JVES students learn about Gold Rush from wagon train | RecordCourier.com

JVES students learn about Gold Rush from wagon train

by Michael Scott Neuffer

America’s Gold Rush Wagon Train made an educational stop at Jack’s Valley Elementary School on Monday.

The wagon train is a non-profit, educational group founded by San Francisco Bay Area teacher Kimberly Lloyd-Stewart, Wagon Master Russ Leger and Trail Boss John Stewart.

The train is embarking on the last part of their five-month, 2,300-mile journey that began in Atchinson, Kan. and will end in Sacramento. The group is determined to retrace the trail that led miners to California’s gold fields in the 1800s.

“This represents the history of this state and the history of this community,” said Leger, wagon master. “Senior citizens, adults, little kids … everyone can participate in part of our history.”

The children of JVES crowded around Leger, eager to ask questions about the wagon train.

“How far do you travel in one day?” asked student Seth White.

“Well, usually we’re traveling around 20 to 30 miles a day, but if we want to get moving, we can put in a 40-mile day,” Leger answered.

After asking questions, the kids explored the five wagons that make up the train, talked to some of the occupants and played with some of the animals, including a rooster and a giant pig. The rear wagon operators let the children climb aboard and see for themselves what being in a covered wagon is really like.

“This is the best opportunity we could have … to spend our last full day in Nevada with all these children,” said Leger. “I wish that when I was young, a wagon train would’ve come to my school.”

The train’s journey will end on Labor Day Weekend in Sacramento as the Heritage Days celebration is taking place. For information on joining the wagon train, call (916) 761-2594.