Heritage Trail coming to Placer County

History event set to connect local history with locals
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Where on earth can you find more than 80 model aircraft, Elmer Gum?s sheriff?s office, root-beer floats, a mining tunnel, ?Snowshoe? Thompson?s super-long skis and historical hydroplanes? In Placer County museums, that?s where. And they?ll be opening their doors ? and their collections of the arcane and the incredible ? on August 9 and 10 for a first-ever, cross-county tour meant to shine the spotlight a little brighter on what they offer. Themed ?Drive-up, Hitch-up, or Giddy-up!? Placer County?s Heritage Trail event will give participants an opportunity to get to know museums from Roseville to Tahoe. The event is free and written trail guides will be available at each museum. ?We?re trying to capture movement and the fun of museums,? county museums Administrator Melanie Barton said. The proximity of many of the museums ? six are within a mile of one another in Auburn ? will allow participants to visit several without burning up much gas, Barton said. Another four of the museums are clustered in the Roseville, Rocklin and Penryn area. The event is keeping an eye on gas prices as well as history. Trail travelers are being encouraged to share rides, walk, bike, take a bus tour being organized, or even run a route. A bus tour taking different routes is being planned each day, with pickup and drop-off in Auburn. The Saturday tour would take museum-goers to the South Placer area while the Sunday tour would travel to the Colfax Area Heritage Museum, the Golden Drift Museum in Dutch Flat, Big Bend Visitors Center and the Western SkiSport Museum. Fees for the bus trips have yet to be determined. Helen Wayland, director of the Colfax museum, said the ?wow? factor will be on display for visitors in Colfax in the form of displays of pharmacy products dating from the 1870s. A large collection of typewriters is another one of the most talked-about collections, with much more to see, she said. ?It?s absolutely packed,? Wayland said. At Roseville?s Carnegie Museum, the collection of more than 80 model airplanes is expected to be a big attraction, while children will be invited to play an old-fashioned game of marbles. The Maidu Interpretive Center, also in Roseville, will provide a guided tour of an ancient Indian village site. The Placer County Museum in Auburn will share a glimpse of a women?s jail and early 20th century sheriff Elmer Gum?s office. Latitudes restaurant will be selling root-beer floats and ice cream cones. Auburn?s Bernhard Museum will be the only location with a meal menu. Hamburgers and hot dogs will be sold for visitors, who can try their hand at making late 19th century crafts or venturing over for a wine tasting at Baumbach wines, located in the nearby Bernhard Winery. The Gold Country Museum on the Auburn fairgrounds has a mining tunnel to pass through and an opportunity to pan for gold. At the Auburn City Hall, a classroom from the early 1900s has been preserved, with textbooks, school memorabilia and even a blackboard on display inside what once was the Auburn Grammar School. Early Sierra Nevada mail carrier ?Snowshoe? Thompson?s skis and mailbag are on display at the Western Skisport Museum in Soda Springs. And farther east, the Tahoe Maritime Museum will display classic wooden boats and hydroplanes. The Journal?s Gus Thomson can be reached at