Old Crump: The True Story of a Trip West
- Answer/discuss the most valuable items that one might have taken on
a trip across the desert. List those items and rank them in order of
- Use this
book in conjunction with focus units on: "The Westward Movement in the
United States," "Overland and Journeys to the Pacific," and a study of
the "California Gold Rush Era." (See links to booklists below.)
A Note about Rancho Camulos
the four children rode Old Crump across Death Valley the first
habitation they found was the original ranch house at Rancho Camulos.
Many people now visit the Rancho Camulos Museum. In May 2004 Laurie
Lawlor was invited to visit the museum and three local schools. She
also appeared at the Adventures for Kids Book Store in Ventura,
California. Maria Wren is a docent at the museum -- here is what she had to say about Old Crump and its connection to Rancho Camulos.
From Maria Wren --
am a docent at Rancho Camulos, a National Historical Site in Ventura
County, CA, that provides a fascinating and accurate picture of early
original land grant dates from 1839 and was opened to the public for
tours three years ago. Only two families since 1839--the del
Valles and Rubels--have owned the property. We have several
buildings and gardens for viewing. The 14-room adobe has been
retrofitted since the earthquake in 1994 so it can be viewed inside
although the furniture has not been replaced. We also have the
separate kitchen (cocina), chapel and fountain, brick winery and school
house. The docent council offers tours and field trips to
children and schools studying California history. The 1800 acres
of Rancho Camulos are still being farmed with many of the same crops
the del Valle family started about 1865, including seedling oranges,
apricots, pomegranates, walnuts, and grapes.
We were delighted when [Laurie Lawlor's book] Old Crump
was discovered last year. We were even happier when we did a
little sleuthing and found it really was a true story taken from
Manley's Death Valley in '49. Imagine our surprise when we read
that four children rode an ox, Old Crump, across Death Valley and the
first habitation they found was the original ranch house at Rancho
It is a wonderful story to share with elementary kids when they come to Rancho Camulos for a visit.
wish to thank Laurie Lawlor for talking to several classrooms in our
schools in May 2004. The children were all interested in her
stories and how she started writing about everyday things she knew as a
child. I am sure she will be a real inspiration to many of
them. We want to encourage kids to learn and practice writing
Camulos is located on State Highway 126 North of Los Angeles near Magic
Mountain. If you visit this area during the summer, please stop
by for a tour any Wednesday or Saturday between 1 and 4 p.m.. And
tell us you that you, too, are friends of Old Crump and Laurie Lawlor.
Docent, Rancho Camulos
Booklists for "The Westward Movement in the United States."
- The Westward Movement and Children's Literature from Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site.
- Westward Movement -- This site is part of a larger site www.historesearch.com/
which compiles many history links in a number of categories.
Historesearch.com is a student generated links site that is reviewed by
several staff members of Foothill High School, Palo Cedro, CA and more
than a few university professors associated with the California North
State History Social Science Project. The site is a prime research site
for many university and public library systems.
Booklist for "Overland and Journeys to the Pacific."
Booklist for "California Gold Rush Era."
- "Going for the Gold"
- an educational nonprofit organization that strives to keep the spirit
of the trails west alive. Page has additional links, and suggested
books for further research/reading.
Old Crump: The True Story of a Trip West. Illustrated by John Winch. (2002) Holiday House. ISBN: 0823416089. 32 pg. Picture Book/Historical Fiction.
[Other Historical Fiction Books] - [All titles by Lawlor] - [Curriculum Connections - List all titles]