Saturday, June 15, 2013

Donner Memorial Park

The last major stop on our adventure to California (other than to the Jack-in-the-Box for smoothies), was Donner Memorial State Park, preserving the 1846-47 site of the ill-fated Donner Party, which as we all know, resulted in survivors resorting to cannibalism. Yuck.
Despite the fact that they could really use some landscaping, we took on a hushed reverence for the area, as one would be expected to do...
But one can't help but make jokes about why they didn't pop over to the Chevron Food Mart. In a hushed tone, of course.
We weren't big fans of this quote on the memorial. The quote on the back says "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 22 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 200 yards southwest of the monument, and the Donner tents were at the head of Alder Creek. 90 people were in the party and 42 perished, most of them from starvation and exposure."
Twenty-two feet? Yeeps. We were pleased we had the opportunity for this historical interpretive side trip.


Marie said...

I read recently that scientists believe now that the Donner party might not have actually been cannibals after all. Had to look it up for you go:

Grisly nevertheless!

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