Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

History of the Comstock by Mark McLaughlin

Posted on June 1, 2017
Filed Under Cultural Heritage

Mark McLaughlin History of the Comstock Tahoe historian Mark McLaughlin explains how the Lake Tahoe Basin and its environment dealt with the disastrous consequences of the 1859 discovery of silver in western Nevada and the development of the Comstock Lode.

Roads and timber flumes were built, much of the forest clear cut, and dust- spewing sawmills erected. Also, learn how scientists are researching solutions for the environmental challenges at Lake Tahoe. The 1859 discovery of silver in western Nevada and the development of the Comstock brought entrepreneurs of all types to the region. It also brought disastrous consequences for the Tahoe basin and its environment. But one timber baron was a visionary who saw beyond the denuded lake-side slopes to dream of a paradise for tourists and nature lovers.

Today, Lake Tahoe still struggles with this destructive 19th century legacy, but better management practices have brought the region back from the brink of devastating exploitation.

Lake Tahoe historian Mark McLaughlin is an award-winning, nationally published author and photographer with five books and more than 500 articles in print. For more than 30 years he has entertained and educated countless groups and conferences about Tahoe’s regional history in more than 1,000 presentations.

A professional and popular lecturer who has lived at North Lake Tahoe since 1978, Mark McLaughlin teaches Sierra Nevada history using dramatic stories, slide shows and field trips.

Mark McLaughlin is clearly one of the most impressive professional speakers at Lake Tahoe. His subject matter is fascinating and his infectious enthusiasm and engaging stories make for an outstanding presentation. Mark has an entertaining performance quality and his command of material is exceptional.


We live in a special place. A place so beautiful it nurtures the soul and creative spirit. A place so breathtaking it inspires conservation. A mountain culture that masters the fine art of living. Welcome to this place we call home. Welcome to Lake Tahoe. Meet the local artists, individuals, businesses and events that define our unique mountain culture and embody Tahoe's creative and entrepreneurial spirit.
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