Elko Field Office
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Date: September 14, 2006
Contacts: Mike Brown, Elko (775) 753-0386
Maxine Shane, Reno (775) 861-6586

Contract Awarded for California Trail Center

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) National Business Center in Denver awarded a $9.45 million contract this week for the construction of the California National Historic Trails Interpretive Center. A Reno-based company, West Coast Contractors of Nevada, Inc., was the successful bidder. The Center is to be constructed on land donated to the federal government by the Maggie Creek Ranch about 10 miles west of Elko, in northeastern Nevada.

Site grading and construction of the facility is expected to begin in the next few weeks. The 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.

The Center will tell the story of the some largest voluntary emigration in American History – that of the ‘49ers traveling west to the gold fields, and broad well-watered valleys of California between about 1841 and 1869.

More than 650 miles of the California Trail traverses Nevada. Much of the trail is on lands managed by the BLM in the Elko, Winnemucca and Carson City Field Offices. Future plans include the development of way-sides across the state on both public and private lands.

The California Trail Center was conceived by local businessmen in the Elko area some years ago. In 2000, these community leaders met with city, county, state and federal officials to gain support and funding for the project. The City of Elko contributed $2 million, Elko County contributed $1 million and the State of Nevada contributed $3 million. The Nevada Congressional delegation has been supportive of the project, with $7.8 million being added to Congressional appropriations since 2000 by Senator Harry Reid.

Thus far about 3.6 million dollars has been expended on the project. This includes money spent on a feasibility study, site selection, building and exhibit design and building construction.

The construction of the facility is expected to take 18 to 20 months with opening scheduled in the late summer of 2008.

Photo of California Tail Center's foundation being prepared
Last updated: 03-27-2015