This photograph is Jacob Harlan who, along with other family members, traveled with the Donner Party in 1846.  Coming up this Sunday, one of his descendents, harlan_250.jpgWilliam Harlan, will be speaking at the Dublin Library, talking about the Harlan wagon train and the forces that contributed to their successful arrival at Sutter’s Fort, 10 precious days before the Donners. Those 10 days made all the difference; the Harlans arrived during the same rainstorm that became the blizzard that trapped the Donners in the mountains.Their story is described in Bernard AugustinDeVoto’s book The Year of Decision (owned at Castro Valley Library and Fremont Main), and in a new, recently published book Eyewitness to the Settlement of the West, by Bruce E. Mowday. The photograph of Jacob Harlan is taken from Mr. Mowday’s website.

 The Harlan Family eventually settled in Yerba Buena (San Francisco), opened the first general store in the gold diggings in 1848, and landed in southern Contra Costa County in 1852; in fact the county line with Alameda County ran right through their ranch house! 

Mr. Harlan gives a fascinating talk about the Donner/Harlan wagon trains and subsequent fortunes of the Harlan family.  This is the first in a series of Chautauqua programs celebrating Dublin Reads.  Please join us, Sunday, October 14 at 2:00 p.m. in the Library’s Community Room!