DATE: December 4, 2006
CONTACT: Mike Brown (775) 753-0386
ELKO FIELD OFFICE: 2007- 14
DESPITE WINTER WEATHER, PROGRESS CONTINUES ON CALIFORNIA TRAIL CENTER NEAR ELKO
Since the first concrete was delivered on November 9th, approximately 125 cubic yards of concrete have been poured in the footings and foundations of the future California Trail Center, eight miles west of Elko.
“By the time the Center is finished, over 1,600 cubic yards of concrete will be used,” said Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko Field Office Engineer Norm Rockwell. “The contractor did a tremendous job on the excavation and installation of engineered backfill for the foundations. They over-excavated ten feet beneath the building, brought back the soil and compacted it – which is done to meet the structural engineering design specifications for soil load bearing values.”
“In addition to the footings and foundations, the contractor is also building drainage control structures west of the main building,” Rockwell added.
BLM Trail Center Manager Dave Jamiel commented, “We’re very pleased with progress. The contractor has already passed the 10% completed milestone and is coming up on 20%.”
When completed, the $9.45 million Trail Center will occupy an 11-acre footprint and will include 16,000 square feet in the main facility and a similar-sized interpretive plaza east of the building. Construction is scheduled to be completed in early 2008.
STORIES FROM THE TRAIL
The Start of the California Gold Rush, Part 3 - by Terry Del Bene
For a few months the California gold rush was just that, a gold rush in California. Californians and troops returning from the Mexican War were about the only participants in the first year of the gold rush. Towns emptied of workers. Ranchos were all but abandoned. The bulk of the population had headed for the gold fields. Despite this the initial reports of the discovery of gold were treated by the United States and the world with some skepticism. British subjects were warned to pay no attention to the Yankee hoax. However, in November the official military report on the discovery, as well as many samples of gold, reached Washington, D.C. President Polk’s repeated mention of the discovery of gold in California in his state-of-the-Union speech convinced the international community that this was no hoax. Polk was able to silence his critics that the war with Mexico had yielded only worthless desert. Here was his vindication for prosecution of the war.
The effect on the sagging American economy was immediate. Suddenly the business of providing travel to the gold fields and outfitting the miners boomed. The costs of provisions skyrocketed. This also helped to stimulate the international economy. Shipping businesses appeared to spring up overnight. The lure of immeasurable riches was the talk of most American, and many foreign, communities.
Thousands of young men resolved to go to California and return in a few months as rich men. Families would be split apart. Communities would be bled of their young men. Native American cultures would be swept away. Isolated Salt Lake City would become prosperous mining the miners. The California landscape would be scarred for generations. A few would find fortune. More would find disappointment. Many would never live to see their homes again.