Living California’s history | SierraSun.com

Living California’s history

Christine Stanley

More than 80 Glenshire Elementary School fourth graders gathered at the Alder Creek Campground on Friday to learn about and celebrate California’s early history at their annual Living History Day.Dressed in donated and mom-made period costumes, students, parents and teachers recreated the daily grind of life in the 1850s, complete with gold panning, folk-dancing, bread making, and other pioneer-era activities.After spending the day as California settlers did, Glenshire student Gage Shaw said he realized that youngsters in the old days had things much tougher than they do today. “Kids had to go out and do work all day, and there wasn’t much to do in your free time,” Shaw said. Simeon Murphy, also a student, said he thought the hardest part of being a pioneer wasn’t the lifestyle, but the traveling it took to get to the Golden State. “I wouldn’t have been able to walk that far,” he said. “The pioneers would walk 16 miles on a good day, and maybe only five miles on a tough one.”Lois Moore, a fourth-grade teacher at Glenshire Elementary, began Living History Day at Sierra Mountain Middle School more than 13 years ago as a supplement to classroom curriculum.The state mandates that fourth graders learn of California’s early history, including the Gold Rush and westward movement and settlement. Through the Living History Day program, students are able to experience first hand the trials and successes of their ancestors, Moore said.