Bidwell’s Winepress

I spent the day at the History Room of the California State Library in Sacramento, looking at papers in the Sutter’s Fort Pioneer Collection. Among other things, this collection contains two boxes of papers pulled from the Bidwell Papers, consisting primarily of business letters, contracts and receipts. It’s full of interesting items that I had never seen before.

Here is one little tidbit, a letter from John Sutter to Bidwell, concerning a screw for his winepress.

            My Dear Sir,

The screw for your winepress will be ready at the Marysville foundry at the same time when mine, the price of them they could not tell me when I ordered them, but will know it on Wednesday when I will be there and will write you a few lines.

The carpenter will be ready with my work in a few days and then he will go up to your establishment, he understand likewise to make the wine.

I remain with the highest Esteem

Your Friend and Obedt. Servant  J. A. Sutter


The date is missing from the top of the letter, so I don’t know when it was written. According to the History Of Yuba And Sutter Counties, the first foundry in Marysville was established in 1852, so it can’t be any earlier than that. It was probably written sometime in the mid-1850s.

Just a glimpse of John Bidwell before he met Annie!


About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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