We got up at 4:45am to fly to Sacramento. I was accompanying our son Theo on his 4th grade field trip which was all about California history. We just got home and it’s 11pm and time for bed. We had an action-packed trip including a visit to the Capitol building, where we lurked outside Governor Brown’s office and then visited the Senate Chamber. Next we visited Sutter’s Fort, what can be called California’s first shopping mall, a complex of shops and services in a fort built by John Sutter. Ironically, though Sutter was one of the California personages closely connected to the start of the Gold Rush, he had no luck with gold himself, and his businesses ended in failure. Finally, we drove out to Placerville, formerly Hangtown, where Gold Rush so-called “criminals” were hung from a tree, and where the Gold Bug Mine is located. Exploring the mine, learning how gold was separated from its ore with a stamp machine and watching a blacksmith making iron mining tools were all fascinating, but panning for gold was the highlight. Watching the kids engaging with nature, with history and with each other was the best part of the trip. We came home exhausted and full of experiences that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
When we got off the plane, I gave their teacher, Mrs. Chan, a book I’d been reading called What was the Gold Rush? It’s actually meant for kids, but was a great, informative read for a parents with little time for reading up on their kids’ curriculum material. It will live in their classroom so that this year’s 4th graders and future 4th graders can find out more background information about this great adventure in California’s history and their lives.
This blog was written late at night while I was somewhat delirious, so was full of shocking spelling and grammar mistakes! -I edited a little the next day. With apologies and thanks for understanding…mm