A Comparative Study Of The Meadow Locale At Alder Creek And The Murphy Cabin At Donner Lake: Using The Historical And The Archaeological Record To Create A New Donner Memory

Murphy Cabin

Publication: University of Montana

Author: Jack C. McShane

Date of Publication: 2004

PDF File: McShane-A-Comparative-study-of-the-meadow-locale-at-Alder-.pdf


This thesis is about one of the most infamous emigrant expeditions of all time: the Donner Party. After reading that sentence many people will think of cannibalism and may assume this thesis is about members of Donner Party who resorted to eating human flesh when starved and desperate. That is not the case here. My focus surrounds the campsites where these emigrants lived for four months during the winter of 1846-47. While there are two major sites, Alder Creek and Donner Lake, the area known as the “Meadow Locale” at Alder Creek, allegedly housed at least one of the two Donner families.