuss the Golden State of those gold-focused times, or any time around the middle of the 1800s, without Sutter's Fort arising in the conversation. So seeing how people lived, especially after the moon rose at night and darkness settled over the low, thick-walled buildings, is seeing into a vital part of our state's past. Ready to pack your wagon and clip-clop back to the after-sundown Sacramento of 1846? Then be at the fort on...

SATURDAY, NOV. 21: There are a number of Candlelight Tours between 6:30 in the evening and 8 o'clock, and visitors should expect to find "all modern lights turned off." You'll be able to "eavesdrop" on characters inhabiting the fort circa 1846, and find out what a ye olde evening looked like, and how an evening felt, over a century and a half back. To finish it off? Pie and a "hot beverage" to take the chill off. If you can't be in Sacramento for the night but still want to seem some historic-style dress and tale-telling, there are a number of happenings during the day on Saturday, Nov. 21. Should you wear your bonnet? Or your leather britches or boots? No need, really. We're not in the rugged days of yore, where pans and picks and pioneers ruled, but we can slip through the space-time continuum for a night, and slip back out again, richer for the experience.

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