The New Visitor Center and Exhibits had it’s Grand Opening Celebration and if you were not able to attend this particular event you missed one of the grandest celebration/dedication this year. Saturday June 6th Grand President Dean Zellers made his dedication for the Native Sons of the Golden West in front of a packed crowd of spectators looking forward to getting a first hand look at the new visitors center.
For the first time the new bronze dedication plaque has a QR Code in the bottom left hand corner, enabling anyone with a smart phone to access a Native Sons “Donner” webpage with more extensive information and an audio replay. Using the QR Code technology is the brain child of Grand President Dean Zellers “The NSGW has been wonderful supportive of dedications throughout the state of California, we are hoping that this new technology will give everyone an opportunity to learn more about this great states history, and the role Native Sons has played.
Thanks to everyone that was able to attend and a special shout-out to Deborah De Martini for the great job of not only taking pictures, but making them available for all of us to enjoy.
The Origin of the Park
Joseph Marzen sold one acre of land east of Donner Lake to Charles F. McGlashan for the purpose of erecting a monument to the Donner Party. McGlashan then sold the land to the Native Sons of the Golden West (NSGW) for $1.00 in August of 1909. At the center of the acre, according to McGlashan, was the site of the Breen Cabin, where the monument would be situated. On June 6, 1918, the NSGW dedicated the completed Pioneer Memorial.
California Governor William D. Stephens signed legislation acquiring “Donner Monument and lands contiguous thereto.” On May 23, 1928, the Grand Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West conveyed 11 acres of land to the People of the State of California. The deed for the parcel adjacent to the Lincoln Highway included one provision:
“The tract of land above described shall be known and designated as the Donner State Monument and shall be a memorial to the California Pioneers of the Overland Trail”