California Bound: Opening the West

California Bound: Opening the West Start Date: Tuesday 6/25/2024 — End Date: Tuesday 6/25/2024 Admission:$5.00 California Bound: Opening the West – 1840-1846 The westward migration to California is the largest in U.S. history, with over 250,000 people making the journey across the Great American Desert between 1840 and 1870. The Donner Party, the California Gold Rush, and the Intercontinental Railroad are indelibly etched in the annals of western history. But before the Donners, the Forty-Niners and the Golden Spike there were the Bidwells, Bartlesons, Walkers and Murphys who blazed a 2,000-mile trail across the rugged western plains and mountains to California. Robert Keahey, a member of the Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum docent team, shines the spotlight on these early pioneers who have mostly been relegated to the footnotes of California history. Starting with a discussion of the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails, key aspects of the development of the California Trail are examined: the drivers that ignited the spark to “go west”; key people – both famous and infamous – who dared to venture into new frontiers; the essential elements of a wagon train; and then a look at notable migrations from 1840 to 1846. Finally, we examine an important question – “What was the impact of these early pioneers on the westward expansion?” Background Robert Keahey is a docent at the Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum in Sunnyvale, California. He is also a member of the Oregon-California Trail Association (OCTA) and is an active member of the CA-NV Chapter. Robert holds a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Louisiana, Monroe. His professional career in Information Technology covered a wide range of roles from enterprise services to startups to contract services. An avid learner, Robert enjoys exploring a wide variety of topics from science to technology to history. His current interest is exploring the pre-Gold Rush pioneers who opened the west for settlement. Location: on line event Saratoga Contact: Annette URL:

Leave a Reply