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Follow the Heritage Trail and learn Placer County's history

Visit Rocklin's museum during this weekend's free tour
By: Gloria Beverage, Placer Herald Editor
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Eighteen museums, including Rocklin’s History Museum, will open their doors admission-free during the fifth annual Heritage Trail planned for Saturday and Sunday. The weekend tour showcases Placer County’s captivating history from Roseville to Tahoe City. Rocklin’s History Museum is headquartered in a house built around 1905 at the corner of Rocklin Road and San Francisco Street. For many years, it was the residence and office of Dr. Henry D. Fletcher, the Southern Pacific railroad’s district surgeon. A portion of the museum displays areas are housed in what used to be the doctor’s waiting room and examination areas. Rocklin business owner C.A. Moon purchased the house in 1936. While the Moon family lived in the house, the businessman used the basement as a storage area for his grocery business, which was located in the granite building (formerly Rocklin’s City Hall) on Rocklin Road. Members of the Rocklin Historical Society began planning for a museum in 1988, finally realizing their dream of a location to showcase the city’s history in late 2000. Through the efforts of the Historical Society’s membership and several Scout troops, the 1,000-square-foot residence (along with the 500-square-foot basement) and the gardens were renovated and opened to the public in 2002. The majority of the displays focus on Rocklin’s granite quarries, but other exhibits track the history and culture of the Native Americans. Another display pays tribute to the San Francisco 49ers, who set up their summer training camp at Sierra College from 1981 through 1997. The 18 museums on the Heritage Trail, mostly located with easy access to Interstate 80 between Roseville and North Lake Tahoe, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Activities at each museum are varied. Some visitors can explore the historic artifacts, while other visitors, particularly families with children, will be able to participate in living history activities. For example, visitors to the Placer County Museum in Auburn may meet Alma Bell, who was incarcerated in the dingy outdoor granite quarters under the courthouse stairs, watch a blacksmith in action at the Forest Hill Divide Museum, or listen to Native American stories at the Maidu Museum in Roseville. Hands on activities include gold panning, biscuit-making, and 19th Century games. Other museums will feature “what happened here” through displays and local artifacts. Visitors can choose to ride a chartered bus that will stop at several museums each day, however, tickets for the bus tour must be purchased in advance. On Saturday, the bus will load up at 8:45 a.m. in the upper parking lot of the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn and head east, stopping at the SkiSport Museum, the Golden Drift Museum, the Colfax Area Heritage Museum, and the Forest Hill Divide Museum before returning to Auburn. The Sunday bus tour will also start at the Gold Country Fairgrounds parking lot, but will head west. It stops at the Rocklin History Museum, the Maidu Historic Site and Museum, the Roseville Historical Society Carnegie Museum and the Griffith Quarry Museum before returning to Auburn. Cost to ride the bus is $10 each day. For reservations, call (530) 889-6500. Free printed Heritage Trail Guides are now available at the Heritage Trail museums. A copy can also be downloaded at http://theheritagetrail.blogspot.com/. ________ Fifth Annual Heritage Trail When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Admission: Free Valley Museums (South Placer) • Lincoln Area Archives Museum • Maidu Museum & Historic Site (Roseville) • Roseville Historical Society Carnegie Museum • Rocklin History Museum • Griffith Quarry Museum (Penryn) Auburn Museums (Within one mile of the Historic Courthouse in Auburn) • The Benton Welty School Room • Bernhard Museum Complex • Gold Country Museum • Placer County Museum • Joss House Museum • Gold Country Medical History Museum Mountain Museums (Located in the Sierra Nevada and North Lake Tahoe) • Forest Hill Divide Museum (Foresthill) • Colfax Area Heritage Museum • Golden Drift Museum (Dutch Flat) • Donner Summit Historical Society Museum (Soda Springs) • Western SkiSport Museum (Boreal) • Gatekeeper’s Museum (Tahoe City) • Watson Cabin (Tahoe City)