Donner Memorial State Park is a state park of California, US, preserving the site of the Donner Camp, where members of the ill-fated Donner Party were trapped by weather during the winter of 1846–1847. This was much too late to try to cross the Sierra Nevada safely, and it looked like these wagons were … Donner Party: Starved Camp (2 Photos ) March 16, 2006. Donner Lake, named for the party, is today a popular mountain resort near Truckee, California and the Donner Camp has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Don Hardesty, an archaeologist and professor emeritus at the University of Nevada, Reno, searched for the site in … The stories of the Donner Party were still fresh on everyone's mindwhen a group of wagons began their journey from Salt Lake City in October of 1849. In 1846, a group of 87 ordinary settlers calling themselves the Donner party set off west in order to start a new life in California. 2. Of the nearly 90 members who left Illinois, only around 45 made it to California. The starting point for the Donner Party including the Reed family and the Donner family. The Donner Party exemplified the difficulties the western pioneers encountered. The Sierra Nevada site has been designated a National Historic Landmark. A Look at the Donner Party Historic Campsite at Alder Creek, California in the Tahoe National Forest. General Stephen W. … The others were stranded at Donner Lake. The approximate location of the Donner Party encampment at Alder Creek has been known since the late nineteenth century, but the precise camp spot had never been pinpointed. Many groups of travelers came before them, and many would come after them, yet the horrifying tragedy of their journey would make the Donner party the most famous group of pioneers in American history. The emigrants had failed to protect their livestock from the arrows of Indians in present-day Nevada. During the winter of 1846/47, heavy snows trapped twenty-five of these emigrants here in Alder Creek Valley. A Donner Party member murdered two people for use as food. The party was comprised of 32 members including the Reed's 2 servants and 7 teamsters who drove the wagons. The principle reason for the demise of nearly half of the 81 pioneers in the Donner Party was starvation, not weather. During the “Forlorn Hope” expedition, the hiking party included a pair of Indians named Salvador and Luis, both of … Caught without shelter or adequate supplies, members of the group resorted to cannibalism to survive. By late 1849 more than 100,000 people had come to California in search of gold near the streams and canyons where the Donner Party had suffered. This is a memorial to the infamous Donner Party. Out of the 45 survivors, 32 were children. What started out as a hopeful journey toward prosperity ended tragically for the eighty-nine member Donner Party. 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