The people at the Donner Summit Historical Society have insatiable appetites for local history and so are out discovering and cataloging local history at every opportunity. The best way to satisfy your own curiosity, presuming you don't want to go out discovering, is to read our Heirloom. The free monthly stories of local history catalog the adventures of the Mobile Historical Research Team (MHRT) and give you ideas for your own explorations - like finding the Catfish Pond (possibly stocked initially by Chinese RR workers).
Some examples of the MHRT's adventures are finding petroglyphs thousands of years old (see also Wabena Cr. petroglyphs and petroglyphs below Castle Pk), measuring hte age of Sierra Junipers (some of which are also a thousand years old or more, investigating local archeology such as the Chinese railroad workers' camps (see our Heirlooms for June, July, August, and September, 2016), locating the actual sites of the original Soda Springs Station (today's Soda Springs) buildings which sat in what is now the Soda Springs Ski Area parking lots (check the Heirlooms for summer, '16 - the articles have not been written as of this writing), locating existing arrows from the Transcontinental Air Route, finding the Summit Hotel (ruins), etc.
One of our first projects was undertaken by Art Clark, finding Sierra Ski Ways signs put up by the USFS in the 1930's and 1940's to guide cross-country skiers. Art has found many dozens of signs. You can read about them and see the signs at Sierra Ski Ways and Sierra Ski Ways II which include some PDF's you can view.
Then there are actual projects like our growing collection of book reviews on books having to do with Donner Summit history, our 20 Mile Museum, and our many brochures.
Another project is following up on donations peope make and scanning them for use in our Heirlooms, or scanning things we are lent.
Not really a project but an investigation are simple historical adventures like reprising the Charlie Chaplin 1927 Gold Rush movie climb of the Palisades at Sugar Bowl as the stand-in for Alaska's Chilcoot Pass. This was a Death Defying Re-enactment. For more about Charlie Chaplin and the Gold Rush see the 20 Mile Museum sign and the Heirlooms for August, '11 and a Then and Now in the June, '15 Heirloom)
Finally, there are guided tours of the summit - see our Margie Powell Hikes page.
You may have ideas for us or want to help. If so, email us