Donner House Museum



Welcome to the temporary home of the Donner House Museum, housing the largest and most complete collection of Donner family relics and artifacts, currently under the direction of Donner family descendents.

It is hoped that the building and funds for the installation and exhibition of this incredible collection can be arranged. The first donation should be a rent-free building that has both security and full public access.

Qualified & certified conservation experts will be needed. A catalog of items and an online reference system for scholars and teachers will have to be installed and programmed and made accessible through high-speed internet connection.

Much remains to be done, but most of the beginning hard work, that of assembling the artifacts in one single place, and getting the basic preservation handled has been the first step in the process of bringing these items to public display.

Of course there will be a gift shop and bookstore on the subject of Donner Pass and the history of the expedition.

One important aspect of this collection is the body of personal letters between the Donner sisters, who survived the terrible winter of 1847. These letters serve to complete the best-seller book published at the time, authored by Eliza Poor Houghton, the daughter of George Donner, leader of the ill-fated Donner-Reed California Pioneer Expedition.

Sons of the Golden West and other pioneer descendants are invited to participate. Lectures and school tours are part of the Big Plan. Of course there will be tourists as well, and they will be invited to try their hand at gold panning in the California Gold Rush Installation which is to be part of the planned museum.

Please stop by the Nevada City Tours Gallery to find out more about this exciting new project. More tourists in the area is good for business and makes our town more interesting!

Your help is needed. Use our contact page to let us know how you'd like to get involved in this incredible civic project for the 2017-2018 season.

It is our hope that the Donner House Museum will be an important contribution to Nevada County, and that it be housed in Nevada City is our most fervent wish.

click here to see our online gift shop