Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Donner Party artifacts move to safer home in Sacramento

Donner Party camp near Prosser Reservoir.
The State Department of Parks and Recreation is currently holding a collection of Donner Party artifacts in a substandard warehouse in West Sacramento. To make matters worse, the warehouse is located in a flood plain.
It was the state’s “Little Hoover Commission” that determined the warehouse was substandard. The Commission said Parks and Recreation is falling apart and needs a new vision if it is to protect and preserve the natural and cultural treasures entrusted to the state.

This year, the state will empty the substandard West Sacramento warehouse and move the treasures to a building in the former McClellan Air Force Base. The new building is cheaper and was designed to withstand a nuclear blast.
The state gets artifacts from a variety of sources. Items are catalogued and stored for future generations. Approximately 20% of the state's artifacts are on display at various locations. Many items are handed out to historical societies and educational institutes.
Relics stashed away include a wedding dress worn by a surviving member of the Donner Party, Native American baskets, photos of early pioneers, and gold mining tools.

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