Salmon Bay School simulates Oregon Trail

On Friday, the 4th and 5th grade class from Salmon Bay School walked from Ballard to Magnuson Park to give the kids a feeling for what it felt like to be on the Oregon Trail.

Dressed in 19th century clothes and pulling red wagons, Nicolette Jensen’s and Brian Williamson’s class hiked about eight miles along the Burke-Gilman trail. They carried snacks and food supplies to make a dinner, 19th century-style. Potatoes, onions and carrots overflowed out of the red wagons. With the picnic shelters in sight, the kids took off running.

After a quick dip to soothe their blistered feet, the young pioneers started cooking dinner.

All perishable goods such as milk, eggs, and salmon, were available at the “Fort Sand Point Store,” pictured above. Williamson said the kids all were using 19th century cookbooks to find recipes for dinner. One group was making potato soup, and a little girl in a white dress with a red apron was pulling out potatoes one-by-one out of the wagon.

Williamson said he was impressed with the students. Aside from a couple toppled wagons, he said the trip was a success. And out of 53 kids, only one had to be pulled off the trail. “We’re pretending she fell ill with cholera,” Williamson joked.

7 thoughts to “Salmon Bay School simulates Oregon Trail”

  1. Nicolette Jensen’s 4th/5th grade class participated too, along with Brian Williamson’s class!  8 miles is a long walk but it was a blast!

  2. This is so cool.  I’ve been researching my great grandmother’s life after her husband was killed over a grazing dispute and imagine her trip in the 1800’s from Kansas to Montana was  via horse and wagon.  How difficult life must have been.  Re: the kid they pulled off the trail, cholera was a big deal back then – my great gma lost her pigs and chickens to their versions of it.

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