Peninsula Swiss Club Fort Sutter, Sacramento

Reported by Alain Gyge

As the 29 adults and 13 kids gathered at the San Jose train station in the early morning hours of Saturday, September 10 th they all had one thing in mind, Fort Sutter. Once everybody was onboard the Amtrak to Sacramento for a pleasant 3 hour ride through a variety of scenic countryside, there was an air of relaxation and anticipation among the attending members. That soon changed to a working atmosphere as the Swiss Quiz was passed around. At the train’s termination in Sacramento three prizes for top scoring Quizzes were presented to Pia Thuerlemann, the Thoeny Family and the Beerli Family. As we walked to the bus stop everybody seemed excited to be on this Swiss-centric historical adventure.

The Fort loomed in our path as we walked up to the main entrance and were greeted by one of the original settlers, who thanked us for coming and explained the Living History day we were about to observe. Inside the Fort lived about 50 settlers showing of their daily duties of baking bread, making fire, shooting and cleaning rifles, playing music, and explaining their many tasks to us, being the new arrivals. Sutter’s Fort was owned by a Swiss national named John Augustus Sutter, the story told by these actors was interesting when taken in this context. The information gathered gives everybody a chance to learn more about one of the famous Swiss settlers in California and his influence on history.

The Fort was not the only attraction on this day, we were lucky enough to visit Sacramento because many of the other points of interest like the Capital, the Railroad museum, the river front and Old Town were open to the public at no charge. There was also a free shuttle bus setup to take visitors around Sacramento so they could see all the interesting places, this meant that everybody spread out by the afternoon and was getting a good feel for Sacramento.

ithout realizing it, the day came to a close rather quickly, and we were on the train heading home. One the way back the snacks provided by Amtrak where paid for by the Swissclub so that it’s members could enjoy a filling and peaceful trip back. Once back at the San Jose train station Walter Gyger thanked the following people for helping out and making the trip possible: Heidi Goetschi, Peter Thoney, Frank Siegenthaler, Monika Ryser, Claudio Bui, Barbara Attinger, Rato Buhler, Dieter Hurni, and the Consulate which donated the brochures that the quiz was based on. As we drove home we all took a little piece of Swiss-Californian history with us, to share with anyone who might not have been able to participate.


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last updated: 03-Oct-2007 9:32 PM