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Week 2
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  The families are outfitted for the frontier.

Update from the field:
Micah Fink, Field Producer

The families arrived and were immediately given a tour of the old town by John Ellingsen. John knows and loves every inch of the Nevada City collection of frontier-era items, and has been involved in building, planning, and protecting it since the early 1970s. He has grown along with the revived town, and is just as quirky, interesting, and weathered as the collection itself.

When our three families stepped out of their cars and took their first tour through town, they were electric with excitement. The next day they met the eclectic team of historical consultants, who taught them the practical skills they will need to survive during the next five months.

Sue Cain, our domestic life consultant, has been involved with teaching living history for the last thirty years, and showed the families how people cooked, cleaned, washed, and dressed in the 1880s. Rawhide Johnson and Bernie Weisgerber, our other two main consultants involved in this training period, taught animal skills and woodworking techniques. Rawhide was responsible for teaching our families to care for their livestock (horses, milk cows, and dogs), and Bernie covered the use of axes,


"Sue Cain taught the families how to cook a simple meal in a Dutch oven suspended on a tripod over a campfire."

media link
Sue Cain reports on training week. Read her bio.
Rawhide Johnson describes the livestock. Read his bio.

Next week's story: The families arrive at the land they will call home for the next five months.

The Way it was

knives, and saws -- the tools that will allow the familes to build their new homes. Our three families quickly adapted to the training schedule. Members of each family rose at 5:30 to milk their cows and feed their horses and dogs. Bernie taught a class on axes and building a campfire. Rawhide taught the first class in riding and maintaining the horses. Sue taught how to cook a simple meal, using basic ingredients like flour, beans, and lard, in a Dutch oven suspended on a tripod over a campfire. These are basic skills, and the degree to which the families can master them will greatly affect their ability to succeed during the next five months.

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