DATE: November 21, 2006
CONTACT: Mike Brown(775) 753-0386
ELKO FIELD OFFICE: 2007-09
CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES AT CALIFORNIA TRAIL CENTER NEAR ELKO
Construction is continuing on Elko’s future California National Historic Trail Interpretive Center. West Coast Contractors of Nevada, Inc. is making good progress on the $9.45 million contract.
“Power to the site has been installed near the main building,” said Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko Field Office Engineer Norm Rockwell. “The final connection will be done next summer so it doesn’t interfere now with on-going construction activities around the building footprint. This is a major step getting power on site so the contactor has electricity for his office and construction activities.”
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 Start of the California Gold Rush, Part 2 - by Terry Del Bene
The 1846 war with Mexico had been a controversial war of conquest. In January of 1848 the House of Representatives had passed a resolution by a vote of 85 to 81 which declared the war to be unnecessary and unconstitutionally begun. The arrival of the treaty ending the war changed the debate. The year 1848 would see a presidential election. Though the United States had been victorious, the acquisition of what was then thought to be forbidding wasteland at the cost of so many lives and so much treasure had played a large role in assuring that President Polk did not receive the nomination of his own party. The race would be between Lewis Cass (Democratic Party), Zachary Taylor (Whig Party), and Martin Van Buren (Free-Soil Party). The main issue dominating the election was slavery. The discovery of gold would do much to put this issue on the back burner for a while.
With the end of the war thousands of soldiers were being discharged from military service. Additionally lucrative government contracts were being terminated. The American economy was not ready to absorb the excess labor force at a time when the economy was slowing down. Foreign investment in the American economy had been high during the war, but with the coming of peace the Nation and the world were bracing for a recession at least but most-likely a depression.
The discovery of gold could not have come at a better time for the business community. It was thought employment in the gold fields would ease overcrowding of Northern cities. Additionally the American banks with full coffers would be able to ease credit restrictions, stimulating the economy even more. The desire to establish a trans-continental railroad system came to the fore again. Some thought that the defunct Bank of the United States would be able to use the California gold to back the issuance of currency. From imminent collapse the American economic mood almost overnight changed to one of unlimited possibilities.
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