Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Welcome Back---Fall 2013

Greetings to my new students--especially to the "new" 9th graders.  Mrs. Olsen spent the most of the summer in Oregon, but she was down in California learning about the Transcontinental Railroad.  She even got a private tour of tunnels 6 and 7--where the railroad workers bored down through granite to open the route through the Sierra Mountains of California.

However, the real highlight for her was a visit to Sutter's Fort in Sacramento where she saw Patty Reed's tiny doll that she carried with her through the Donner Party ordeal of 1846.  The Donner Party was trapped in the mountains of the Sierra for months after they fell behind in the Nevada Desert.  While traveling through the desert, the party was forced to leave their supplies behind and travel light in an effort to make a dash across the mountains before the winter snow hit.  They didn't make it...and the Donner Party's resort to cannibalism has made it one of the most infamous stories in the Old West.

However, Patty Reed was only eight....and she kept one little belonging hidden from her family...a small doll only 3 1/2 inches high.  She tucked it into her underskirt's pocket and kept it there.  Imagine this little girl, in such terrible circumstances, patting her little doll in the pocket, like a small friend, during the endless days of cold and hunger.