Donner Summit book by Arthur Sommers
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Donner Summit by Arthur Sommers

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The pass over Donner Peak in Northern California is known as Donner Summit
and has been a critical route across the Sierra Nevada Mountains for centuries.

First it was used by Native Americans, then early settlers, and then emigrant wagon trains
such as those used by the ill-fated Donner Party, in whose honor the region is named.

The first transcontinental railroad in the United States and the first transcontinental highway in America
both made use of the Donner Summit route to gain access to California;
even early aviators used a beacon at the Summit for guidance across the Sierras.

Most of the communities and points of interest along the railroad and highway route
up and over Donner Summit are covered in this book.


Arthur Sommers has previously authored Auburn, a visual history of Placer County's seat,
and Placer County, both for Arcadia's Images of America series.

In this volume, Sommers used many images from his personal photograph collection
to bring Donner Summit's past to life.

Additionally, he used images from the Donner Summit Historical Society,
Nevada County Historical Society, Placer County Museums Division,
and the California State Library in Sacramento.

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