As a visitor to Sutter Creek since the early 70s, Frank Cunha and his wife Cathie found themselves drawn to the quiet town, its residents and its amazing history. It was the people in town who convinced them that Sutter Creek was where they wanted to be. “Everyone was friendly,” Cunha says, “and there was always something fun to do.”
Although they acquired property in 1989 in Sutter Creek, it was another 12 years before they moved permanently from the Monterey Peninsula. Cunha had been involved in trying to save the old Spreckels sugar plant, and although efforts to save the old brick processing plant failed, his interest in preservation had been kindled.
With that background, Cunha realized that Sutter Creek needed a way that people could donate to the community. He and other Foundation board members formed the non-profit group specifically to preserve, restore and develop the town’s unique historic resources.
Among Cunha’s primary goals for the Foundation is to help fund and build the South Main Park and gold mining display. He sees this main entrance to town as a perfect location for a glimpse into the past.
“We have a huge number of gold mining artifacts that will give people an idea of how gold was extracted and processed,” he says. “Gold is the reason Sutter Creek is here today.”