California Trail Days

Date(s) - 05/20/2018
All Day

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Join us for the Annual Trail Days Event in Elko, Nevada. The theme this year is “Rhythm of the Trail” We’ll have live music from many varying artists and styles from the frontier music of Hank Cramer to the beat of the Sunrise Singers. Come see the 1800s Wagon Encampment and Shoshone Summer Camp. See living history demonstrations – Pioneer and Native American culture come to life! Experience historic displays, special presentations, and fun for the whole family. Free and open to everyone.

California Trail Days Programs

Sunday, May 20


10:00 a.m., South Fork Room: William Ormsby, The Overland Routes and the Creation of Nevada Territory


During the late 1850s, Major William Ormsby and his friends created provisional Nevada Territory as part of a broad political and military strategy to control the central overland route and change the face of the far-West. This talk and slide show outlines CW Bayer’s books researching that effort. The story is central to the California Trail as well as to the founding of Nevada. Copies of his book will be available for sale.


11:00 a.m., Lobby:  The Anatomy of a Wagon:  How a Wagon Works

Wagons were indispensable for thousands of emigrants. Join Frank Tortorich to learn how a wagon works. Tortorich is a historian, author, and member of the California Trail Heritage Alliance.


12:00 p.m., Lobby: Gold Rush Songs with Chris Bayer

Enjoy gold rush mining songs from 1849 to 1863. Chris Bayer will bring his old banjo to inform and entertain with the stories and tunes that defined gold rush songs. The program includes important reflections on mining and western culture.


1:00 p.m., Lobby: Shoshone and Paiute songs with Gayleen Roy

Gayleen Roy is a Paiute Shoshone singer from Yerington, Nevada. Follow along as she sings lullabies, hand game, circle dance, and flag songs traditionally sung by the tribes that inhabited the Great Basin.


2:00 p.m., Lobby: History of the California Trail with Frank Tortorich

Learn about ancient Indian Trade Routes and the first wagons over the Sierra Nevada and the Gold Rush Trail, the Carson River Route.


3:00 p.m. Lobby: Shoshone Songs with Lois Whitney and Katherine Blossom.

Listen to and learn about traditional Shoshone songs.  These songs will focus on the Great Basin and the creatures that shared this landscape with the Shoshone people.