California Pioneer

About California Program

Grades 3 - 8 

This program provides a snack and 2 take home crafts for each student. 


People were beginning to talk of a rich land with endless opportunity, a new country far away in the west, called California. It was said to be a desirable place to immigrate to, the valleys were broad and fertile; the rivers numerous with the promise of gold. This inspiration led pioneers from all over the world into making the long, dangerous journey to the California goldfields. 


The great gold rush of California in 1849 ignited the imaginations of adventurous, courageous individuals who traveled through the vast prairies and oceans to seek an independent life, an enterprise for free men. During your visit, student’s will live out the days of the 49er’s, discovering their trades and skills. You’ll hear from a pioneer woman about the challenges of crossing the prairie and assist in her daily workload. Discover the seafaring route from an experienced sailor and try your hand at making rope from twine. There’s gold and rare gemstones to be found, our local prospector will teach you how to use some simple tools and make a fortune!

What to Expect 

Students are introduced to a variety of workshops and activities led by pioneers from the mid-19th century. Lessons focus on various trades, pioneering women and prospectors form far regions during the time of the California Gold Rush. This content rich program will have students expend excess energy as they perform hands-on activities at several stations on our farm and provide follow up materials that align themselves closely with the standards of Common Core.

Program Activities May Include:

  • Panning for gold dust to take home

  • Sluicing for real gemstones to take home

  • Visit to our 49er Settlement 

  • Discussion on the seafaring routes with an experienced deckhand

  • Twist a handmade rope for their classroom and learn about a period trade.

  • Learn knot tying and their various uses in the field 

  • Fire making demonstration

  • Visit to a pioneer camp kitchen

  • Churn butter and learn about food preservation

  • Helping with kitchen chores

  • Cooking journey cakes and sampling

  • Discussion on the overland routes 

  • Playing 19th century games

  • Making a historical toy to take home 

Time: 10 am to 1:30 pm (Start times may vary, depending on school schedule)

Dates: Tuesdays - Fridays during the following months:

Fall: (September - November)

Tuesdays - Fridays during the following months:

Spring: (April - June)


Student Cost: $15.00

Teachers & School Staff: Free Admission

Adult Chaperones: $10.00,  Please Note: One adult per twenty students is required. 

 Policies & Payment 

Please complete and send our Reservation Request Form below for full company policies and payment. You may also call our main office for questions regarding program details and reservations.


Chaperones:  Adults are responsible for the behavior of the group and are required to supervise and stay with students at all times during their visit to Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard.


Deposit: A $250 non-refundable deposit is due within 30 days of field trip registration. Program dates will not be held if deposit is not received within 30 days. The remaining balance, after subtracting the $250.00 deposit, will be due the day of your field trip. We recognize that student numbers can and do change, so fees will be adjusted based on the number of students attending up to 2 weeks prior to the day of your tour. We regret that we are not able to accept purchase orders so please plan to pay by cash, check or credit card when you arrive.

Weather: Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard field trips take place rain or shine. Please encourage your class to dress appropriately for outdoor activities. 


In the event of severe weather... During heavy rain or severe weather Stone Soup Farm may cancel your field trip the day of the tour by calling the phone number you provide. If Stone Soup Farm cancels your field trip due to severe weather, we will make every effort to reschedule your group on an alternative date.


Phone: (951) 458-5382            Email: