Feb 2 2023
Endless Winter: The Real Story of the Donner Party
You probably know the broad strokes of the Donner Party Saga: In 1846, a group of migrants traveling to California got stuck in a surprise October snow storm. After exhausting all their resources, they turn to cannibalism to survive. It's a grisly tale ... but the way it's often told is incomplete. We’ll delve into the details many leave behind, and explore what happened to the Donner Party survivors after they escaped the snowy Sierra. This notorious disaster struck deep at the heart of everything California held dear — and came to represent everything it wanted to forget. This story originally aired in 2020 in two parts. This version has been cut and condensed into one part.
Endless Winter: A Fresh Look at the Donner Party Saga, Part 1
Surviving the Donner Party: California, Gold and Lifelong Secrets, Part 2
Read a transcript of this episode
Experience the saga as an immersive storytelling event from KQED Live!
This story was reported by Carly Severn. Featuring the voices of: Lina Blanco, Gabe Meline, Dan Brekke and Mike Hanlon. Bay Curious is made by Olivia Allen-Price, Katrina Schwartz, Amanda Font and Brendan Willard. Rob Speight mixed our original episodes. Additional support from Cesar Saldana, Jen Chien, Jasmine Garnett, Carly Severn, Anna Vignet, Jenny Pritchett and Holly Kernan.