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Truckee in Nevada County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Donner Party

 
 
Donner Party Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, September 20, 2008
1. Donner Party Marker
Inscription. Near this spot stood the Breen cabin of the party of emigrants who started for California from Springfield, Illinois, in April 1846, under the leadership of Captain George Donner. Delays occurred and when the party reached this locality, on October 29, the Truckee Pass Emigrant Road was concealed by snow. The height of the shaft of the monument indicates the depth of the snow, which was twenty-two feet. After futile efforts to cross the summit the party was compelled to encamp for the winter. The Graves cabin was situated about three-quarters of a mile to the eastward, the Murphy cabin about two hundred yards southwest of the monument, and the Donner tents were at the head of Alder Creek. Ninety people were in the party and forty-two perished, most of them from starvation and exposure.
In Commemoration of the Pioneers Who Crossed the Plains to Settle in California

 
Erected 1918 by The Native Sons and Native Daughters of the Golden West. June 6, 1918. (Marker Number 134.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks, and the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West marker series.
 
Location. 39° 19.431′ N, 120° 13.863′ W. Marker is in Truckee, California, in Nevada
Marker on Front of Donner Monument image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, September 20, 2008
2. Marker on Front of Donner Monument
Virile to risk and find; Kindly withal and a ready help; Facing the brunt of fate; Indomitable - Unafraid
County. Marker can be reached from 12593 Donner Pass Road. Touch for map. Marker is located at the Donner Memorial State Park, northeast of the museum building. Marker is in this post office area: Truckee CA 96160, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Schallenberger Cabin Site (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Donner Party (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Gateway Cabin (approx. 0.9 miles away); Rocking Stone (approx. 2.3 miles away); World War I Memorial / Victory Highway Monument (approx. 2.4 miles away); Old Truckee Jail (approx. 2.4 miles away); Theodore Dehone Judah (approx. 2Ĺ miles away); Truckee (approx. 2Ĺ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Truckee.
 
More about this marker. Marker is located on the back of the monument

This site is a California Registered Historical Landmark (No.134)
 
Regarding Donner Party. Nowhere is there a more stirring account of the American Pioneer spirit than the history of the Donner Party, who emigrated to California in 1846-47. This party of eighty-nine men, women and children suffered unbelievable hardships, and death to almost half their group, in their quest to settle in California. They chose a "shortcut"
The Back of the Donner Monument Displaying the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, September 20, 2008
3. The Back of the Donner Monument Displaying the Marker
on their way to California that cost them time and half their cattle and oxen. An early winter, that proved to be the worst in 30 years, trapped them without enough provisions. Half of those that set out on foot, to get help, perished along the way. Those who stayed waited four to five months for relief parties, and only survived by eating their oxen and, at the end, some by cannibalism. Their complete story is told at this memorial park.
Source: Discover California By Geo.& Jan Roberts

Also see: Elitha Cumi Donner-Wilder marker in Sacramento County, California
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Donner Party Markers at both ends of their trail.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Donner Party Diary. In addition to telling the full story of the Donner Party this site has links to other Donner Party Web Sites (Submitted on September 19, 2008.) 

2. Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco: The Donner Party. (Submitted on September 19, 2008.)
 
Additional comments.
1. National Historic Landmark Statement of Significance (as of designation - January 20, 1961):
In the winter of 1846-47, a group of 89 California-bound emigrants led by Jacob and George Donner was trapped
National Historic Landmark Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, September 20, 2008
4. National Historic Landmark Plaque
Donner Camp
Has been designated a
Registered National Historic Landmark
Under the provisions of the Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935. This site possesses exceptional value in commemorating and illistrating the history of the United States
U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service
1961
by the heavy snows of the High Sierra. Bitter cold and dwindling food supplies reduced the wagon train to a group of desperate individuals unable to cooperate, driven to terror and degradation. Four relief expeditions eventually rescued 47 of the party.
    — Submitted November 30, 2008.

 
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
 
Donner Party Monument image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, September 20, 2008
5. Donner Party Monument
1918 bronze by John A. MacQuarrie (1871–1944) is 16 feet tall on a 22 foot base. Although the sculpture is dedicated to all the early pioneers of the 1840s, it has become inextricably bound to the poignant and tragic fate of the Donner party who suffered and perished on this site.
Close-Up of Sculpture on Monument image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, September 20, 2008
6. Close-Up of Sculpture on Monument
The sculpture depicts a pioneer family striding westward in a representation of the pioneer spirit. Caption on this and previous photo from the Smithsonian American Art Museumís Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture database.
Vintage Postcard - Donner Monument image. Click for full size.
Distributed by Reno News Agency, Reno Nevada
7. Vintage Postcard - Donner Monument
DONNER MONUMENT
U.S. HIGHWAY 40, CALIFORNIA
Erected in memory of the ill-fated Donner Party which met with disaster in the winter of 1846-47. Note: Highway 40 has since been replaced by Interstate 80
Vintage Postcard - Donner Monument image. Click for full size.
By Unknown
8. Vintage Postcard - Donner Monument
Bronze Figures - Pioneer Donner Mt.
Donner Party Sculpture image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, September 20, 2008
9. Donner Party Sculpture
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 19, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 5,119 times since then and 258 times this year. Last updated on April 19, 2016, by James King of San Miguel, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on September 19, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   9. submitted on January 26, 2013, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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