Exploring Tahoe Historical Concepts in the Field

Taking advantage of the beautiful landscape and rich cultural history of the Tahoe-Truckee area, the entire high school spent a day diving into historical concepts related to our local region

Taking advantage of the beautiful landscape and rich cultural history of the Tahoe-Truckee area, the entire high school spent Wednesday diving into historical concepts related to our local region, in the Donner Pass area. In small groups, students became experts in a historical area of their choice: The Central Pacific Railroad, Chinese Railroad workers, Early Washoe/Martis/Paiute People or Historical Travellers over Donner Pass. They also spent time considering the subtle distinction between graffiti and petroglyphs and how humans leave their mark on history.

The afternoon saw a group of students expand that discussion into a service project of deciding which graffiti on the train tunnels was considered offensive, and physically removing it. Students who opted for the adventure based alternative had an opportunity to hike to “Catfish Pond”, a small kettle pond that was in the mountains above the train tunnels and was stocked with catfish as a direct result of the 1867 strike of the Chinese Railroad Workers, with one need being better and larger quantities of food. With some GPS work, the students found the pond and there is indeed an unnatural amount of catfish still living in that pond today.