1853 - 1952      


   Sutterville Brewery in    1906 ,   Heilbron Ranch, Sutterville California




   This Page Is Dedicated To The Sutterville Brewery Building And My Friend Al Wilson

  Who Compiled This Informative Collection Of Words


New Helvitia Chapter of the E Clampus Vitus and the Author Both Express

Their AppreciatiationTo Mr. Clovis McGuire , An Owner Of The Site , For His

Interest In The History OfThe Sutterville Brewery And His Permission To Place This Marker

On The Site .

We  Are Equally Endepted To Mrs E H Heilbron Bellmer For Numberless

Courtesies In Researching TheHistory Of The Building . Mrs Bellmer A Grandaughter

Of Mrs. August Heilbron , loaned the picture ofthe brewery in 1906 and permitted us the use

of an Abstract of Title which she has . She also granted freeaccess to the scrap book her father kept on

the building and told her of her expierences during the year she and her husband made

the building their home . We cannot thank her adequately for her assistance , so shall not make an attempt .

Alan L. Wilson

Sacrsamento , Ca.

July 1 , 1983


The beginning was on August 15 , 1839 when John Sutter , from the landing on the American River ,

sighted the rise which is now the of Sutters Fort . This was to be the center of his empire .

The land on the north bank of the American River was later to be granted to Eliab Grimes . That land ,

the Rancho Del Paso was occupied by John Sinclair on behalf of Grimes , who obtained the grant

in 1844 .

By August 1840 his party numbered 25 ; 17 whites and 8 Kanakas .Sutter wanted neighbors and craftsmen .

Because his fort wsa a place of safety and he had established friendly relations with

Indians , people began to settle nearby . He also encouraged parties from Oregon or

from the States to seek land grants on their own .

He deeded one mile of land on the Feather River to Nicholas Altgeyer in 1841 and another mile

to Edward Farwell in 1844 . It was Sutter's dream to amass a fortune . He could

do this , he felt , with the support of other people settled in the area ,

but he didn't want everyone crowded up at the fort . By 1844 Sutter had

probably completed his first fort .

By January 1846 , Sutter had had enough expierence with the high waters of the winter

to realize that the land west of the fort was mostly a flood plain .

He determined to found a village or town and set John Bidwell and L . W. Hastings to the task ,

The town was Sutterville , located on high ground , less than half a mile east of the Sacramento River , and

about four miles south west of the fort .

W. T. Sherman , who was in the area during the summer of 1849 wrote in his memoirs ,

AT  SUTTERVILLE     .     .       .        . and it would have made a better site for a town than the low , submerged

land where the city now stands .

In 1847      George Zins and his wife commenced the manufacture of brick at Sutterville and

built a house 18 by 35 feet . His first kiln was of 40.000 brick . In the fall of 1848

he burned another kiln of one hundreed thousand brick. A school house was planned to

be built that year. That same year Sutter sold 350 acres

to Laneford W. Hastings, which land included the site of McDougal were

the elected delegates to the Sutterville in 1849.

Hastings attempted to sell lots, but was not too successful until after the floods of 1852.

At that time the people who had evacuated Sacramento

began to look with more favor on Sutterville.

As his part of a real estate program, Hastins

transfered his inter in the town to a group composed of Hastings, William K. and

S.T. Weston, Henry A. Breed, Robert H. Vance and others.

The transfer was conditioned on the buyers

building a pier and dock, anchoring a barge on the river,

building an elevated roadway

to the high ground and constructing certain buildings with 90 days.

in all five brcik buildings were build in Sutterville during 1853.

The building at the SE corner of Willow and Crystal Street was two stores with

a full basement of brcik, build for Robert H. Vance of

San Francisco at a cost of $27,000.

Vance's building came to be known as the Sutterville Brewery. The bricks

for all of the buildings were obtained from the brickyeard of

Pettit and Queens in the SW coring of the town.

Vance's building was let to Lockwood and Tilden of Sacramento

and to S.T. Weston for two stores.

A sawmill was erected by T.F. Gould and Jefferson Lake in 1853 at Sutterville.

It had three upright saws and on circular

With Thielan's bankruptcy the operation of the brewery ceased and was never

resumed. The savings and loan held onto the

estate until May 1890 when it was sold to J.P. Melchior.

He transferred it to he wife the following year.

Six years later, she deeded the property to her son, Frederick William Melchior

and the deed stated, being the place now occupied

and resided upon by me as my house.

The properted rested under this ownership until May1905

when it was purchased by Mrs. August Heilbron.

After 1905 no tenant occupied the building for a prolonged periord, although it

rented as a dance hall and used for other parties up until

the beginning of World War Two.

For one year after the war it became the residence of Mr. and Mrs. E.H. Bellmer.

Mrs. Bellmer is the granddaughter of Mrs. Heilbron.

The tracks which border the west side of the property are the river branch of the

Southern Pacific which originated at Front and I Street

and was completed as far south

as Freeport in June 1909. Sacramento County records show that Mrs.

heilbron sued the railroad in connection with

granting the right of way.

In December 1947 an annexation election in the area designated as Sutterville Heights

failed by 10 votes. I was not until August 1950 that the land which Jon Sutter

had originally sold to L.W. Hastings became a part of

Sacramento. Shortly thereafter the brewery

property was sold to R.G. Schmidt, and salvaged the brick in 1952.

Thus ended the history of the Sutterville Brewery

after 99 years. It was the last to be torn

down in the old town of Sutterville. Although there is a California Historical

marker across the street marking Camp Union

it is considered most appropriate to mark this site. Mr. Robert H Vance

had vision and he built well. The brewery

gave succor early in the Civil Way to the 5th Infantry Regiment

and provided a pleasant summer outing as long as

the brewery was open. I remember the brewery fondly, as do most people

over fifty who grew up in Sacramento. I have

attended a number of parties in the old building.




The Roadway In Front Is Sutterville Road