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California Trail Days~ Big Event this Friday and Saturday!

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  • Carolyn Steninger
    CALIFORNIA TRAIL DAYS Friday May 30 & Saturday May 31, 2008 // 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM California National Historic Trail Interpretive Center, Elko, Nevada FOR
    Message 1 of 1 , May 29, 2008

      Friday May 30 & Saturday May 31, 2008 // 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
      California National Historic Trail Interpretive Center, Elko, Nevada

      David Jamiel at 7530213 or Gary Koy at 753-0281

      Free to Public

      Sneak Preview Tours of the California Trail Center
      See what's happening at the California Trail Center. BLM staff and
      volunteers will greet visitors and provide tours of the building,
      interpretive plaza and answer questions about the future of the Trail
      Center. The Trail Center is located 8 miles west of Elko on
      Interstate Highway 80 at the Hunter exit. 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Fri. & Sat.

      A variety of family oriented, hands-on activities will be provided
      inside and outside of the Trail Center building that will help
      visitors learn about the overland migration to California that
      occurred between 1841 and 1869. Activities include the following:

      Gold panning: This is what it was all about - at the end of the trail
      everyone was looking for gold. Now you can try your hand at using a
      pan to separate gold flakes from sand and water. (All gold flakes must
      remain with exhibitor) This activity will also include a display of
      U.S. coins from the gold rush period. Fri. & Sat. 10:00AM – 5:00 PM.

      Children's crafts: Join the staff of the Northeastern Nevada
      Historical museum as they lead children through the experience of
      making corn husk dolls, button toys and fresh butter; all things that
      pioneer children made as they traveled along the California Trail.
      Fri. & Sat. 10:00AM – 5:00 PM.

      Pack your wagon: Think you could pack enough supplies in your pick up
      truck to last you on a four and a half month camping trip? That's
      what the emigrants had to do come and learn what they took with them
      on their 2,000 mile journey from the Missouri River to California.
      Fri. & Sat. 10:00AM – 5:00 PM.

      Atlatl throw: Experience throwing an ancient style hunting weapon,
      the atlatal. The atlatal is a devise for throwing a spear or dart
      that consists of a rod or board with a projectile with a projection
      (as hook or thong) at the rear end to hold the weapon in place until
      release. [Webster's Ninth New College Dictionary] Fri. & Sat. 10:00AM
      – 5:00 PM.

      Native American food gathering activity: Prior to the arrival white
      explorers and overland emigrants Native Americans in the Great Basin
      gathered and prepared wild plants as food as part of their daily
      routine. Volunteers from the Elko Chapter of the Nevada Archeological
      Association will lead participants through a similar food gathering
      exercise. Fri. & Sat. 10:00AM – 5:00 PM.

      Spinning and carding demonstrations: Need new clothes and there's no
      Wal mart? Learn how the pioneers used fiber from livestock and turned
      it into fabric to make the clothing worn along the California Trail.
      Fri. & Sat. 10:00AM – 5:00 PM.

      Firearms on the California Trail: Between 1841 and 1869 firearm
      technology advance from muzzle loading flint and percussion lock
      weapons to magazine fed metallic cartridge, multiple shot rifles,
      pistols and shot guns. Representative samples of these types of
      weapons will be on display in the Trail Center. Fri. & Sat. 10:00AM –
      5:00 PM.

      Dutch-Oven cooking demonstrations: (Details to be determined)

      Wagon rides: Experience riding in an authentic covered wagon pulled
      by a four up hitch of big black mules as they roll along the trail the
      overland emigrants may have actually traveled. Fri. & Sat. 10:00AM –
      5:00 PM (No charge for the rides) Sponsored by Wagon Trails West Inc).

      Oxen drawn wagon demonstrations: See live oxen up close. Learn about
      why they were used more than mules or horses during the early days of
      the overland migration. See there how large and powerful they are,
      and watch owner work the animals using only voice commands. Formal
      talks on Trail Center Plaza, Fri. & Sat. 1:00PM, or just visit with
      Dixon and his animals throughout the day on Fri. & Sat. from 10:00 AM-

      Old Melodeon Minstrels: Sing along with the Old Melodeon Minstrels
      while Chris, Darla and Danita Bayer play minstrel banjo, tambourine
      and penny whistle. Thrill to the sight of Danita's flying Irish feet
      as she does a hornpipe or a jig. Known throughout Nevada, California
      and Oregon, the Old Melodeon Minstrels have made regular appearances
      at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park in Coloma, Oregon Trail
      Interpretive Center in Baker City and Sacramento's Gold Rush Days.
      They will have scheduled presentation and will be roaming through the
      events area periodically during the two day event. Formal
      presentations, Fri 10:00 AM, 2:30 PM & Sat.1:00PM, & 4:00 PM.

      Dancing under the stars: Join the "Old Melodeon Minstrels" on Friday
      May 30th at for some high stepping dancing \just like the emigrants
      did on the trail and the miners did in their mining camps during the
      Gold Rush. It doesn't matter whether or not you already know how to
      dance; Chris, Darla and Danita will walk you through the steps. This
      will take place on the Trail Center plaza. Friday 6:00 PM Trail
      Center Plaza

      Fiddle Styling's of 13 year old master fiddler Alex Johnson: This will
      be the third year for Alex at Trail Days. He will have scheduled
      presentations and will periodically roam around the events area.
      Formal presentations, Fri 11:30 AM, 5:15 PM & Sat.10:00AM, & 2:30 PM.

      Women's Voices from the Overland Trail: Women pioneers often formed
      the backbone and inspiration for the long, arduous western journeys of
      the nineteenth-century emigrants. Historian and professor Doris
      Dwyer, Western Nevada Community College will base her presentation on
      the diaries, memoirs, and reminiscences of pioneer women and men who
      emigrated westward from 1840 through 1860s. These accounts, which pay
      special attention to the landscape to Native Americans, and to the
      danger and promise of the journey, provide a vivid account of pioneer
      life. Presentation is sponsored by the Nevada Humanities, Historic
      Speakers Bureau). Program, Fri 3:15 PM

      Meet Margaret Breen: Professor Doris Dwyer, Western Nevada Community
      College will use a Chautauqua style presentation to portray Margaret
      Breen. Margaret Breen, along with her husband and several children,
      were members of the Donner Party and shared in the suffering of their
      fellow emigrant. Due largely to her efforts, the Breens were one of
      only two families in the party to survive without loss of life. Ask
      Margaret about her ordeals and how she survived. (Presentation is
      sponsored by the Nevada Humanities, Historic Speakers Bureau). Sat.
      May 31st at 11:30 AM.

      Black Smithing Demonstrations: (Details to be determined) Ongoing
      Friday and Saturday, Special talks Friday May 30, 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM


      Newe or the Western Shoshone People Exhibits
      In the spring of 1841- 1869, Newe would have held several significant
      ceremonies and would have traveled far to gather edible and herbal
      spring greens. And seasonal games such as ground hog and squirrels
      would have supplemental rabbit, trout deer and antelope. These topics
      will be covered as part of the Newe encampment or as scheduled talks
      during Trail Days. These include:
      - Crafts: Willow weaving, Basket & Newe Origin, Fri. 10:45
      - Story telling, Period clothing, buckskin preparation:,, Fri. 4:30 PM
      - Food preparation: Pine nut soup, Buck berry pudding, Jerky stew and
      Wild garlic & water cress; Fri. 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
      - Medicine: Native herbs, Native American camp, Sat. 10:45 AM
      - Commerce and Games: Native Trade talk, Native stick games:,, Sat.
      3:15 PM

      Trapper and Emigrant Wagon Camps:
      Living History Encampments: (Located on the south side of the
      California Trail Center building visitors will enjoy walking through
      the different types of trail camps. Volunteer interpreters will be in
      period costumes 1850s to answer questions about what is being
      displayed and answer questions about the equipment and history of the
      California Trail.

      Trapper camp: Walk through a recreated trapper camp. Visit with the
      participants as they explain what life was like in the Far West during
      between the 1820s through the 1850s. Learn about how they prepared
      their food, set up camp and the kinds of tools and firearms they
      depended upon for their survival. Fri. & Sat. 10:00AM – 5:00 PM.

      Emigrant Wagon camp: See a full size emigrant wagon and visit with
      the volunteer about the kinds of experiences overland emigrants were
      faced with as they traveled overland to California. Learn about the
      different types of people who went west and the equipment they took.
      Try to figure out for yourself what you would take and why if you were
      going to take a 41/2 month, 2,000 walk across America. Fri. & Sat.
      10:00AM – 5:00 PM.

      Military Camps:
      3rd California Volunteers: Visit with volunteers as they portray the
      soldiers who served at Fort Ruby (1862 – 1869) and at Fort Hallack
      (1869 and 1874). See the equipment they used, the clothes they wore,
      the weapons they used and discover what life was like for the soldier
      serving in the Great Basin during and shortly after the American Civil
      War. Fri. & Sat. 10:00AM – 5:00 PM.


      Hike a segment of the Actual historic California Trail: Follow the
      footsteps of the Donner Party through South Fork Canyon from South
      Fork Reservoir to the Humboldt River The hike is sponsored by the
      Humboldt High Roads group and led by a member of the Elko Chapter of
      the Nevada Archeological Association. The hike is scheduled for
      Saturday June 7, 2008. Sign ups will take place at the Trail Days
      event. For additional information contract Jill Jensen 753-0378 or Jan
      Petersen 753-5668

      Elko Chapter of the Elko County Archeological Association
      Humboldt High Road
      Northeastern Nevada Museum
      Mormon Battalion reenactment group
      White Knife Shoshone Company
      Wagon Trails West Inc.
      Elko Coin & Currency
      Nevada Humanities
      Mormon Oxen Association
      Wal Mart
      BLM/ California Trail Center
      Elko Convention and Visitor Authority
      Elko Chamber of Commerce
      City of Elko, Elko Parks and Recreation Department
      The Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities
      A Lot Great Volunteers
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