This past Monday, September 14th was the ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate a huge milestone in restoring the 102-year-old Pioneer Monument at Donner Memorial State Park.

The Sierra State Parks Foundation along with California State Parks and the Native Sons of the Golden West co-hosted a virtual ribbon cutting event to celebrate the awarding of the contract for the restoration of the Pioneer Monument. Along with the ribbon cutting, the California State Park Rangers Association presented the Association’s annual Honorary Ranger Award to Dave Allen in recognition of his leadership with The Donner Project.

The Pioneer Monument, a designated California Historic Landmark (No. 134) was constructed between 1909 and 1918 at the reported site of the Breen Cabin at Donner Memorial State Park. The monument proudly sits at the entrance to California, in memory of the past, and to honor those who follow. On June 6, 1918, in a ceremony that included Donner Party survivors, the Native Sons of the Golden West donated the completed monument and 11 of the surrounding acres to the State of California. The 101-year-old monument is approaching the tipping point of irreversible deterioration. The ribbon cutting represents over 20 years of joint efforts to stabilize and restore the monument.

“The Pioneer Monument sits at the gateway to California and is a testament to the pioneer spirit. The family depicted on the statue is depending on their own resources to come up with new ideas, innovations and enterprises which suggest ideals not different than our own today or of the native Washoe who have lived within the Sierra for generations. I am thrilled this important symbol will be restored for the next generations to learn from.” – Heidi Doyle, Sierra State Parks Foundation Executive Director

You can watch the ribbon cutting on the Sierra State Park Foundation’s Youtube Channel, here!

This event marks a major milestone for The Donner Project. The goal of The Donner Project is to restore the Pioneer Monument, create surrounding reflective seating and landscaping, and install an outdoor pavilion to host educational, arts, and family events. The awarding of the contract for the monument restoration phase is made possible through the matching of Proposition 68 funds from the State of California and with individual donors from throughout the region. The Sierra State Parks Foundation and the Native Sons of the Golden West has committed to raise the remaining $900,000 to complete the educational amphitheater and surrounding interpretive experiences.

To learn more about the Donner Project and donate, visit here!