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Roadside Attraction

Donner Memorial State Park

Formerly/Also Known As Emigrant Trail Museum

12593 Donner Pass Road
Truckee, CA 96161-3858

(530) 582-7892


This park and museum are at one of the locations where the ill-fated Donner Party camped during the winter of 1846-47. The museum contains displays about pioneer trails, the Donner-Reed tragedy (including a few artifacts from archaeological digs), railroading through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the Truckee area.

Within the park is the large stone against which one of the 1846 cabins was erected (see below). That rock contains a plaque with the names of all of the Donner Party members.

The wooded cross (below) marks the site of another Donner party cabin.

The monument in the picture below was built on the site of one of the Donner-Reed cabins and in a way serves as a tombstone for those who died here. The remains of the victims (at least those not carried away by wolves and other scavengers) were buried at this site. The top of the pedestal (about 24 feet above the ground) marks the snow depth at this location during the winter of 1946-47.

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Pioneer Memorial
This memorial to early pioneers stands at the site of the Murphy family cabin, near the entrance of the park. It is believed that the human remains of the Donner Party were buried. The monument's pedestal is the same height (22 feet) as the depth of the 1846-47 snowfall that trapped the Donner Party. Postcard ca. 1940.

Large Rock
The Donner Party constructed a large cabin against this rock, using it as the western wall of the structure. A plaque mounted on the rock contains the names of the Donner Part. Postcard ca. 1950.

Donner Cross
This cross formerly marker the site of the Graves family cabin. Postcard ca. 1920.

Pioneer Memorial
1937 postcard.

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Last updated: 2010-09-19 18:45:38

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