Welcome to the Snowshoe Thompson website

Updated Event Details for November and March 2014

Many thanks to Jill Beede – this must be one of the definitive versions of Snowshoe Thompson’s life and times – see it here!

Friends of Snowshoe Thompson

The magnificent statue of John “Snowshoe” Thompson, which stands in the grounds of the Mormon Station State Park in Genoa, Nevada, was dedicated on June 23, 2001. This statue was made possible with funds raised by the Snowshoe Thompson Committee of the Greater Genoa Business Association. On October 6, 2003, a new nonprofit organization was formed called “Friends of Snowshoe Thompson”.

The purpose of this organization is “To promote and foster the memory of John “Snowshoe” Thompson through events and activities, and to maintain the statue and planter in the Mormon Station State Park.

The mission is “To honor the memory of Snowshoe Thompson in many ways, including promotion of international cooperation between Norwegian and American communities; promotion of connections between American Lutheran Churches and Scandinavian Lutheran Churches; encourage education in the schools about Norwegians in America; hold events supporting these ideals.”

  • The officers of the organization are as follows:
    • President: Bill Bowersock
    • Secretary: Sue Knight
    • Treasurer: Loraine Dix
    • Director: Ted Tiffany, liaison with the Carson Valley Historical Society
    • Director: Nina MacLeod, liaison between Genoa and Norway
    • Director: Kerstin Wolle
  • Membership dues are waived at this time. Anyone is welcome to be on the membership list and will be notified of meetings and events. To become a member please send contact information to:
  • Sue Knight, Friends of Snowshoe Thompson, P.O. Box 605, Genoa, NV, 89411 or e-mail wildrose@pyramid.net
  • You may use our form on this page if you wish

Comments

Welcome to the Snowshoe Thompson website — 41 Comments

  1. Snow-Shoe Thompson by Johnny Horton – this is the song all the postman! I’m a postman, but here in Germany. I like the melody and I like the text of this song !!
    Many greetings from Germany
    Matthias

  2. Just found out from my big brother Ken, up in Canada, that John “Snowshoe” Thompson is in our Family Tree :-)! Please add me to your membership list :-)! Thanks :-)!

    • hello J Payne: … that John “Snowshoe” Thompson is in our Family Tree.

      Has he published the family tree anywhere?

      Dave Wilborn

        • I would love to see copy of Snowshoe Thompson family tree. My family is related to him via my mother/grandmother’s side of family who all emigrated from Tinn, Telemark, Norway.

          • Me, too! My mother’s mother’s mother was Clara Belinda Thompson, daughter of Kristen Vaalund, or Chris Thompson. Snowshoe was his great uncle…I’ll look up your family and get back to you.

        • hello: yes i am interested in the thompson family tree. my grandfather was a different john thompson who lived and worked (as a miner in virginia city) not far from where snowshoe lived. i know very little of this side of my family and am interested in any history of the times and area. thanks, dave wilborn.

        • Jennifer, I would be very interested in having a copy of the family tree. Our information is somewhat fragmented. I hear from many people who have connections to the Snowshoe family. Let me know. Thanks.

        • I wonder if you can help me! I was told by an aunt that he is a ancestor grandfather, that my heritage is Norwegian. My paternal grandfather is Thompson, Virley Thompson. Snowshoe might be a relative. As I’m reading about him I’m not feeling it, so my whole life before computers I believed it but now I question if I was told the truth. You have a family tree, could you please share it with me? so that I might know who I am. I’m almost 55 I am disturbed if I’ve been mislead. blessings! Plz email me with any info you might have on snowshow. ty

  3. How is a person chosen for the Snowshoe Thompson Award?
    My brother, Richard (Dick) Waterbury was given this award upon his retirement form the U. S. Postal Service. We have given the statue to the Gridley Museum, as of today, and would like to have some more background on why my brother received this honor. Am ashamed I do not know.
    Thank you,
    Sally Barker

    • Hi Sally: Apologies for the delayed response. How interesting! I really do not know about this award but I intend to research it. I am curious to know if it actually comes from the USPO! We have been pushing for a “Snowshoe” postage stamp for years. Stay in touch. Sue

  4. I lived above Genoa at 8,200 ft in the Sierras years ago and visited the Genoa Cemetary several times. I found an old wooden rotted toomstone with skis crossed on it and became interested in it as skiing wasn’t even thought of in this country during his lifetime. He made his own skis out of wood himsellf. In my research I found out that he carried the US mail in the Winter over the Sierras to Sacramento. Someone asked him what kept him from getting lost in a storm. His reply was just something in his head kept him going correctly. There was no trail to follow in a storm. He must have gone almost right over my property in those days. The reason it interested me so much is that I had a Mail contract from Omaha, NB to Oakland, CA, the approximate route of the Pony Express Trail and Snowshoe Thompson. I don’t know how he made it. In the winter months, the snow load was over 16 feet high average. I also heard that the U S Postal Service never paid him anything for his service. We owe him big time.

  5. I am supposedly related to snowshoe Thompson. My grandmother’s married name was Thompson and her husband was Oscar. I have been told my whole life that we are related. I am looking into it and will get back to you.

    • Was your grandfather’s name Oscar Albert Thompson? Born June 18, 1918 in Scobey, MT?

  6. I to am a relative of Snowshoe Thompson my Grandmother was a relative she had many books about him her maiden name was Olson

  7. Hello to my far-flung cousins! I am also a descendent of the Thompson-Rue family through my mother’s mother, Esther Vinger, whose great grand-uncle was Jon Anon Torsteinsson Rue, or Snowshoe Thompson, his American name. The Thompson-Rue family published an extensively researched, 930-page family history that lists every family branch since 1759! I’m happy to look up other Norwegian family connections – like the Olsons, for example – if you can provide a detailed name, birthdate and/or place of birth.

    Also, Snowshoe’s birthday is coming up: he’ll be officially 186 on April 30th!

    • Snowshoe Thompson is on our family tree also. We are related to him through my mother, Clara Walund Mock Moore. Her Father’s name was Christian Walund ( Vallund) and he was a brother to Cristian Thompson. Their mother was Kersti Torsenstein Rue. I am not sure if I have spelled that right. I believe their grandfather was Tor Thompson who was Snowshoe’s half-brother. The book you mentioned may be the same one my brother has. Is it possible to get hold of another one. We are also looking for the date of Snowshoe’s mother’s death and where she died.

  8. Seems like quite a few relatives of Snowshoe Thompson.. Me too. He was my Great Grandmother’s cousin. Jon Rue was his real name, changed to John A. Thompson (his stepfather, Thom Thomson) He was born Jon Tostensen on the Rue farm in Upper Tins, Prestifield, Norway, April 30, 1827 (Tinns, Telemark) My Great Grandmother’s name was Gro Rue.

    • Was she Gro G. Rue, born in 1882 and died in 1959 at age 77? There’s another Gro Rue, but she was born in 1799….

    • We are also related to Snowshoe, through his half brother Tor Thompson. Can you tell me when and where Gro died? Thank you.

  9. Thanks for all the interesting comments and links to Snowshoe’s family. Keep them coming. I frequently have people stopping at the tourism gazebo and statue in Genoa who tell me of their connections to Snowshoe. He had a lot of relatives!!! Now I need a little more background on his British wife, Agnes Singleton.

  10. I just completed an indepth study of Snowshoe Thompson.
    I have covered material not covered by anyone else.
    The book is about 285 pages long with an extensive bibliography and well footnoted.
    I am looking for a publisher. This is forengn territory for me.
    I have self published two historic guide books about the Emigrant Trail in the Sierra Nevada.
    This book is larger than I want to take on to self publish.
    Any ideas will be helpful.

  11. The city of Los Angeles has a plaque honoring Snowshoe Thompson embedded in a boulder in what must be the smallest park in the city. Why this exists in Los Angeles, I have no idea.

  12. Hi

    Our family is also supposed to be related to Snowshoe Thompson. My paternal grandmother was a Thompson.

    Carla Crow Kelly

  13. My husband and I attended the unveiling of the statue in Genoa. Relatives came also from Norway. It was an exciting time. I am part of the Canadian branch of the family.

  14. Hello. Thank you for running this site. I just recently learned that I am a distant cousin. Such a interesting story. My great great grandfather Torgrim Thompson was either half brother, step brother, or nephew of Snowshoe Thompson. I am trying to figure it out. I have been to Genoa several times. I love the area. Could you please add me to your member list? Sincerely, Cyndi

  15. I have searched your site and others without finding the answer to this question: In Johnny Horton’s song, he sings “they’re changing old Squaw Valley to Snow Shoe Thompson’s name.” I have never been able to see any reference to this happening. Can you please verify?

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