A collection of personal and
professional letters and documents related to the life and work of Adolph Sutro,
German-American engineer, politician and philanthropist.
Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro (1830-1898) emigrated from Prussia to the eastern United
States in 1850; he soon moved to San Francisco to sell supplies to miners during the
California Gold Rush. The discovery of silver on the Comstock Lode in Nevada prompted him to
establish the Sutro Metallurgical Works in 1861, and in 1862 he had constructed a ten-stamp
mill. He conceived the idea of a tunnel to relieve the problems of floods, high
temperatures, and noxious gases in the mines of the Comstock Lode, and the Sutro Tunnel was
completed in 1868. He sold his interest in the tunnel and returned to San Francisco in 1880,
where he increased his land holdings, took part in city affairs, and served as mayor from
1894 to 1896. His book collection became the foundation of the Sutro Branch of the
California State Library in San Francisco. Sutro died in San Francisco on August 8,
10.42 Linear Feet
(17 boxes, 1 folder)
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