1996,04,28 pA10 Ukiah Dly Jnl

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1996,04,28 pA10 Ukiah Dly Jnl - A-10 — SUNDAY, APRIL 28, 1996 -THE UKIAH DAILY...
A-10 — SUNDAY, APRIL 28, 1996 -THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL Donner Party descendants to pay tribute to unlucky ancestors Associated Press tiva asner.rs imteaH nf onenine tin rannihalism hut said it was not a exnected to attend a familv reunion "Ws fp.pl thp. Hrp.ams of George and are expected to attend each reu TRUCKEE — Donner Party ~" descendants will return this sum~ sum~ mer to the site of their ancestors' /'worst nightmare to observe the 150th anniversary of one of the Old '" West's greatest tragedies. '••' Descendants named Donner, ~ w ' Breen and Graves will hold reun: reun: ions at Donner Lake, where the ' ^ snowbound pioneers desperately "" holed up during the deadly winter ;'" of 1846-47. Nearly half never left •'" alive. And up to 200 descendants arc ' expected to gather in August in Truckee andReno, Nev., for what's being billed as the year's premier ;• event — California Trail Days '96 '"and the Donner Party '' Sesquicentennial. "• "I hope they dwell on the posi- tive aspects instead of opening up 150-year-old family wounds," said James F. Reed III of Edmonds, Wash., a great-great grandson of party member James Reed. "So many of the families stayed in the West and contributed to its development." Many members of the dissension-racked party starved to death. Others resorted to cannibalism cannibalism to survive when stranded in the Sierra near Truckee. Forty-two of the 89 members died. The group's farmers left homes in the Midwest 150 years ago this month to begin the covered-wagon journey. Their woes stemmed largely from a supposed shortcut through Utah and from an early winter. Descendants acknowledge the cannibalism but said it was not a subject discussed by survivors. "It was traumatic for them and I think it was something they didn't want to talk about very much," said Barbara Wilder Politano of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., a great-great granddaughter of party captain George Donner. "We won't dwell on it, either." More than 125 direct descendants descendants of George Donner are expected to attend a family reunion July 20 at Donner Lake. The last such Donner reunion was held in 1990 in Truckee. Plans call for family historians to speak about what happened to each Donner survivor after they reached California. Guests also will be given a chance to share memories passed down by ancestors. "The purpose of it is to honor our ancestors," Mrs. Politano said. "We feel the dreams of George and Tamsen Donner were probably realized by their daughters. For any of them to make it through all the way to California took a lot of courage courage and stamina." Graves and Breen family reunion reunion picnics will be held Aug. 16 and Aug. 17 respectively at Donner Lake in conjunction with the California California Trail Days '96 event. More than 40 direct descendants are expected to attend each reunion, reunion, which will feature talks by historians. "We haven't had a family reunion reunion before. This will be a first and we're really looking forward to it," said Nancy Lyons of Davis, Calif., a great-great granddaughter of Franklin Graves Sr. The last major gathering of Breen descendants was in 1968 in San Juan Bautista, Calif. Excessive worrying? Unreasonable fears? Racing heartbeat? Feelings constantly tense? USA

Clipped from
  1. Ukiah Daily Journal,
  2. 28 Apr 1996, Sun,
  3. Page 10

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  • 1996,04,28 pA10 Ukiah Dly Jnl

    johnsonk – 01 Mar 2013

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