Donner, Party of One: Your Documentary Is Airring!
The wintery scene opens in a high alpine setting; it’s mid-December and supplies have run extremely low. The rapid succession of snowstorms has limited access to the outside world. Even the toughest mountaineers feel trapped in the unforgiving terrain, that seems to be closing in by the minute. . . .
While some Leadville residents might call this desperate scene: Tuesdays in winter, for the producers of the 2-hour documentary about the infamous Donner party, it’s the scene that gave an “Open Call” for Leadville extras and local talent. The production company choose Leadville, because as the Highest City in North America, it was most likely to have the necessary snow for the storyline. And as usual The Cloud City didn’t disappoint.
Some Leadville talent was cast in supporting roles, and their BIG moment is about be realized.
“If they don’t cut the last scene, you’ll never look at me the same way (and you might have trouble sleeping!),” posted Leadville actress Laurel McHargue on the Leadville Today Facebook Page.
The Weather Channel documentary airs, starting Thanksgiving Weekend. The first scheduled time is listed as Friday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. (local) on The Weather Channel.
ABOUT THE DONNER PARTY:
According to Wikipedia:
“The Donner Party was a group of American pioneers who set out for California in a wagon train. Delayed by a series of mishaps, they spent the winter of 1846–47 snowbound in the Sierra Nevadas. Some of the migrants resorted to cannibalism to survive, eating those who had succumbed to starvation and sickness.
The journey west usually took between five and six months, but the Donner Party was slowed by following a new route called Hastings Cutoff, which crossed Utah’s Wasatch Mountains and Great Salt Lake Desert. The rugged terrain, and difficulties encountered while traveling along the Humboldt River in present-day Nevada, resulted in the loss of many cattle and wagons, and splits within the group.
By the beginning of November 1846 the emigrants had reached the Sierra Nevada, where they became trapped by an early, heavy snowfall near Truckee (now Donner) Lake, high in the mountains. Their food supplies ran extremely low, and in mid-December some of the group set out on foot to obtain help. Rescuers from California attempted to reach the emigrants, but the first relief party did not arrive until the middle of February 1847, almost four months after the wagon train became trapped. Of the 87 members of the party, 48 survived to reach California.
Historians have described the episode as one of the most bizarre and spectacular tragedies in Californian history and in the record of western migration.”
Haunting Halloween Happenings in The Cloud City
by Brennan Ruegg, Leadville Today contributor
The 15th Annual Leadville Pumpkin Patch was a huge hit at the 6th St. Gym on Saturday Oct. 25. Ghouls, princesses, pirates, and peacocks were seen gravitating through town to W. 6th St., where families flooded in to show off elaborate costumes, and gather treats and baked goods into their baskets already filling up a week before Halloween.
Pie-throwing, bowling, ball-toss, and bouncy-house were some of the features this year, and each event was tackled with all the enthusiasm that sugar and youth synthesize. Local artist Lincoln Bias was there for live carving of masterpiece pumpkins that put the traditional Jack-o-Lantern to shame.
Kids left the event onto a crisp fall day with arms full of loot and smiles on their faces. Thanks to organizer Kristin Sparkman, Lake County, and all the volunteers who leant a helping claw to make this fall tradition come alive again. MORE PHOTOS.
Leadville’s Ted Mullings Honored at “Meet The Artist”
By Sue Jewel, Leadville Arts Coalition
On Friday, Oct. 16, Harperrose Studios and the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse are co-hosting a “Meet the Artist” to honor Leadville’s icon Ted Mullings.
The event will be held from 5-8 p.m. at Harperrose Studios, 601 Harrison Avenue. The public is invited to visit with Mullings who will be signing The Climax, a book that features his cartoons and drawings.
For more than thirty years, Ted Mullings worked for Climax Molybdenum Mine as an artist, designing and drawing safety manuals, maps, and cartoons. This new book features a compilation of cartoons and drawings Mullings created from 1954-1982 for the Moly News, a Climax publication. These cartoons reflect an important part of Leadville’s history that resonates today.
After retiring from Climax, Mullings continued to share his artistic talents with Lake County. For years, he painted the Boom Days rocks used for the drilling competitions, and he designed numerous Boom Days belt buckles. Many of his safety manuals have been reprinted, and his artwork plays a role in the Climax display at the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum in Leadville. An octogenarian, he continues his artistic endeavors at his downtown Little Cottage Gallery on West 8th Street.
This special “Meet the Artist” celebrates Leadville’s talented gem: Ted Mullings. Ann Stanek of Harperrose Studios/ Gallery and Goods designed Mullings’ book. Stanek added, “We are so excited to be able to share this evening with Mr. Mullings. He has preserved our mining heritage and has been an influential Leadville artist for decades.”
The Climax will be available for sale, as well as framed prints. Refreshments are catered, compliments of the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse. This event is sponsored in part by the Leadville Arts Coalition.