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city, seat (1856) of Sutter county, north-central California, U.S. It lies in the Sacramento Valley, at the junction of the Feather and Yuba rivers, 40 miles (65 km) north of Sacramento. In 1849, during the California Gold Rush, Samuel Brannan, Pierson B. Reading, and Henry Cheever purchased part of John Sutter's New Helvetia, which lay on the site of a former Indian village. Later that year the city was laid out, and many Indian burial mounds were destroyed. The head of river navigation (until the channel filled with mining debris), it developed as an agricultural centre. After World War II there was a surge in the city's population as many of its orchards were converted to residential neighbourhoods. The city's basic food-processing economy has been supplemented by steel fabrication, light manufacturing, and services based on Beale Air Force Base (15 miles [24 km] east). Natural gas is tapped from Sutter Buttes (12 miles [19 km] west). A community college, established in 1927, is across the Feather River in neighbouring Marysville. Nearby are the Sutter National Wildlife Refuge and the Butte Sink Wildlife Management Area. Plumas National Forest is north-northeast of the city. Inc. 1908. Pop. (1990) city, 27,437; Yuba City MSA, 122,643; (2000) city, 36,758; Yuba City MSA, 139,149.