Membership Monday: The 175th Anniversary of the Donner Party

Membership Monday: The 175th Anniversary of the Donner Party

Membership Monday presents Historian Marian Calabro & the 175th Anniversary of the Donner Party.


Join us on Monday, May 3 for a special presentation from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm

We learn about the fateful westward journey of the Donner Party.

In 1846, 175 years ago, eighty-seven members of what would be known as the Donner Party set off from Independence, Missouri to travel nearly 2000 miles to California. The hopeful emigrants trusted their luck on the well-known but untested guidebook, by Lansford Hastings. The Donner Party took the Hastings cutoff that was not a shortcut but a nearly impassable route.  This delayed the Party, setting them back weeks, and reaching the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range right as the early winter snow began to fall. 

The Real Story of the Donner Party

Join author Marian Calabro for a thought-provoking, interactive program based on her award-winning nonfiction book The Perilous Journey of the Donner Party. As an audience member, you’ll be assigned a Donner Party member identity at the start (if you wish), and you’ll discover by the end whether your character survived. This photo-rich presentation not only immerses you in the historical saga but invites you to share Marian’s research journeys in the mountains and deserts of the American West. Like the book, this presentation is “eerie and mesmerizing” (in the words of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) but never lurid or sensationalized. There will be time for Q&A at the end.


About the Author/Presenter: Marian Calabro is the author of numerous nonfiction history books for young adults and general audiences. Her book The Perilous Journey of the Donner Party (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin) is an American Library Association Notable Book, Scholastic Book Club selection, and multiple award winner (California Library Association, Virginia Library Association, New York Public Library).


This event is FREE for Museum Members.

For more information about Marian Calabro:


    Event Tickets

    The  Campbell Museums' mission is to interpret and preserve the history of the Campbell area from its early beginnings to today and to relate that history within the context of the Santa Clara Valley region.

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