California Trail Days~ Big Event this Friday and Saturday!
- 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 MORE DETAILED INFORMATION CONTACT:
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.
ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILY
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
HIKES OF SOUTH FORK CANYON
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
EVENT MADE POSSIBLE BY THE FOLLOWING SPONSORS
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
Mormon Oxen Association
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