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Elko District Office
Release Date: 07/31/13
Contacts: Lesli Ellis , 775-753-0386 ,
News Release No. ELDO 2013-059

Mountain Man Caleb Greenwood Chautauqua at California Trail Interpretive Center

ELKO, Nev. – A free Chautauqua on 19th century mountain man, Caleb Greenwood will be presented by Frank Mullen at the California Trail Interpretive Center at 2 p.m., Aug. 10.

Caleb, called “Old Greenwood,” was born before the American Revolution and went into the wilderness west of the Mississippi River in 1809. He is a human metaphor for the opening of the West. As a mountain man, wagon guide and Gold Rush pioneer, he knew everyone and did everything, then bragged about his accomplishments. He left no diaries and no dime novels were written about him, so most people, even Western history buffs, may not have heard of him.

Greenwood joined various trapping expeditions and participated in the first great rendezvous on the Green River in 1825. In 1844, he guided the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy Party across eastern Nevada and over the Sierra, opening the Truckee River Route of the California Trail. In the winter of 1847, Greenwood assisted in the rescue of the snowbound Donner Party. During the Gold Rush, Greenwood spun tales of lost California lodes and then he sold provisions to greenhorns who paid his sons to guide them to the imaginary treasure. The legends he invented persist in California lore.

Frank Mullen is a Reno-based investigative journalist, author and Chautauqua scholar. His Chautauqua characters include Babe Ruth, Ulysses S. Grant and Henry VIII. He is the author of “The Donner Party Chronicles,” and has appeared in History Channel series and other TV programs. Mullen teaches journalism classes at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The California Trail Interpretive Center is operated by the Bureau of Land Management. The free Chautauqua portrayal is presented through Humanities on the Road, a program of Nevada Humanities. Nevada Humanities is Nevada's nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The California Trail Interpretive Center is located 7 miles west of Elko at Hunter Exit 292. The facility is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. For more information, call 775-738-1849.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Elko District Office   3900 E. Idaho St.      Elko, NV 89801  

Last updated: 04-20-2015