This is Miners’ Bend Historic Gold Mining Park in Sutter Creek. Park was built by the Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation and Amador Parlor 17 of the NSGW. Project was spearheaded by Amador Parlor #17 members Ed Arata and Frank Cunha.1. Started with a concept. Work began June 20152. 99% of labor on the park was by members of Amador 173. Park completed March 2017
- 1. Started with a concept. Work began June 2015
- 2. 99% of labor on the park was by members of Amador 17
- 3. Park completed March 2017
Miners’ Bend Park was the dream of NSGW Amador Parlor #17 brothers Frank Cunha and Ed Arata. Our goal was to build a gold mining display in the heart of the Mother Lode. Ed had acquired mining artifacts from the Argonaut Mine in Jackson and Frank had artifacts from the Lincoln Mine in Sutter Creek.The City of Sutter Creek owned a weed covered lot at the south end of Main Street, which is the entrance to town, and we decided this would be the perfect location. We ap-proached the City with the idea of using the lot to build an outdoor museum and park which would tell the story of gold and gold mining in Sutter Creek and Amador County.
A local artist donated his time and talent to create a concep-tual drawing and two local engineering firms donated the surveying and construction drawings. From these, we were able to estimate a budget of $164,000. We presented the plans and the budget to the City and received their over-whelming support.
At this point, the Sutter Creek Community Benefit Founda-tion stepped up and agreed to help raise the funds needed to build the project.Our local Amador Parlor #17 pledged $10,000 and also committed to hold an annual shrimp feed, with all proceeds going to the Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation to be used for historic preservation in Sutter Creek. The first shrimp feed raised $8,400 and the second raised and additional $8,000. We also applied to the NSGW Historical Preservation Foundation and were awarded a $5000 grant The money from the Historical Preservation Foundation and Amador Parlor #17 got the project rolling and a “Name the Park” contest and a commemorative brick walkway got the community involved.We held a groundbreaking ceremony on June 1, 2015 and work began the very next day with over 90% of labor to build the park being donated by the Amador #17 members. As work began, donations of money, materials for construction and additional artifacts started pouring in!Artifacts were set, concrete walkways were poured, a 250 ft Chinese style rock wall was constructed and a parking area was created. Benches were installed and a picnic table was placed under a large oak shade tree.A Grand Opening was held on June 9th, 2016, just over a year after the work began. With construction now complete, all that remained was the interpretive signage. This turned out to be a major task, but Ed and his wife Mimi took on the job of creating the stories for each artifact and finding his-toric photos to go along with every story. Working with local graphic artist, Larry Angier, for over 3 months and countless hours, the 18 interpretive signs were completed and ready for production. Another NSGW member, Butch Martin, volunteered to fabricate the metal frames that hold the signs. The metal frames were then powder coated and the frames and interpretive signs were then installed by yet another NSGW work party. The park is now complete and with the help and support of the members of Amador Parlor #17 and donations of material and labor from local contractors and individuals, we came in 50% under budget.This project brought our community together and also gave our Parlor a chance to show the community what our organization is all about.On June 4th, 2017, two years after the start of the project, our newly elected Grand President, Erik Christeson, presided over the formal NSGW dedication of Miners’ Bend Historic Gold Mining Park. The event was attended by well over 100 Native Sons and visitors. It was a very fitting finale which made Ed and I very proud to be members of such a great organization.We would like to especially thank the brothers of Amador Parlor #17 who helped make this dream a reality and now have agreed to continue the annual shrimp feed and have pledged to donate all proceeds to the Sutter CreekCommunity Benefit Foundation to be used for historic preservation in our community.