U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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ELKO FIELD OFFICE NO. 2007-62
FOR RELEASE: May 7, 2007
CONTACT: Mike Brown, (775) 753-0386; mbrown@nv.blm.gov

CALIFORNIA TRAIL CENTER CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES

Elko, Nev. — Despite delays caused by rain, contractors made good progress on the future California Trail Interpretive Center.
“West Coast Construction completed construction of five of the six boulder rock retaining walls on the west and north side of the building,” said Bureau of Land Management (BLM) California Trail Center Manager Dave Jamiel. “They completed installing the vapor barrier and base material in the gift shop area. This was the final area to complete to ready the entire building for the installation concrete floors. West Coast Construction also trenched for the installation of electrical conduits to supply the power for exterior lighting.”
Spires Concrete Specialties poured concrete for the plaza walls and started forming the interpretive walls. Frazier Masonry has completed all the masonry walls for the building and removed all the scaffolding. They spent the week working on wing walls outside of the building.
Copeland Electric roughed in conduits in the under-floor areas of the exhibit space and installed electrical boxes on the masonry walls. Glassey Steel Works continued to erect structural steel in the building. They will be setting the barrel (arched) beams this week.
When completed, the 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
Songs of the Gold Rush - by Mike Brown
For whatever reason, the Gold Rush seems to have more humor associated with it than the other trails. Perhaps part of the explanation lies in the reasons why people were going where they were. Part of the reason may also be that most of the California-bound emigrants were single men or men traveling without their families. Men going after gold to get rich quick with the intention or returning home - wherever home might be. That’s something very different as most folks headed to Utah or Oregon planned to stay there. So, it was kind of a boys will be boys thing - adventure on the trail.
The songs popular during the Gold Rush have an element of nonsense and humor running through them. On verse of Sweet Betsy from Pike says:
Out on the prairie one bright starry night,
They broke out the whiskey and Betsy got tight.
She sang and she shouted and danced o’er the plain.
And showed her bare arse to the whole wagon train.

Or Oh Susannah the theme song of the 49ers:
It rained all night the day I left,
The weather was so dry.
Sun so hot I froze myself,
Susannah don’t you cry.

Finally, Clementine was described as:
Light she was like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine.
Herring boxes without topses,
Sandals were for Clementine.

Those songs and their messages of nonsense and fun are part of the Gold Rush legacy that’s survived throughout the years and is with us today.

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Last updated: 04-07-2008