Dad’s Cabinet of Curiosities

Dad's Drawers

This is my late Dad’s cabinet of curiosities. If we ever were at a loss as to what to buy my Dad for Christmas and Birthdays we would buy him an oddity! So there’s a brass pipe cleaner, a leper’s bell, Jew’s harp and lots of items of unknown use and origin! One of the most interesting curiosities is a tiny bottle of wood shards. They come from the foundation log of the Murphy Cabin of the Donner Party. In 1846 an 81 strong party led by George Donner set off on the 2,500 mile trek from Illinois to San Francisco. In the winter of 1847 they were caught in blizzards in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. Dying from hypothermia and starvation they resorted to cannibalism. Lots were drawn to see who was going to be the next meals meat! More than 30 people were eaten before the survivors were rescued in the spring. One survivor who boasted about how many people he’d eaten, grew rich in the gold rush and opened a successful restaurant serving “a variety of rare meats”. Wednesday’s macabre tale before we all head off to the butchers!

Photos + Curios

Photos + Curios

Dad's Curios

Dad’s Curios

Donner Shards

Donner Shards


The Sierra Nevada

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