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December 24, 2020
Happy Holidays!  Let's hope that 2021 is a better healthier year for all.  Stay safe out there.
Due to continuing COVID restrictions, we are still unable to routinely retrieve telephone messages directed to the TDHS Research Cabin at (530) 582-0893.  Please send us an email to and we will do our very best to assist you.
President's Message
Welcome to 2021!
     As President of the Truckee-Donner Historical Society, I would like to thank each one of you, our members, as you are our life blood!!   We have some of the richest history around and its loss would be immeasurable if we were unable to share it. Visitors from around the world are fascinated with Truckee’s history, and the authenticity of the displays and artifacts in the Old Jail Museum are worth the $2 donation. Even if you are not an active member, your donations help tremendously with our doors being closed due to COVID. We would love to have our doors open as we have a list of docents willing to help out.
     As we continue to press on, we are polishing the displays in both the Old Jail Museum and MoTH museums to be ready for the guests to return in the spring, hopefully. We have had our doors closed to all but tours by appointment since March. This does not mean we have not been hard at work writing articles, collecting donations, posting photos, selling books & maps, putting together newsletters, and building museum displays etc. If there is anything you would like to help the society with, step right up with an email to  Thank you for keeping Truckee’s history alive.
     Looking at our new Museum of Truckee History (MoTH) shows it is coming right along, and in spite of the constraints, we are making remarkable progress. We have truly been on a shoestring budget as the design, build and curation of the new museum was an all-volunteer effort.
     Socially, our Facebook page is doing well with a recent post on Dec. 16th, 2020 to include 45 photos focused on the four ultra-athletes that retraced the Donner Party Forlorn Hope Expedition as close as they could, check it out. Check out some of my photos .
Thanks again,
Be well,
~Greg Zirbel
Please volunteer if you are able to assist us in this most
important volunteer position.
After the coronavirus restrictions are eased and MoTH reopens, these nine exhibits of Truckee history will be on display:  Train Masters Office, Chinese, Logging and Lumber, Native Americans, Ice Industry, Boca Brewery, McGlashan’s Vision, Truckee Now, Railroading - Then and Now.  As in-person docent training is still on hold because of the coronavirus, in the interim, we are still actively seeking individuals who would like to learn more about Truckee's history through a monthly series of informational slides - and thus be able to share this information with others.  This allows a potential docent to become familiar with the historical content and to offer feedback for the information.  We are issuing a monthly training resource and update of museum progress.
To give you a feel for the kind of docent information available, see these representative slides to give you an idea of the Trainmaster's exhibit. 
Image Collection Update

We have added more images  to our online TDHS Image Collection.  Check these out.  Truckee Train Depot images; Lake Tahoe Railway and Transportation Company.
New Website Article
We also just added a fun article, Naughty or Nice about Santa Claus in Truckee.  Check out the article and others written by the same author, Thomas Viano.  Other 2020 articles by the same author include Eder - Fire, Ice & Romance and Sidewalks - These Boots are Made for Walkin'.   So have YOU been naughty or nice??
McGlashan Butterfly Collection
(Left) photo by Greg Zirbel; (right) photo by Heidi Sproat

TDHS submitted an application to the Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission (NCHLC) about the McGlashan Butterfly Collection currently housed in the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District on Truckee Way.  We just heard that on Tuesday, December 15, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors APPROVED the McGlashan Butterfly Collection as Nevada County Historical  Resource NEV 20-05 !!!
Our beloved 'Reno Iceman', Thomas Roderic Macaulay, 1926 - 2020, quietly passed away in April, with his loving wife of 63 years, Betty, and children by his side.  In the months since his passing, we especially want to thank Betty who has graciously donated five truck loads of slides, maps, photos and other data that belonged to Tom that he wanted the TDHS to acquire. Here is just a sampling of the index to the photos in his collection. 
Forlorn Hope Expedition December 2020

(Above) Photo by Greg ZIrbel.
If you haven't been following December's 2020 Forlorn Hope Expedition, see these links and stories about this incredible reenactment of the Donner Party's Forlorn Hope Expedition.  The foursome left December 16 for a grueling walk from Donner Summit to Johnson Ranch.  For daily details, please see this Forlorn Hope Expedition update
Photos by Greg Zirbel
Additional photos from Day 1 of the Expedition. 
Remember YOUR membership keeps the work of the Truckee-Donner Historical Society
going strong.
  * All membership renewals have shifted to July only
We appreciate the faithful support of our historical society members and of visitors to our website. We are offering an additional way for you to support the work of the society through monthly patronage, at an amount that fits your budget. Annual memberships are not going away!
​You can be a member with an annual payment of dues or with an automatic electronic donation to the society. We receive no funding from federal, state, or local government, and are wholly supported by an all volunteer group of dedicated individuals who have a passion to Keep Truckee History Alive!  We depend entirely on your support.  Please visit our homepage link to take advantage of this opportunity.
Join Us!

If you are not yet a member, and appreciate what our organization does for the community, please join us. We depend on the essential support of our members to continue with our mission of making local history come to life through our  website, image collection, and articles.
Many members have also found that getting involved is lots of fun, educational, and very rewarding.

Please visit the Membership page of our website for more information.

Please contact us at with any questions or contact updates.
Membership Renewals
Members due for renewal will receive a renewal notice by mail in advance of their annual renewal date.  A prompt response is appreciated. Reminders will be sent as needed but require additional processing costs.

We will continue to email a link to our most recent eNews to the email address that we have on file for our members, and will send the renewal mailings to the same address. To avoid problems, members should make sure to inform us of any address changes.

If you receive a renewal notice but have already recently renewed, you do not need to take further action, unless you need to provide us with updated contact information.

Please contact us at  with any questions or contact updates.
Support the Society with Amazon
The Amazon Smile program allows Amazon customers to designate a registered charity to receive a small percentage (0.5%) of qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to the customer. This is a great way to support our Truckee-Donner Historical Society, and we encourage you to use the link below to set up Truckee-Donner Historical Society as your Amazon Smile beneficiary.

Make sure to use the Amazon Smile entry page ( when you shop at Amazon to ensure that the Truckee-Donner Historical Society receives the benefit. Clicking on the Amazon Smile logo here, or on our Home page will always take you there.
HCS 12/24/2020
Copyright © 2020 Truckee-Donner Historical Society, All rights reserved.

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