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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Lansford Hastings: Donner Party villain?

  For nearly 170 years, historians have labeled California land promoter Lansford Hastings as the villain in the 1846-47 Donner Party tragedy. Hastings was the man...

Donner Party experience: Lessons learned

The annual Donner Party Hikes draw hundreds of participants for a variety of unique and memorable hikes that explore the Donner Pass region each...

Step back in time with Donner Party Hikes

Greg Palmer leds a hike on Donner Summit. He Has led a hike during the event for the past 17 years.  |  Tim Erskine...

Lewis Keseberg’s life full of misfortune after Donner Party

When Lewis Keseberg reached Sutter’s Fort (Sacramento), his relieved wife Philippine was there to greet him. They consoled themselves with tears over the deaths...

Lewis Keseberg: Ghastly Ghoul or Luckless Emigrant, Part I

The tale of the Donner Party has been told and retold so many times that it can start to feel like an old movie...

Donner Party in Dire Straits

January 1847 was a challenging month for the 81 surviving members of the Donner Party trapped in the Tahoe Sierra. In mid-December, 15 intrepid...

In the footsteps of history: Donner Relief Expedition retraces 1847 route

Today when people think of the 1846 Donner Party and the Sierra entrapment, they think of the numerous mistakes the members made including starting...

Charlie Stanton: Unsung Hero of the Donner Party

Charles Tyler Stanton was an unlikely hero in the saga of the Donner Party. Stanton had brown eyes, a full beard and was blessed...

Donner Party faces calamity in the desert

Crossing Utah’s Wasatch Mountains took a severe toll on the Donner Party with repeated delays, diminishing supplies, loss of morale and increased bickering. At...

Donner Party decisions seal their fate, Part II

Author’s Note: To acknowledge the historical significance of the Donner Party and its window into an important era in the West, I will occasionally write...