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“Hands on History” Takes on the Donner Party

Each month, Sutter’s Fort offers an interactive experience for history fans with a tangible appetite and this month is no different as the “Hands on History: The Donner Party and Westward Migration” event will take place on Saturday, November 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Early in California’s history, wagon travel across the Sierra Nevada was a dangerous proposition and more than 80 emigrants became trapped in the Sierra snows during the winter of 1846-47. The group is now known as the Donner Party, but they were actually many different families and individuals. Sutter’s Fort was their destination and became their only hope of survival.

As part of the next “Hands on History” event, Sutter’s Fort guests will have the opportunity to learn fascinating details and gain an interesting understanding about the arduous journey. Fort visitors will also be able to pack a wagon, write in their journals with a quill pen, make a corn husk or rag doll, create their own pioneer souvenir item to take home and play pioneer games such as grace and bean bag toss. In addition, interested Fort visitors are encouraged to bring a camera or use a smartphone to take memorable photos while seated in the covered wagon (which might also work as a unique holiday card this season).

Presented by Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) and Friends of Sutter’s Fort, Fort visitors will be delighted to see the recently completed restoration of the historic walls, gates, blacksmith shop and current restoration of the interior walls plus have the opportunity to step back in time to learn more about the Donner Party and western migration in general.

The special “Hands on History” event costs $7 per adult, $5 per youth (ages 6-17) and is free for children five years and under.

For more information about this special event or Sutter’s Fort SHP in general, please call 916-445-4422 or visit SuttersFort.org.

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About the author

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack has 25+ years of media and public relations experience.  Her work experience includes News10 (ABC) as Promotion Manager from 1989-1998 (where she developed and launched “Coats for Kids’ Sake,” a winter coat drive that lasted 20+ years plus coordinated Oprah Winfrey’s first ever visit to Sacramento) and Fleishman-Hillard as Vice President from 1998-2005 (where she led the wildly successful statewide “California Grown” program and also produced the five-minute video that played on the Jumbotron on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park). In 2007, she launched T-Rock Communications and currently handles a wide range of marketing activities for a number of top-notch organizations.

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