Join Donner Party interpretive programs and Junior Ranger activities in Truckee | SierraSun.com

Join Donner Party interpretive programs and Junior Ranger activities in Truckee

Special to the Sun
Historic and naturalist programs occur July 23-24 at Donner Memorial State Park in Truckee.
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TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; On Saturday, July 23, Historian Gayle Green will offer a two-part Donner Party historical program.

Starting at 11 a.m. at the Donner Camp picnic area at Alder Creek on Highway 89 north of Truckee, she will lead a walk on the interpretive trail around the campsites where George and Jacob Donner and their families spent the winter of 1846-47. Near the end of Octobe 1846, the Donners had fallen several miles behind the other families when a broken axle on their wagon forced them to stop and make repairs. The accident nearly cost the life of 3-year-old Eliza Donner, and George Donner suffered a cut on his hand while using a chisel to repair the axle. His accident would eventually prove to be fatal. Tamsen Donner was relentless throughout the winter entrapment in her efforts to keep her family alive and healthy. In the end she refused to leave her dying husband, but sent her children ahead to safety in California. Gayle, as the hike leader, will interpret these events in a way that gives the visitor a true understanding of the Donner Partyand#8217;s experience.

At 1:30 p.m. the program will continue at Donner Memorial State Park, 12593 Donner Pass Road, Truckee. Meet on the back deck of the Emigrant Trail Museum for a walk to historical sites in the park The families in the lead reached this spot on Oct. 31, 1846. After several attempts to cross the summit in ever increasing snow, they were forced back to the lake where they constructed rough cabins for shelter through the winter. Rescue attempts did not start until mid-February 1847, and the last remaining survivor did not escape until April of 1847.

For more information call 530-582-7892. Maps to the Alder Creek Donner Camp are available in the museum.

Other programs will be Junior Rangers for ages 7-12, Saturday, July 23 at 12:30 p.m. It will meet on the back deck of the museum and the subject will be Butterflies, including a fun game of and#8220;Butterfly Bingo.and#8221;

On Sunday, July 24 at 1:30 p.m. there will be a half-hour interpretive Donner Party history walk to sites in the park. This will meet on the back deck of the museum.