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Carnegie SVRA Hosted CASSP Training For Volunteers

CAASP Training Workshop, December 5-6, 2009

The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division and Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA), in collaboration with the California Archaeological Site Stewardship Program (CASSP), held a two-day training workshop on December 5-6, 2009.

CASSP pairs trained volunteers with professional archaeologists to protect archaeological and historical resources by regularly visiting sites and recording changes. Before volunteers can begin monitoring the sites, they must take a training workshop. The Saturday classroom session took place in Sacramento. On Sunday, participants took a field trip to the archaeological and historic sites at Carnegie SVRA located between Tracy and Livermore.

Carnegie SVRA provides a landscape rich in cultural history and exciting recreational opportunities for off-highway vehicle enthusiasts. At one time, however, it was a hub of industrial activity for a growing state.

The Tesla Coal Mine at Carnegie SVRA was one of the oldest and the largest coal producing mines in California.  In the late 1800’s, clay adjacent to the coal beds was discovered, and by 1901, the Carnegie Brick and Pottery Company was built and named after philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The brickworks were located just east of where the ATV track is today.  By 1910, as many as 110,000 bricks a day were being shipped all over California, stamped with the name “Carnegie”. A little town sprung up around the brickworks, which included a hotel, two bunkhouses, a bakery, saloon, slaughterhouse, school, and 17 homes.  In 1902, Tesla sand was used in the first window pane factory west of the Mississippi.

Today, visitors to Carnegie SVRA can ride Kiln Canyon Trail, see the remains of a lime kiln, the Graner Hotel at the Bunkhouse trailhead, and the remains of the brick works and the roadbed for the railroad.

If you would like to learn more about future CASSP training workshops, and how to volunteer to help ensure the protection and preservation of Carnegie SVRA’s unique cultural resources, please contact Beth and Chris Padon at (562) 431-0300 or by e-mail at: The initial training workshop fee is $25 per person. Pre-registration is required.  Classes are limited to 25 people each. To learn about more classes throughout California, visit