History Donner Treasure
The Donner Lake area is not only an exciting place to live and adventure, but also has lots of interesting history. The story of the Donner Party crossing over this amazing and majestic mountain range (1847) has spread through the area. The Donner Lake area, however, started out as a railroad stop, not a place to live. During construction of the Transcontinental Railroad (1869), the Dutch Flat Donner Lake Wagon Rd. followed the approximate route of the emigrant wagons and was used to transport materials for the building of the railroad and as a toll road. Later, this trail became the Lincoln Highway (1913) and then Highway 40 and was used for tourists crossing over the Sierra Nevada Mountains to get to Donner Lake and Truckee, not just for transporting materials or goods. Eventually, this little railroad stop became more and more populated and with more people visiting and staying, it came to be a bigger town. As the town grew, and more people started to visit, the Donner area became a town that is now known as Truckee, California.
A Good Story
During her rescue from Donner Lake in March 1847, Mrs Graves, a member of the Donner Party, couldn't carry her family's money anymore. She was just too tired. She buried her money near this spot and three days later she died on Donner Summit at what
became known as "Starved Camp."
In 1891 the money was found by a prospector. There were coins worth between $300.00 and $500.00. There continue to be conflicting stories about what happened to the money.
Claim Made That Money Has Been Found
A Miner Accidentally Discovers The Hiding Place
The spot in plain sight of the wagon road close to margin of Donner Lake - The coins found are of date prior to 1845, and comprise the marking of America, France, Spain, Bolivia and the Argentine Republic - Truckee excited over the discovery. — Sacramento Union May 16, 1891
Things to do right here
A Long Time Ago:
Donner Lake has long been a tourist destination and once there were many resorts along the lake like the Donner Camp, above, which was right at the west end of the lake. There was fine trout fishing in the river and in the lake. In fact, at the New Whitney Hotel's pond in Truckee, they had 10,000 trout ready for fly fishing! Resorts had log cabins, boat rentals, dances, carriage rides, buffets, and lots of activities so that people would have great stays. For a while there was even a steamer on Donner Lake.
Please keep in mind to respect the beautiful land surrounding Donner Lake.
Swimming in the emerald green waters of Donner Lake is always refreshing. Kayaking, boating and jet skiing through glassy blue waters and paddle boarding under the full moon are the best. Walking to Rainbow bridge or hiking to the train tunnels and seeing the beautiful scenic overlook is incredible; the sights will amaze you. Putting one foot in front of the other while exploring the forests of Donner Lake, biking on the rock mountains above Donner Lake, and catching big fish are always a blast. Fourth of July fireworks are a treat, seeing the beautiful colors explode over Donner Lake. Smelling the scent of sizzling hamburgers in the breeze is nice when you're on the beach, and camping in the warm summer weather is a blast. Playing on the beach is alway enjoyable and feeling hot sand in your toes is pleasant. Playing with your family and friends is fun every time. All of these adventures await you; you should definitely visit again.