May 1, 2014
Filed Under Cultural Heritage
The pirates and wishing well at this little shop located on the main drag of Kings Beach are just a hint of the curios and history contained within.
As You Wish is the original Lake Tahoe Photo Shop and Curio Shop built by North Shore photographer, Fritz A. Lentz (1884-1961).
Can you help verify the date of its construction?
Hearsay has it that Fritz constructed the building circa 1906 in Lake Forest, and moved it to its present day location c. 1928 on a flat bed truck. But, since the flat bed truck wasn’t large enough to hold the entire building, Fritz sawed it in half and transported the two pieces one at a time to its new home in Kings Beach.
Fritz also laid all the stone work in the front patio, and constructed the Wishing Well in 1948. The Wishing Well is a very unique piece of memorabilia and embodies Fritz’s promotional ingenuity. You see, Fritz included indigenous stones from each of the 48 states in the union. (Alaska and Hawaii were not states yet.)
Fritz was right. The beautiful stone work and Wishing Well lured customers into his photography and curio shop, and has helped make it a tourist attraction in Kings Beach ever since. Visitors like to have their photos taken with the pirates, make a wish, and ogle at the rocks.
Luckily, the building has not been altered since Fritz’s ownership, although it is now a “Little fairy shop filled with charming mystical fantasy gifts, and enchanting apparel for those of you who crave to be unique and different,” according to Brenda, the owner for the last 10 years.
Keeping with tradition, Brenda has retained “Curio Shoppe” in her name and signage and lives up to it with eclectic offerings. As You Wish has several interesting clothing lines including Bohemian Funk, belly dancing apparel, velvet capes, Medieval style wedding gowns and hats; and gifts such as hand painted ostrich eggs, crystals, jewelry, fantasy art and statuary, stained glass, candles, and tree-free cards. Besides families and curious curio shoppers, people looking for Renaissance Fair, Burning Man and pirate attire are frequent guests.
Looks like Brenda has learned a thing or two from Fritz about attracting attention.
As Brenda has come to learn more about the significance of the historic building and the photographic talents of Mr. Lentz, she is researching the possibility of it becoming a California historical landmark.
However, there is debate about the year of the building’s construction. Brenda claims 1906, while others say early 1930s.
As You Wish
8397 North Lake Blvd
Kings Beach, CA