“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Truckee in Nevada County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Donner Lake West End

Donner Lake West End Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, April 26, 2018
1. Donner Lake West End Marker
Inscription.  History
The Donner Lake area is not only an exciting place to live and adventure, but also has lots of interesting history. The story of the Donner Party crossing over this amazing and majestic mountain range (1847) has spread through the area. The Donner Lake area, however, started out as a railroad stop, not a place to live. During construction of the Transcontinental Railroad (1869), the Dutch Flat Donner Lake Wagon Rd. followed the approximate route of the emigrant wagons and was used to transport materials for the building of the railroad and as a toll road. Later, this trail became the Lincoln Highway (1913) and then Highway 40 and was used for tourists crossing over the Sierra Nevada Mountains to get to Donner Lake and Truckee, not just for transporting materials or goods. Eventually, this little railroad stop became more and more populated and with more people visiting and staying, it came to be a bigger town. As the town grew, and more people started to visit, the Donner area became a town that is now known as Truckee, California.

A Good Story
During her rescue from Donner Lake in March 1847,
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Mrs Graves, a member of the Donner Party, couldn't carry her family's money anymore. She was just too tired. She buried her money near this spot and three days later she died on Donner Summit at what became known as "Starved Camp."
In 1891 the money was found by a prospector. There were coins worth between $300.00 and $500.00. There continue to be conflicting stories about what happened to the money.

Donner Treasure
Claim Made That Money Has Been Found
A Miner Accidentally Discovers The Hiding Place
The spot in plain sight of the wagon road close to margin of Donner Lake - The coins found are of date prior to 1845, and comprise the marking of America, France, Spain, Bolivia and the Argentine Republic - Truckee excited over the discovery. -- Sacramento Union May 16, 1891

Things to do right here
A Long Time Ago:
Donner Lake has long been a tourist destination and once there were many resorts along the lake like the Donner Camp, above, which was right at the west end of the lake. There was fine trout fishing in the river and in the lake. In fact, at the New Whitney Hotel's pond in Truckee, they had 10,000 trout ready for fly fishing! Resorts had log cabins, boat rentals, dances, carriage rides, buffets, and lots of activities so that people would have great stays. For a while
Donner Lake West End Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, April 26, 2018
2. Donner Lake West End Marker
there was even a steamer on Donner Lake.
Please keep in mind to respect the beautiful land surrounding Donner Lake.
Swimming in the emerald green waters of Donner Lake is always refreshing. Kayaking, boating and jet skiing through glassy blue waters and paddle boarding under the full moon are the best. Walking to Rainbow bridge or hiking to the train tunnels and seeing the beautiful scenic overlook is incredible; the sights will amaze you. Putting one foot in front of the other while exploring the forests of Donner Lake, biking on the rock mountains above Donner Lake, and catching big fish are always a blast. Fourth of July fireworks are a treat, seeing the beautiful colors explode over Donner Lake. Smelling the scent of sizzling hamburgers in the breeze is nice when you're on the beach, and camping in the warm summer weather is a blast. Playing on the beach is alway enjoyable and feeling hot sand in your toes is pleasant. Playing with your family and friends is fun every time. All of these adventures await you; you should definitely visit again.
Erected by Donner Summit Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersRoads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Donner Summit Historical Society series list. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1847.
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39° 19.395′ N, 120° 17.448′ W. Marker is near Truckee, California, in Nevada County. Marker is at the intersection of Donner Pass Road and South Shore Road, on the right when traveling west on Donner Pass Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Truckee CA 96161, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First Wagons Across the Sierras (within shouting distance of this marker); Pollard's Station (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); What Made Her Do It? (about 700 feet away); Donner Summit Canyon History (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Snowsheds (approx. 1.4 miles away); Donner Summit Overlook (approx. 1˝ miles away); Donner Summit Bridge (approx. 1˝ miles away); Transcontinental Railroad (approx. 1˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Truckee.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 9, 2019. It was originally submitted on February 9, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 213 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 9, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Feb. 26, 2024