One of the most famous artifacts on display at Sutter's Fort State Historic Park is Dolly, the small wooden doll carried by Donner Party survivor Martha "Patty" Reed. This doll was donated to Sutter's Fort in 1947 by Patty Reed's granddaughter 100 years after the Donner Party Rescue.
Dolly currently resides in the Orientation Room. Because of her age, and having been on constant display for decades, Dolly demands special care. It is the mutual goal of State Parks and Friends of Sutter’s Fort to preserve Dolly so that future generations will be able to experience her.
In order to preserve and protect Dolly, we are currently fundraising for a new, state of the art case that will allow for better temperature and humidity controls. We are also looking to expand the case to display other objects that tell the story of overland migration.
In addition, our hope is to have an expertly designed reproduction created, which would allow us to take Dolly off display for conservation, while allowing visitors to see a doll that looks exactly like the original. By implementing this conservation strategy, we should be able to significantly prolong her lifespan.
We are pleased to share that the Sunset Parlour of the Native Sons of the Golden West has made a commitment to help Friends of Sutter's Fort and California State Parks preserve and protect Dolly for future generations. The Native Sons of the Golden West recently made a donation to begin phase one of this preservation project. This funding will make it possible to consult with experts to develop a preservation plan and recommendations for a new display case.
Friends of Sutter's Fort would like to extend our deep gratitude to Native Sons of the Golden West for their commitment to historic preservation at Sutter's Fort SHP.
Your Support at Work
Donors can support this effort and help us preserve Dolly for future generations and help us to better tell her story. All donation will be added to the funding provided by the Sunset Parlour of the Native Sons of the Golden West.