1938- Truckee Historical Society
Donner Pass, which is now along Highway 80, was the site of a California Tragedy. The Donner and Reed families took a shortcut with their wagon train and ended up stranded in the Sierra Nevada Mountains for over 8 months due to an early and harsh snow. Three rescues were attempted, but the terrain was too rugged for most family members to make it out. Some of the Donner party resorted to cannibalism to survive. The Reed family patriarch refused to allow his family to do something so ungodly. All members of the Reed family survived. The children's book Patty Reed's Doll is based upon the tragedy.