The Donner Party   1 comment

Donner Lake Pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountain...

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The Donner Party.

via The Donner Party.

The Donner Party was the most famous tragedy in the history of the westward migration.  Almost ninety wagon train emigrants were unable to cross the Sierra Nevada before winter, and almost one-half starved to death.  Perhaps because they were ordinary people — farmers, merchants, parents, children — their story captures the imagination.  The logs on this site contain the words of the participants from their diaries, letters and first-hand accounts, balanced by the perspective of later historians.  The logs describe the locations of their trail and camps in detail so you can follow in the Donner Party’s wagon tracks and footsteps.


One-hundred and sixty-four years ago this month, the Donner Party was unable to cross the Pass in a storm.  They returned to the Lake and built cabins, below.  They slaughtered their cattle for food, and used the hides as roofs on the cabins.  The Breens inhabited the cabin that had been built two years earlier by the Stephens Party. This is the site of the Pioneer Monument at Donner Memorial State Park. The Murphys built a cabin a few hundred yards to the south, against a large rock. This rock is today marked by a plaque in the Park.  The Graves and Reeds built a cabin about a half-mile down the Creek.

One response to “The Donner Party

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  1. Thanks for this good read. I really preferred it and I have bookmarked you to check out the recent stuff you post.

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