Nevada State Museum Presents Walking in the Footsteps of the Donner Party PDF Print

April 19, 2011

Frank X. Mullen Mountain ManFrank X. Mullen Jr. presents the lecture, Walking in the Footsteps of the Donner Party, plus a book signing at the Nevada State Museum Thursday, April 28, 2011, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Mullen’s book, Donner Party Chronicles, will be available for purchase through the Museum Store. The author will be on hand to sign books beginning at 6:00 p.m.; the lecture begins at 7:00 p.m. Visitors may also view exhibits in the main building, including Nevada: The Photography of Cliff Segerblom, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Historian and author Frank X. Mullen takes audiences on a 2,000-mile walk across the continent in his presentation about the Donner party wagon train of 1846. Mullen traces the cascade of events that led to the families being trapped in the Sierra Nevada during the terrible winter of 1846-47. He tells the tale of ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances and explores the physical and moral dilemmas they faced.

Mullen is a senior reporter and writing coach at the Reno Gazette Journal.  He was born in 1953 in Queens, N.Y., and grew up in New York City and in northern New Jersey. Mullen came to Nevada in 1988; he has been a part-time instructor of journalism at the Reynolds School of Journalism, University of Nevada, Reno, since 1999.

Mullen, who has been a newspaperman for 35 years in Colorado, Missouri and Nevada, is the author of the Donner Party Chronicles, a history of the doomed wagon train of 1846. He has appeared on the History Channel, Discovery Channel and other cable networks as a historian and journalist. He is currently writing a book on the history of the Truckee River.

Mullen also frequently writes stories on Nevada history for the Reno Gazette-Journal and other local and national publications. He performs each year in the region’s Great Basin Chautauqua, a living history presentation in which scholars adopt the roles of historical personages. His characters include Babe Ruth, John C. Fremont, U.S. Grant, Henry VIII and Albert Einstein.

This program is provided in partnership with Nevada Humanities with funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities and Nevada Energy.  Museum members and children 17 and under are free; non-member adult admission: $8. For more information, contact Deborah Stevenson, Curator of Education, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 775/687-4810, ext. 237.

The Nevada State Museum actively engages people in understanding and celebrating Nevada’s natural and cultural heritage.  Due to mandatory state budget restrictions, the museum is closed Sunday – Tuesday, and open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Wednesday – Saturday.  See the changing exhibits: Nevada: The Photography of Cliff Segerblom, Smoke & Shadow: An Exploration of Nevada Landscapes, art by Patricia Wallis, Slot Machines: the Fey Collection, and Selections from the Collections, featuring historic fashions.  Admission: $8 for adults and free for children 17 and under and museum members.  For information, call (775) 687-4810.

The Nevada State Museum is one of seven managed by the state Division of Museums and History, an agency of the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs. The Department serves Nevada’s citizens and visitors through cultural and information management, presentation and promotion of cultural resources, and education. The Department also includes the State Office of Historic Preservation, Nevada State Library and Archives and the Nevada Arts Council. For more information, please call Teresa Moiola at (775) 687-8323 or visit the department’s website at

April 19, 2011
CONTACT: Deborah Stevenson 775-687-4810 ext. 237
Jim Barmore 775-687-4810 ext. 226