History of Sutter County, California


Sutter County was one of California’s original 27 counties, formed at the time California became a state in 1850.  But that is not the beginning of our area’s history.  The Maidu Indians lived here for millennia before Europeans entered the Sacramento Valley.  John Sutter started his Hock Farm in 1841 and the town of Nicolaus was established a year later.  By 1850 other towns and settlements grew, including Yuba City and Vernon.  For the next few years the state played with the placement of county lines and Sutter County tried numerous county seats before finally settling on Yuba City in 1856.  Other towns were founded and some disappeared.

Agriculture has always been the economic backbone of Sutter County.  Peaches, walnuts, tomatoes, prunes and rice continue to be our bread and butter, so to speak.  And throughout our history (and pre-history) we have been subject to flooding from the rivers that flow through our valley – the Sacramento, Feather, Yuba and Bear.

​Following is a timeline of major events that have shaped our county’s development with links to more information.  Following a flurry of growth and development in the mid-19th century, events slowed as we entered the 20th century.  If you think an important event is missing from our timeline, please let us know so we can add to our story.

Sutter County Historical Society