Near this spot stood a small cabin built by 18 year old Moses Schallenberger and two other men. They were members of the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy party of 1844, the first pioneers to take wagons over the Sierra Nevada, opening the Truckee Route of the California Trail. The three men had volunteered to remain behind and guard six of the wagons left here by the main party.
Due to extreme winter weather conditions and lack of food, the three men agreed to separate. The two older men rejoined the wagon party, but due to his weakened physical condition, Moses Schallenberger chose to remain at the cabin. The young man survived for nearly three months alone in the small cabin during the winter of 1844-45, before being rescued. His cabin would later provide shelter for the Breen family, members of the ill-fated Donner Party, who were stranded here in 1846-47.
The courage and resolution of Moses Schallenberger during his solitary winter ordeal in the cabin makes him one of the true heroes in the saga of the California Trail.