Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

The Chinese Immigrant Experience at Donner Summit

Posted on January 10, 2018
Filed Under Cultural Heritage

Located at about 6,000 feet in Truckee, Donner Memorial State Park includes the Emigrant Trail Museum and Pioneer Monument, built to commemorate those who emigrated to California from the east in the mid-1800s.

You can also learn about Chinese immigrants played a pivotal role in the development of Truckee in the 1860s. 

From the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad that linked Reno and the high sierra with Sacramento, to lumber and ice harvesting, over 10,000 Chinese immigrants helped put Truckee on the map.

The museum includes displays and information about one of the earliest pioneer wagon trains in this area, the Donner Party, which was forced by circumstances to camp at the east end of Donner Lake in the winter of 1846-47. The Donner Party’s disastrous journey resulted in much human suffering and loss of life.


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