At the encampment, located outdoors in a circle of replica covered wagons, historical re-enactors cook meals over open fires, and offer samples of the types of food pioneers ate on the trail. Dressed in clothing representative of the 1850s, and using tools and materials of the time, interpreters demonstrate a variety of trade skills, technology, and everyday activities used six or more generations back. Visitors can see blacksmithing, leather work, laundry and sewing, and black powder shooting. Interpreters will represent all ages and occupations typical of a wagon train.
Some of the activities are interactive, and some are especially planned for families and children – including pioneer era games, school, and dancing.
Many of the interpreters are staff and volunteers of the Interpretive Center, and special guests will bring additional skills. Sheryl Curtis brings her team of oxen and demonstrates the work of a teamster. Blacksmith Peter Clark forges iron using an outdoor setup that might have been seen at a frontier fur post or fort. Musician Hank Cramer joins the wagon train on Saturday, and presents the important role that music played in keeping up the spirits of pioneers as they trekked west.
The special exhibit “Cargo for a Continental Crossing” will be open in the Flagstaff Gallery.
The Trail Center is located five miles east of Baker City, Oregon, on Highway 86. Take Exit 302 from I-84. The Center is currently open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission for adults is $8.00; for seniors it’s $4.50; children 15 and under are admitted for free. Federal passes are accepted. Call (541) 523-1843 for updates on programs and events. For more information about the Trail Center visit: www.oregontrail.blm.gov