On April of 1846, nine wagons left Illinois on a 2500-mile journey to California, in what would become one of the greatest tragedies in the history of westward migration. The originator of this group, James Frazier Reed (pictured above with his wife Margret), along with 8 other families, were eager to build a greater fortune in California. George Donner, a sixty-year-old farmer, was chosen as the wagon train’s
captain and the expedition took his name. They estimated it would take five months to accomplish their objective, but their expedition became an ordeal. You can read the story in the Online Nevada Encyclopedia
, and below I wrote it for the blog in Anniversary.