This article is from the Sacramento FAQ, by David F. Prenatt, Jr. with numerous contributions by others.
While the Age of Exploration and subsequent historical developments
took their toll upon all cultures in the New World, it had no special
or noteworthy impact upon the aboriginal inhabitants of Sacramento.
Early on, the Spanish Mission system came very close to Sacramento
with the founding of San Francisco de Asis in 1776. However, this
mission and the missions neighboring it had little influence on the
life of aboriginal California residents outside of the San Francisco
Bay Area. Fort Ross, founded in 1812 by the Russian-American Company
in present day Sonoma County, had little impact either. By the time
San Francisco Solano was founded in 1823 the Mission System was no
longer even a viable institution in California, being almost entirely
replaced by California ranchos that resulted from Mexican land grants.
John Augustus Sutter, a Swiss immigrant, received a Mexican land
grant in 1839 where the Sacramento and American Rivers meet in the
present day City of Sacramento, and established the colony of New
Helvetia there in 1839. He built a prosperous trading post populated
by other Swiss immigrants that served the needs of American pioneers
and local agriculture. He also purchased Fort Ross from the Russian-
American Company in 1841. However, Sutter's thriving enterprise was
destined to be ruined by the California Gold Rush. Sutter's Fort,
located at 27th and L Streets, has been restored. Contact the docents
at (916)445-4422 for information about self-guided tours.