Knight Foundry: SHL 1007


81 Eureka Street, Sutter Creek. (209) 267-0201.


From Discover Historical California:

The oldest continually-operating, water-powered foundry and machine shop in California, was established here in 1873, by Samuel Knight and George Horne, to supply machinery for the area's hard rock mining industry. In addition to Knight's famous water wheels, which were used throughout the West to drive mining and manufacturing equipment, Knight also developed tand manufactured all types of mining equipment and water control accessories. This water-powered foundry remians today as an excellent example of how these shops operated before the introduction of electricity.

From the official site plaque:

Knight foundry was established in 1873 to supply heavy equipment and repair facilities to the gold mines and timer industry of the Mother Lode. Samuel N. Knight developed a high speed, cast iron water wheel which was a forerunner of the Pelton wheel design. Knight's wheels were used in some of the first hydroelectric plants in California, Utah, and Oregon.

This site is the last water powered foundry and machine shop in California. A 42 inch Knight wheel drives the main line shaft with smaller water motors powering other machines.

California registered historical landmark No. 1007. Plaque place by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with Carl W. Bordh and Historic Knight & Co. LTD. October 24, 1992.

From the unofficial site plaque:

The only water powered foundry in United States in continuous operation since 1873. The water wheel made by Sam Knight was used world wide. Of special design, 7ft one had power to run the big stamp mills in Gold Mining Days. The 42in one is used here. Heavy dredgers for the Bay City and Seattle Harbors were made here and hauled by mule team to the train depot to be shipped. Alaska and Denver are now on their customer list. Herman Nelson - skilled workman is present owner. Novermeber 1967. Placed by the Amador Country Historical Society.





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