California Pioneer

About California Program


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, families 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 

Families are introduced to a variety of workshops and activities led by pioneers from the mid-19th century. They learn about various trades people, pioneering women and prospectors form far regions during the time of the California Gold Rush. 



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 (Check-in is at 9:30. Program starts promptly at 10:00.)

Date: TBD


 Policies & Ticket Sales 


Cost Per Person: $15.00 ( Adults must pay admission fee. No charge for infants 0-3 years of age.) Please purchase tickets ahead of time, no sales the day of the scheduled program. Ticket sales close at 6:00 p.m. the day before the scheduled program. 

Guests:  Adults are responsible for the behavior of their group and are required to supervise and stay with dependents at all times during their visit to Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard. Please make interpretive staff aware if you or any member of your group require special needs.  

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


In the event of severe weather... During heavy rain or severe weather Stone Soup Farm may cancel your program the day before the tour by the email you provide. If Stone Soup Farm cancels the program due to severe weather, we will provide a complete refund.


Phone: (951) 458-5382            Email:


Purchase Tickets Here