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Sutter County


  • Sutter County Mines and Mineral Resources (circa 1915-1916) – Excerpts from Report XV of the State Mineralogist, Mines and Mineral Resources of Portions of California, Chapters of State Mineralogist’s Report Biennial Period 1915-1916, Part II. The Counties of Butte, Lassen, Modoc, Sutter and Tehama, California State Mining Bureau, 1919, pp. 181-266. (Used with permission, California Department of Conservation, California Geological Survey.)

    Sutter County, by Clarence A. Waring, Field Assistant. Field Work in December, 1916.

    “Sutter County lies just north of Sacramento County, California, mainly between the Sacramento and Feather rivers. It is bounded on the east by Yuba and Placer counties, on the west by Colusa and Yolo Counties and on the north by Butte County. The county includes an area of 611 square miles, supporting a population in 1910 of 6328 persons. The assessed valuation of the county in 1916 was $13,472,178. It was named in honor of the distinguished pioneer, General John A. Sutter. Yuba City, the county seat and largest town, had a population exceeding 1600 in 1914.

    “The county is excellently provided with transportation. The Feather and Sacramento rivers are navigable by small craft all the way to Sacramento. The main Southern Pacific Railroad from San Francisco to Portland enters the county near Yuba City and passes northwestward through Lomo and Live Oak. The Northern Electric (Colusa Branch) Railroad crosses the county from east to west through Yuba City and northward from the same place. The Northern California Railway (S. P. Co.), enters the southern end of the county and follows the west side of Feather River northward to Yuba City. The Northern Electric and Western Pacific Railways cross the southeastern portion of the county, from north to south, west of Pleasant Grove. The county is well served by wagon roads.

    “Power lines of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Oro Electric Corporation, practically surround the county and cross its southern end. Electricity is thus available for both power and lighting purposes in practically every part of the county.

    “The north central portion of the county is marked by the Sutter or Marysville Buttes, the South Butte of which is 2128 ft. in elevation.

    “The Buttes occupy a circular area about 10 miles in diameter, but strips about 2 miles wide along the more gentle eastern and western slopes are cultivable. The remainder of the county consists of lowland with a gentle southwesterly slope, a great portion of which is capable of producing a wide range of crops. Considerable of the western portion of the county consists of low tule land capable of being reclaimed.”

    Mineral Resources (in Sutter County).

    “Sutter County has to date been but a slight mineral producer, although a few metals such as gold, silver and quicksilver have occasionally been found in the Marysville Buttes. No systematic work has been undertaken since the results of prospective work have not warranted it. Coal, clay and natural gas have been found, but little has been done with them. It is reported that rock in the Buttes suitable for road metal is being crushed and used by the road supervisors. The only commercial mineral production in Sutter County, noted in the statistical records of the State Mining Bureau, was: Macadam, $5,000 in 1908. There was also in 1916, but the amount is not to hand at this writing.”

    Limestone (in Sutter County).

    “An impure gray limestone is reported to occur, just south of South Butte, in beds of the Ione formation which lie in a nearly vertical position. A tufa (spring deposit) consisting principally of calcite is reported to occur in an area of volcanic tuffs about 1000 ft. south of the South Pass road, 1 ½ miles south-southeast of the South Butte.

    “These lime deposits should be valuable as a natural binding material for road metal.

    Stone (in Sutter County).

    “A quarry in the rhyolite rock 3 miles northwest of Sutter City, has furnished some building stone which was used locally.

    “It is reported that the county supervisors are at present (circa 1915-1916) using crushed rock from the Buttes for road metal. The volcanic rocks should furnish an excellent material for roads and the supply is easy of access and unlimited.”

  • Sutter County, California, Mineral Resources & Introduction to the Sutter County Area of California (circa 1915) – Excerpt from Sacramento Valley and Foothill Counties of California: An Illustrated Description of all the Counties Embraced in this Richly productive Geographical Subdivision of the Golden State, compiled and edited by Emmett Phillips and John H. Miller, published under the direction of The Sacramento Valley Exposition, J. A. Filcher, Director-in Chief, January 1915.

    Sutter County

    “Sutter County lies in the center of the Sacramento Valley on the east bank of the Sacramento River. It is strictly a fruit growing, dairying and general farming community. It is named after General John A. Sutter, the sturdy pioneer, who settled in the Sacramento Valley in 1837. It is one of the smallest but one of the most fertile counties in California. It is an alluvial plain, forty miles long and approximately thirty miles wide, between the Sacramento and Feather Rivers.

    “The area of the county is 608 square miles. It is all valley land with the exception of a curious formation of rocks and earth that rises from the center of the county to an elevation of about 2,000 feet. These isolated peaks are known as the Sutter Buttes. They cover a base area of 14,000 acres and can be seen from all parts of the Sacramento Valley. The slopes form excellent pasture lands during the Spring months.

    “The soil is alluvial sandy loam. It is deep and productive of all forms of plant life. The Winters are mild and the Summers pleasant and dry. The rainfall averages from 20 to 30 inches and well water for irrigation may be struck at a depth of from fifteen to twenty-five feet at any place in the county.

    “These conditions are, of course, ideal for husbandry in all its branches and hence there are a large number of very prosperous farms in Sutter. Along the Feather River for a distance of about thirty miles and extending for several miles back is one of the greatest deciduous fruit belts in the West. Peaches of all varieties reach perfection here. Sutter cling peaches bring the highest prices at the canneries. The fruit is of excellent color, size and flavor.

    “Sutter is famous as the home of the Thompson Seedless grape. This grape is sweet and delicious when eaten fresh, and when sundried and cured it makes a dainty raisin, which is highly valued as a confection. It grows in huge clusters and produces heavily. The largest vineyard in the world devoted exclusively to Thompson Seedless grapes is in Sutter County.

    “The prune is also a paying fruit in Sutter. The tree is longer lived than the peach and conditions here for drying the crop are all that could be desired. Rains seldom fall until after the crop has long been harvested and ready for the market. The Bartlett pear is also produced in quantities along the river lands of Sutter. The alluvial soil and climatic conditions favor pear production. The tree matures at six years and bears heavily for several generations.

    “Figs are grown on many farms and apricots are also a paying crop. There are over 5,000 bearing apricot trees in the county. Olives, oranges and lemons all do well.

    “Sutter is one of the leading counties in California in almond production, certain localities being exceedingly favorable to the crop. In 1910 there were 61,572 bearing trees in the county and since that date the acreage has steadily increased. The slopes of the Sutter Buttes, where there is excellent air drainage, making the orchards practically immune from frosts, produce heavy crops of almonds annually. Walnuts are also grown and there is excellent opportunity for the extension of this industry.

    “Sutter is a county of general farming. In addition to fruits, it produces grain, hay and alfalfa. Dairying and stock raising are also followed. Indian and Egyptian corn are grown and fed to hogs. There are a number of private dairies with over one hundred cows each. On the river lands alfalfa produces ten and twelve tons to the acre annually and keeps the meadows green both Winter and Summer.

    “The river lands of Sutter are wonderfully fertile, and great acreages are planted to beans, sugar beets and kindred crops.

    “Rice is also grown in this county, there being a large expanse of land suited to the crop.

    “Quite an area along the Sacramento River is marsh land. This is now being reclaimed by the construction of immense levees to protect the lands from the river waters. Great drainage systems are being installed to care for the seepage and surface water. The river reclaimed land produces heavily without irrigation.

    “For several years Sutter County has felt the stimulating effect of the increase in rural population. New families have been arriving and settling upon the farm lands. Grain fields are giving way to orchards, vineyards and other forms of intensive cultivation.

    “Sutter County has Winter and Summer grazing land for stock. Upwards of 100,000 sheep are run into the county every year to be fattened for market.

    “In the northern part of the county thousands of acres are irrigated by the Sutter-Butte Canal, which takes it water from the Feather River. In sections not served by the canal, pump irrigation from wells is followed successfully and economically.

    “Transportation facilities are good. The Sacramento River is an outlet for the products on the western border of the county. Two lines of the Southern Pacific Railroad pass through the county and the Northern electric road crosses the county in two directions.

    “The total assessed valuation of Sutter is $13,270,000. The county is entirely free from debt and enjoys an economical government.

    “Being primarily a farming county, Sutter has no large cities. Yuba City, the county seat, situated on the west bank of the Feather River, opposite Marysville, the county seat of Yuba County, is a beautiful little city of homes. The character of the residences testify to the prosperity of the community. The city owns its own water systems, is lighted by electricity and has good business houses.

    “Meridian, on the Sacramento River, is in the center of a wonderfully rich farming section. It is connected with Yuba City by an electric railway. Live Oak is a rapidly growing town in northern Sutter.

    “Nicolaus, Vernon, Tudor, Sunset, Sutter City, Oswald, Marcuse and Chandler, are all centers of producing sections.

    “Sutter invites thorough investigation of new settlers in the Sacramento Valley. Its advantages are many. It has an excellent system of schools and all the towns have churches of various denominations. No liquor is sold in the county.

    “Land can be purchased in Sutter at prices ranging from $100 to $300 an acre (circa 1915). The price variation is determined by location, quality of soil and transportation facilities.”

  • Sutter County Mineral Industry (circa 1919) – Excerpt from California Mineral Production for 1919, Bulletin No. 88, by Walter W. Bradley, California State Mining Bureau, 1920, pp. 168.
    Area: 608 square miles.
    Population: 10,115 (1920 census)
    Location: Bounded by Butte County on the north and Sacramento on the south.

    “Sutter is one of only two counties in the state which for a number of years reported no commercial output of some kind of mineral substance. In 1917 some crushed rock was taken out, from the Marysville Buttes, but there was no production in 1918, nor 1919. Both coal and clay exist here, but deposits of neither mineral have been placed on a productive basis.”

    Sutter County, 1916 Map, from California Mineral Production for 1919 (with County Maps), Bulletin No. 88, by Walter W. Bradley, California State Mining Bureau, San Francisco: California State Printing Office, 1920, pp. 186. Sutter County, 1916 Map

Sutter County – List of Stone Quarries, Etc. *

(* Please note this list does not include sand or gravel quarries.)

  • Sutter City (west of), Sutter County, California – Rhyolite Quarry (from The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

    “In Sec. 32, T. 16 N., R. 2 E., 3 miles west of Sutter City, is a quarry of rhyolite, used locally for building stone.”

  • Sutter County, California – West Butte Aggregate (Rock) (active ca 1996) (from Mines and Mineral Producers Active in California (1994-1995), Special Publication 103 (Revised 1996), California Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, in cooperation with California Department of Conservation, Office of Mine Reclamation. Used with permission, California Department of Conservation, California Geological Survey.)

    Mine name: West Butte Aggregate; Operator: West Butte Aggregate; Address & County: 2280 West Butte Rd., Sutter, CA 95982, Sutter County; Phone: (916) 871-6714; Latitude: 39.16, Longitude: -121.83, and Mine location number: Map No. 832; Mineral commodity: Rock.

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