Emigrant Camp Investigation

Lassen Trail Marker

Publication: Passport In Time: Forest Service

Author: Dick Alvarez

Date of Publication: 2000

PDF File: 2000-Emigrant-Camp-2000-Passport-in-Time.pdf

URL: http://www.passportintime.com/emigrant-camp-2000.html


Peter Lassen pioneered an emigrant route into California during the gold rush of 1849. His route was intended to be an alternative to the difficult and treacherous Donner Pass route, named after the Donner emigrant group that met with tragedy there in 1846–1847. But Lassen managed to get himself and his group lost, and they barely avoided a tragedy similar to that of the Donner party. The government sent a relief train in the fall of 1849 to feed and care for the pioneers who had arrived via “Lassen’s Death Route” and were suffering from hunger and disease. Emigrants’ diaries indicate that the relief train probably was set up in what now is called Swain Meadow, on the Lassen National Forest. Our job was to assist FS archaeologists in determining if this was indeed the case.