Thousands of early pioneers passed this way, following their dream, to Oregon or California. Scott Springs and the surrounding terrain provided a favorite place for a campsite in their long journey. Modern-day travelers with an interest in the history of the trails still like to follow the trails, imagining what it must have been like for those who came this way in covered wagons, walking, or on horseback before there were towns, highways, and modern conveniences along the way. In 1978, a 37-year old woman, naive and inexperienced, leaves husband and children behind in Boston to trace the 2,000-mile trail followed by the ill-fated Donner party. She walks...Alone. She has written her story in the book pictured on the right.
When Barbara Maat arrived in Westmoreland about two weeks into her trek, she had had an especially difficult day. Unexpected obstacles, which she describes in her book had forced her to walk many miles further than she had planned on a day that turned especially sunny and windy, taking its toll on her well-being. She dragged herself into the local high school where she was taken to the principal's office. He took her home where she spent the next few days recuperating before continuing on her journey. She describes this event in more detail in her book, along with many other adventures. She artfully describes both the highs and lows of her journey. Her book is now at sale at the museum.