Elko Field Office
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Date: August 14, 2007
CONTACT: Mike Brown, (775) 753-0386
Email: mbrown@nv.blm.gov


Elko, Nev. — The California Trail Center plaza water feature based on the Humboldt River is completed.

“The plaza is really taking shape and looking good,” said Dave Jamiel, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) California Trail Center Manager. “The plaza interpretive wall stone veneer is complete. Approximately three fourths of the concrete curbing in the parking lot is complete.”

Jamiel added that Spires Concrete has completed about half of the concrete tiered seating in the plaza. They are also preparing the base material in the plaza for the installing the concrete pavers. Venture Allglaze Glass has over 90 percent of the window frames and glazing in place.

Jackson Drywall has nearly completed all the light gage steel framing in the building and will begin the installation gypsum wallboard in the next week or two. Frazier Masonry will begin the installation of the stone veneer on the building next week.

Copeland Electric installed electrical conduits and boxes throughout the exhibit area and installed exterior lighting fixtures in the plaza. Parker Heating continues to install ducts and copper piping for the fan coil units. Kodiak Roofing has nearly completed the flat roof areas of the building and will begin the installation of the steel roof decking at the sloped roofs and arched roofs.

Homesickness on the Trail
- by Will Bagley
The close relations that bound many American families were a major factor in discouraging overland emigration, and among those who chose to go “the plains across,” homesickness was pervasive if not universal. Many emigrants left “homes and families from which they have never been separated more than a day or two at a time,” noted one traveler in 1850, “and when the first excitement of the journey passes off they become homesick, lonely and dispirited, and any excuse, or the slightest difficulty, is sufficient to turn their faces homeward.”

After traveling only thirty-five miles from the Missouri River in 1849, George M. Davidson reported, “The whole of the route thus far is full of old waggons deserted, some broke down others lost their stock others their friends and have become so sick of the trip that they [are] willing to sell everything they have if they can only get home once more. . . . I thought I had seen some little distress in my life but nothing like what I have seen thus far on the trip.”

“I was reminded more of home,” Jefferson Bridgford wrote near South Pass after seeing a child “running about with a stick in his hand” who called to mind Eugene, his son. “I don’t think I ever saw a child that looked more like him in my life [and] I was about tempted to go and Kiss him in the place of ours.” On the Humboldt River, Daniel Budd expressed the loneliness almost every man who had left a family behind felt on the trail: “Home, home what would I give to see my home.”

Overlanders dealt with their lonesomeness as best they could. “I was very unwell this afternoon and tremendously home-sick for a few hours but I feel very happy this afternoon, the gloomy clouds have passed away and I look forward with a hope that I shall yet see better days,” Belinda Cooley Pickett wrote on the Humboldt. “If it was not for hope, the heart would certainly break.” But the challenges of the trail wore down even optimists like Pickett. “We have dragged 16 miles today, — I am tired, tired, tired of this way of living,” she wrote a few days later. “This is like taking a persons life by inches.”

from Will Bagley’s The Long and Hazardous Journey









Spires Concrete workers are preparing to pour additional sections of the tiered seating in the California Trail Center Intepretive Plaza. (photo by Dennis Petersen)

Last updated: 03-26-2015