Learn the History of Donner Pass, lecture by Mark McLaughlin | SierraSun.com

Learn the History of Donner Pass, lecture by Mark McLaughlin

Special to the Sun

INCLINVE VILLAGE, Nev. and#8212; Lecture by Mark McLaughlin, Thursday, June 9. Even before the Donner Party tragedy of 1847, the High Sierra was the final and perhaps most challenging obstacle on the California Trail. The first pioneers over Donner Pass, led by mountain man Elisha Stephens, had to take their wagons apart and haul them up in pieces to ascend the rugged mountain. The wagons were followed by the first transcontinental railroad which used blasting powder, nitroglycerine, and the muscle of 10,000 Chinese laborers to tunnel their way through the granite cliffs. The first crude wagon road was improved over time, an evolution that culminated in Interstate 80. Today, a section of the original line has been temporarily abandoned by Union Pacific and is easily accessed by hikers or mountain bikers. Donner Pass is undoubtedly one of the most historically important regions on the California Trail. Located at The Mark Twain Cultural Center, 760 Mays Blvd. Ste. 10, and#8220;Old Townand#8221; Incline Village. Doors open at 6 p.m., show begins at 7 p.m. Bring your own dinner and beverage. Comfortable chairs and tables provided. Tickets are adults $10, seniors $8, students $5 at http://www.marktwainculturalcenter.org or 775-831-2820.

and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com