This is a fun yet informative episode that I’d never seen until I stumbled upon it today, as I was going through the very long list of shows Huell Howser did around California. It makes clear what an important role Sutter’s Fort played in the development of the Sacramento valley during the Gold Rush and long after — not only providing the early pioneers with a safe place to stay, to find food and to learn about this new country but also offering help to those in medical need.
It wasn’t always pretty, and it didn’t always work, but the “doctors” of the Gold Rush did the best they could to take care of the throngs of immigrants who came to California in search of fame and fortune. Sacramento’s Sutter’s Fort is the backdrop of this adventure. Huell hears the story of how the Fort was chosen as the site of the first hospital in Sacramento that housed doctors, midwifes, Chinese herbalists, certainly some charlatans with plenty of snake oil to sell. With the help of docents and some real doctors, it’s sure to be an education.