U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
Elko Field Office
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Date: June 4, 2007
CONTACT: Mike Brown, (775) 753-0386
Email: mbrown@nv.blm.gov
ELKO FIELD OFFICE NO. 2007-73




CALIFORNIA TRAIL CENTER AT THE HALFWAY MARK - Story #16

Elko, Nev. — The California Trail Interpretive Center will hit the half way mark this week – 255 days into a 510-day construction contract.

“West Coast Construction is on schedule and on track,” said Dennis Petersen, California Trail Center Construction Project Inspector. “The final concrete pour for the interior floor was done last week.

West Coast Construction excavated and placed septic tank, dousing tank and the leach lines for the septic field. They also extended the electrical to the kiosk area. Glassey Steel Works continued to weld the roof decking. Frazier Masonry started the masonry veneer at the rear of the building.

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
The Haunted Camp of the Hastings Cutoff - by Mike Brown
Due west of Wendover near Flowery Lake east of the Pequop Mountains, there’s place haunted in history. Emigrants who camped a month apart on this spot while traveling on the Hastings Cutoff described unusual events of unexplained anger, emotion, and violence.

Edwin Bryant wrote in his journal August 7, 1846 – “A disagreeable altercation took place between two members of our party about a very trivial matter in dispute, but threatening fatal consequences. Under the excitement of angry emotions, rifles were leveled and the click of the locks, preparatory to discharging the death-dealing contents of the barrels, was heard. I rushed between the two parties and ordered them to hold up their pieces, and cease their causeless hostility towards each other. I told them that the life of every individual of the party was, under the circumstances in which we were placed, the property of the whole party, and that he who raised a gun to take away a life, was, perhaps inconsiderately, worse than a common enemy or a traitor to all of us, and must be so considered in all future controversies of this nature, and be denied all further intercourse with us. It was truly a startling spectacle, to witness two men, in this remote desert, surrounded by innumerable dangers, to guard against which they were mutually dependent, so excited by their passions as to seek each other’s destruction. The ebullition of insane anger was soon allayed, and we commenced our day’s march about the usual hour of the morning.”

James Reed of the Donner/Reed Party wrote in his journal a month later on September 14th – “Monday left the Basin Camp or Mad Woman Camp as all the women in Camp ware mad with anger and made this day to the Two Mound Springs, 14 [miles].” Reed’s own encounter with intense, sudden anger that resulted in the death of John Snyder happened just a couple weeks later.

On August 26th, 1846, Heinrich Lienhard recorded that a member of their party came down with “actual” measles within a few miles of this spot.

Were these incidents just coincidence or result of Trail Fever which is similar to Cabin Fever … or was something else going on at that site?

From Morgan and Korns West From Fort Bridger

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Last updated: 04-07-2008