U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
Elko Field Office
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DATE: January 23, 2007
CONTACT: Mike Brown (775) 753-0386
e-mail: Mike_Brown@nv.blm.gov
ELKO FIELD OFFICE: 2007-27

Despite Cold Weather, California Trail Center Construction Marches On - Story #6

Elko, Nev.— Cold temperatures and inclement weather have slowed but not stopped progress on building the California Trail Center.

“By using insulating blankets, diesel and propane salamander heaters,” said Dennis Petersen, California Trail Center Construction Project Inspector, “we’re able to keep the work areas warm enough for concrete and mortar to cure properly. We’re continuing to pour concrete for the footers and in the past week 62 yards were poured in the foundation walls at the retail area, east interpretive wall, remaining interior column, and footing at the west interpretive wall.”

“The first shipment of concrete blocks for the walls was delivered and we’ll begin installing them next week,” added Petersen.

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
Bull and Bear Fights - by Mike Brown
Entertainment in the gold camps took on many forms during the heyday of the Gold Rush. All manner of performers found eager audiences in the camps. The most bizarre diversions were the bull and bear fights. A couple of miners decided to add a twist to the traditional man versus bull event. Instead of a man, they would match a wild bull with a grizzly bear. Not wasting time, a grizzly was captured in a pit trap, a couple wild bulls were rounded up, and posters advertising the event were distributed far and wide. Miners paid $3 a seat to watch.

The bear, named General Scott, was put in the middle of a fenced arena on a 20-foot chain. When the bull was put into the ring, the bear dug a shallow pit in order to fight sitting or laying down. The bull pawed, snorted, and charged the bear trying to get a horn in the bear’s side and toss him up in the air.

Well, when the bull got to the bear, the bear reached up with his powerful front legs and got a bear-lock on the bull and used his claws to rip the bull’s nose to shreds. The bull got away, but when he charged again the same thing happened. The fight promoter feared the event would end too quickly, so he offered to supply a second bull for another $200. The hat was passed, the money raised, and a second bull was put in the ring.

The bear shredded the second bull, too; and both bulls were killed to put them out of their misery. General Scott the bear was a hero until his next fight when the bull killed him. The fighting style of the bear going down and the bull going up is still with us to this day.
It’s how we describe the stock market - a Bull Market or a Bear Market.

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Last updated: 04-07-2008