Many striking examples of these successive processes may be seen in the Tahoe region, as, for instance, Squaw Valley, which lies between the spurs of Squaw Peak and Granite Chief. This was undoubtedly scooped out by a glacier that came down from Squaw Peak and Granite Chief. The course of the ice-sheet was down to the Truckee River. When the glacier began to shrink it left its terminal moraine as a dam between the basin above and the river below. In due time, as the glacier finally receded to a mere bank of half-glacierized snow on the upper portions of the two peaks, the basin filled up with water and thus formed a lake. Slowly the sand and rocky debris from the peaks filled up the lake, and in the course of time a break was made in the moraine, so that the creek flowed over or through it and the lake ceased to exist, while the meadow came into existence.
DONNER LAKE AND ITS TRAGIC HISTORY
Closely allied to Lake Tahoe by its near proximity, its situation on the Emigrant Gap automobile road from Sacramento to Tahoe, and that it is seen from Mt. Rose, Mt. Watson, and many Tahoe peaks, is Dormer Lake,—lake of tragic memories in the early day pioneer history of this region.
It was in 1846 that James T. Reed, of Springfield, Ill., determined to move to California. This land of promise was then a Mexican province, but Reed carefully and thoroughly had considered the question and had decided that, for his family’s good, it was well to emigrate. He induced two other Illinois families to accompany him, those of George and Jacob Donner. Thursday, April 15th, 1846, the party started, full of high hopes for the future. The story of how they met with others bound for California or Oregon, at Independence, Mo., journeyed together over the plains and prairies to Fort Hall, where Lansford W. Hastings, either in person or by his “Open Letter,” led part of the band to take his new road, which ultimated in dire tragedy, is well known.
The Oregon division of the divided party took the right-hand trail, while the other took the left-hand to Fort Bridger. It is the experiences of this latter party with which we are concerned. Misfortune came to them thick and fast from this time on. The wagons were stalled in Weber Canyon and had to be hauled bodily up the steep cliffs to the plateau above; some of their stock ran away, after heartbreaking struggles over the Salt Lake desert; mirages intensified their burning thirst by their disappointing lure; Indians threatened them, and finally, to add despair to their wretchedness, a quarrel arose in which Mr. Reed, in self-defence, killed one of the drivers, named Snyder. Reed was banished from the party under circumstances of unjustifiable severity which amounted to inhuman cruelty, and his wife and helpless children, the oldest of them, Virginia, only twelve years of age, had to take the rest of the journey without the presence of