The Arts, Culture & History

Historical Sites, Museums & Storytellers


Truckee is a place rich in history with a quaint downtown filled with charming shops and superb restaurants set in authentic historic buildings. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Truckee proudly retains its historic roots. Named for a Paiute Indian chief who helped guide thousands of emigrants in their westward journey. Truckee is well known for its logging, ice manufacturing, the Emigrant Trail, as well as for the tragic journey of the Donner Party. You can discover much more about their captivating story at Donner Memorial State Park museum and Pioneer Monument.

Roadside History Markers

Along Old Highway 40, also known as the Lincoln Highway,  you will find historical markers telling the story of this famous gateway to the west. Known as Donner Summit Scenic Old High 40 Bypass, the markers extend from Cisco Grove to Donner Lake. Learn More

Truckee Donner Historical Society

Truckee-Donner Historical Society was founded July 24, 1968 to preserve the history of the Truckee-Donner area. They created and operate the new Truckee Museum of History in the Train Depot, and the Truckee Railroad Museum next to the Depot in Historic Downtown Truckee. They maintain the historic Joseph Research Cabin (the Gateway Cabin), and operate the Old Jail Museum built in 1875. The Society also maintains the Community Memorial Garden including the Memorial Arch behind the Old Jail Museum, the Donner Cross, and Schaffer Cemetery.  Learn More