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MyTown Background
MyTown is an amalgamation of stories typical of some California towns of the 1800s set before the civil war and the coming of the railroad, but after the Gold Rush. There were a handful of Ranchos still family owned by the 1850’s, but they were selling land for settlements, agriculture, and later, to the railroad companies. In our story, the Torres family was able to hang on to at least some of their property.

In the 1850's, families continued to come west, often organizing wagon trains in St. Louis or St. Joseph, Missouri. MyTown does not specify a particular trial taken by the settlers so that students might imagine their trail close to their own community in Northern, Central, or Southern California.

California was home to more than 100 tribes of American Indians who lived in different regions and relied on different natural resources. MyTown does not specify a particular tribe living on its land so that students might imagine its location to be more northern or southern.

The diseno used in MyTown is loosely based on the Diseno del Ranchos San Lorenzo (Castro y Soto). To see this and other California disenos  visit Calisphere and search "rancho map."

MyTown artist, Martha C. Wilson, used historical photographs to create the characters and families. CRF is in the process of acquiring permissions to post the historic photos for your students.