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The Hard Road West: The Long Journey Begins

25 minutes 50 seconds

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A historically accurate reenactment of the ill-fated Donner Party as told by the survivors and recovered diaries. Students meet the members of the Donner Party and discover the reasons behind their desire to journey to California from Illinois. After traveling alone for seven days, they meet up with other emigrates and travel with them. Their journey begins with ease and little misfortune. However, the Donner Party soon faces hardship after making a decision to follow a new route called Hastings Cutoff, which crossed Utah’s Wasatch Mountains and Great Salt Lake Desert. Part one of “The Hard Road West” series.

Media Details

Runtime: 25 minutes 50 seconds

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Closeup of a man in a neckerchief and wide brimmed hat. Caption. Milt Elliot joined the party as James Reed's main ox driver.
The Hard Road West: The Story of the Donner Party
Episode 1
25 minutes 50 seconds
Grade Level: 6 - 12
Woman in pioneer costume sits at the edge of a covered wagon with children in pioneer costumes surrounding her. Caption. This scene made a woman of me.
The Hard Road West: The Story of the Donner Party
Episode 2
25 minutes 9 seconds
Grade Level: 6 - 12