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Historical Society receives donated artifacts

Jenny Goldsmith/Sierra SunPresident Judy Dunlap of the Truckee-Donner Historical Society receives a 1920s Floriston Paper Mill photograph, which was donated this fall and will be on display when the museum re-opens in the spring.
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This fall, the Truckee-Donner Historical Society received several new artifacts for its historical library and museum collection, contributing to the preservation of Truckee’s storied past.

Among the donations was an early edition of the Donner Party history written by C.F. McGlashan, publisher of the Truckee Republican, in the 19th century.

In October, the society and Masonic Lodge officers dedicated the chiseled granite archway from the fraternal order’s Truckee lodge that was destroyed in 1994. The Masons and historical society re-erected the arch at the entrance to the Community Memorial Garden, located at the society’s Historic Jail museum on Jibboom Street.



Other donations to the historical society have included research books, a narrative, newspaper articles, and a rare photograph of the Floriston Paper Mill from the late 1920s. Mounted in its original frame, the Floriston Paper Mill photograph was donated by Dan Anderson, a Southern California native who acquired the photograph in 1973.

Anderson worked as a sales manager for Crown Zellerbach in San Francisco in the ’70s, and received the photo as a token of appreciation from The Pelican Paper Company just before it went out of business.



“I’ve always wanted to get it back [to Truckee],” Anderson said in a phone interview Wednesday. “Hanging it in my house is wonderful, but people from Truckee wouldn’t get to enjoy it.”

According to Anderson, one interesting feature in the photograph is the smoke rising from the mill, which was added by airbrush to make the mill look busier than it was.

Smaller in size but equally significant, is the donation of a personal narrative written by Truckee old-timer Norman Rockholm, who told the story of his journey to Truckee during the Great Depression.

Additionally, two framed Sacramento Bee newspaper articles dated Jan. 17, 1952, will benefit the museum’s exhibits. The articles reported on the 1952 blizzard over Donner Summit, which trapped San Francisco’s finest rail streamliner in deep snowdrifts near Truckee for three days.

“If it’s an artifact that’s visual, those are great additions to our museum,” said society President Judy Dunlap. “It helps us broaden what we have to offer about Truckee’s history.”

The Historical Society also received a copy of the first recorded history of the Donner Party, written by Charles McGlashan, as well as dozens of research and history books that will benefit the reference library.

“The books, the personal narrative ” that’s our history and it’s coming out of old-timers in Truckee that can share their story,” said Dunlap. “It’s great that [the donors] think of us and will donate their things.”


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