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Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Lake Tahoe and Truckee history, museums and cultural heritage sites.

Arborglyphs preserve Branch of History

You’ve heard of petroglyphs.

How about arborglyphs?

And, did you know we live in an area rich in this fascinating art form?

Especially on the east shore of Lake Tahoe.

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Donner Summit Railroad Tunnels and Wagon Routes

In the 1860s hundreds of Chinese laborers braved freezing temperatures, blizzards and unbelievably hazardous conditions to drill the 1,659-foot-long Summit Tunnel near Donner Pass, enabling the Central Pacific Railroad to move trains over the summit even in the worst of Sierra winter conditions.

Feel the depth of their harrowing accomplishments as you walk through the 145 year old tunnels and along emigrant wagon routes dating back to 1844.

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Fannies, Trout and Culture at the Tahoe City “Y”

You don’t have to travel far to learn about the natural history of Tahoe City.

Just head to the “Y” and follow these quick tours, provided by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.

Don’t forget to get a taste of our local culture at The Bridgetender. Get the cross-cut fries.

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History of the Comstock by Mark McLaughlin

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.

 

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Skunk Harbor Railroad History Hike

Learn about Lake Tahoe’s interesting railroad days on an easy hike down to Skunk Harbor.

Head down from HWY 28 above Skunk Harbor to Pray Meadows, then down to Skunk Harbor, where you can have a lunch at one of the most beautiful and secluded beaches on Lake Tahoe.

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The Chinese Immigrant Experience at Donner Summit

Located at about 6,000 feet in Truckee, Donner Memorial State Park includes the Emigrant Trail Museum and Pioneer Monument, built to commemorate those who emigrated to California from the east in the mid-1800s.

You can also learn about Chinese immigrants played a pivotal role in the development of Truckee in the 1860s.  read more →

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Dat So La Lee Washoe Basket Exhibit at Gatekeeper’s Museum

Without a doubt, she was Tahoe’s greatest artisan. Dat So La Lee is considered one of the greatest basket weavers and designers among the Washoe people.

A fine collection of Dat So La Lee’s work and 900 baskets, pottery, clothing, dolls and artifacts from more than 85 tribes nationwide are on display at the Marion Steinbach Indian Museum located inside the Gatekeeper’s Museum.

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North Lake Tahoe Heritage Month

Join the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society for a month long celebration of Lake Tahoe’s history featuring demonstrations by members of the Washoe, archeology, and an old time picnic and movie in the park.

Relive Tahoe’s charming past with local historians and guides  in North Lake Tahoe.

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Historic Walking Tours of Tahoe City

watson-cabinThe North Lake Tahoe Historical Society will be conducting a free Historic Walking Tours of Tahoe City on Saturdays starting at 10am.

Lead by local residents, the tour includes legends, history, facts and figures about the stunning wilderness surrounding the majestic mountain lake, along with shopping and dining tips. Tahoe’s colorful history will unfold in fun stories and legends about the people who have called the lake home.

Family friendly. Mostly flat, easy. Leashed dogs OK. Meet at Gatekeeper’s Museum. $5 donation includes museum admission.

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Echo Lakes Magic

Echo Lakes are a glacially formed pair of lakes, cradled in a serene granite setting 10 miles southwest of Lake Tahoe virtually hidden at 7,252′.

Upper and Lower Echo Lakes are connected by a narrow channel which is passable by boat only during high-water conditions which can cut down your hiking time into Desolation Wilderness along the joint Tahoe Rim Trail/Pacific Crest Trail.

To keep the waters pristine, you must be a Tahoe Keeper if you plan to paddle or boat on the lake.  Clean, Drain, and Dry to prevent aquatic invasive species.

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Did you know…Tahoe has the Highest Lighthouse in North America?

Rubicon Point Lighthouse.

Elevation 6,580 ft.

It’s not easy to spot, especially since it has been out of commission for over 80 years, and it doesn’t look like a lighthouse.

But, it’s well worth the short hike in D.L. Bliss State Park on the west shore to see this historic piece of Tahoe’s early mariner days.

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Kitchen Kids & Pope House Tours at Tallac Historic Site

Tahoe Culture children's garden partyWhile the Washoe were the first to enjoy the shores of the present day Tallac Historic Site, three of the original luxurious estates erected between 1890 and 1921 still remain today, and play host to special events and tours to learn about the “Era of Opulence” in South Lake Tahoe.

Kids can cook up a storm using old fashioned recipes during Kitchen Kids, while adults can join Anita Baldwin for some light refreshments and hear stories about the Tallac Casino and Resort, the first casino built in Lake Tahoe, and sip bubbly with Mrs. Pope on the porch. read more →

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Tahoe Maritime History at Tallac Historic Site

“Q” is the nickname of this 1921 classic yacht on display at the Tallac Historic Site. Was she called the “Q” because her name was hard to pronounce, or because it was used by the US Navy in top-secret operations on Lake Tahoe during WWII?

Find out and learn more about the restoration of the Quic chakidn at the Tallac Historic Site in South Lake Tahoe.

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Tallac Historic Site: A Cultural Treasure

Hidden by an old growth forest is South Shore’s cultural treasure.

Combined with the annual Valhalla Arts, Music, and Theatre Festival, the Tallac Historic Site has provided us a place to be, and to enjoy the arts and our cultural heritage in an unspoiled natural setting.

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Did you know…Lake Tahoe has an Underwater State Park?

Why would anyone scuba dive in Lake Tahoe?

There’s nothing to see – right?

Wrong.

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Angora Fire Lookout Elevation 7,256 ft.

Straddling Angora Ridge road above Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe sits the Angora Fire Lookout.

The original Angora Fire Lookout was built in 1924, and was later converted into a small residence.  In 1935, the Civilian Conservation Corps built the current lookout structure. The garage next to the road was built sometime during the 1940s.

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Hawksworth’s Packstation; circa 1912 by local historian Don Lane

Who was Jim Hawksworth?

While Jim passed away in 2002, his legacy lives on as a person.

The historic Upper Truckee Pack Station near Meyers, California has been officially dedicated in honor of legendary Forest Service backcountry horse packer Jim Hawksworth, who passed away in 2007 as “Hawksworth’s Packstation”.

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Evolution of Tahoe Travel with Don Lane

Learn about the Evolution of Tahoe Travel with renowned U.S. Forest Service historian and recreation officer, Don Lane, as he walks us through the varying ways of past travel to and within Lake Tahoe.

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Osgood Toll House at Historical Society Museum in South Lake Tahoe

Osgood Toll HouseThe oldest standing structure at Lake Tahoe, the Osgood Toll House, is 151 years old.

Today, Nehemiah Osgood’s Toll House rests at the Lake Tahoe Historical Society Museum in South Shore.

Did you know it played a significant role in the Comstock Lode?

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Isolated Estate on West Shore: Ehrman Mansion

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Hidden from view across from Sugar Pine Point State Park, Ehrman Mansion is an isolated architectural treasure. read more →

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Art of Indian Basket Weaving on Display at Gatekeeper’s Museum

It is home to more than 800 baskets, pottery, clothing, dolls and artifacts from over 90 tribes nationwide.

How appropriate for this Lake Tahoe landmark that sits on the site of a known Washoe Indian campsite. The Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum at the Gatekeeper’s Museum.

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Nevada’s Last Surviving Fire Lookout at Zephyr Cove

It is the last surviving fire lookout in Nevada, and one of three in the Tahoe basin.

The Zephyr Cove Fire Lookout has been meticulously maintained and restored for the last dozen years by its current local landowner.

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Eccentric Millionaire Builds Enduring Tahoe Legacy

billthelion.jpgThe Thunderbird Lodge.

Built in 1939, this magnificent estate was designed to blend harmoniously with its natural surroundings. And, that’s not all.

Don’t miss the Open House on May 16, 2009.

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Pony Express Re-Ride through South Lake Tahoe

The Re-Ride of the Pony Express Trail from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, will pass through South Lake Tahoe in front of Harrah’s at Friday’s Station to exchange the Mochila in June – check back for the exact date and time.

Since the time may vary based on the full moon, riders and horses, click here for updates.

The annual re-ride is a 10-day, 24-hour per day, non-stop event with 500 riders and horses riding the 1,966 mile route. It is the longest event held annually on a historical trail in the nation, even surpassing the famed Iditarod. read more →

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Truckee Railroad Museum

It’s been in the works for years although Truckee’s rich railroad history started making its indelible mark on the development of the mountain town in 1867.

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Melissa Coray Peak named after Pioneer Trail Blazer

While many call it Emigrant Peak, it’s actually named after Melissa Coray, a Mormon pioneer woman who walked over 2,000 miles to the west.

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Glen Alpine Springs “makes great lemonade!”

Glen Alpine Springs“Curative” mineral spring water was discovered here in 1863.

Glen Alpine Springs, just a short easy jaunt from South Lake Tahoe.

Most people just stumble upon this historic site on their way into Desolation Wilderness via the Lily Lake entrance.  But there’s more to it, located just off the beaten path.

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Where is Tahoe Paradise?

tahoeparadise.JPGIs Tahoe Paradise a state of mind or an actual location?

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Western SkiSport Museum boasts California Skiing Legends

Located next to Boreal ski resort is a treasure trove of California ski history. The Western SkiSport Museum was developed as an exhibition of Western North American ski history in 1969. The history of California skiing and legendary mailman, Snowshoe Thompson, who carried a 80 pound mailbag on skis over the Sierra Nevada mountains while rescuing stranded miners in raging blizzards are key exhibits. read more →

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Dating a Kings Beach Historical Landmark

As you Wish in KBThe 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?

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Olympic Museum at High Camp

Squaw Valley’s recently renovated Olympic Museum at High Camp is now open to the public and features newly-acquired Olympic memorabilia from the 1960 Winter Games at Squaw Valley, as well as a fresh new look.

The mountain-top Olympic Museum tells the story of the 1960 Winter Games- starting from the very beginning with the Olympic proposal, to photos, videos and memorabilia from the historic Games. read more →

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Olympic Hill at Granlibakken. Defining Tahoe Ski Culture since 1922.

1928 Double Tobaggan Slide at Granlibakken C.W. VernonGranlibakken Resort, on Lake Tahoe’s west shore, was once called Olympic Hill, and is known as Lake Tahoe’s oldest ski resort dating back to circa 1922.

Its story is one of historic luster and charm that defines Lake Tahoe’s enduring ski culture, told best by local historian and renowned journalist Robert Frohlich in “Skiing at Olympic Hill: The Story of “a hillside sheltered by fir trees” which follows.  read more →

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Snowshoe Thompson; Tahoe’s First Mailman

He is considered the father of California skiing.  A true mountaineer in every sense of the word.

Snowshoe Thompson weathered blizzards on 25 lb. skis with an 80 pound pack on his back just to deliver the mail.

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The Romancing of Tahoe by Paul Bailey

tahoe-skiing-1955 by Paul BaileyHis charming depictions of outdoor activities and use of striking, bold colors will make you fall in love with his vintage Tahoe posters.

Meet Paul Bailey, watercolor painter and designer.

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Blue Angels Ski Club at Heavenly

It was Heavenly’s first alpine ski racing club dating back to 1957.

Today, it’s been reincarnated as the Heavenly Ski & Snowboard Foundation. The Blue Angels Ski Club.

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Lam Watah Washoe Heritage Site

Tahoe Culture Washoe at Lake TahoeHere, the Washoe fished and gathered berries.

The Lam Watah Washoe Heritage Site is a small archaeological site in South Lake Tahoe managed by the US Forest Service that is open to the public.

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The History of the Stateline and Casino Corridor

Harrahs statelineclub1933Lake Tahoe’s casinos date back to the 1920’s when Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin built the “Greatest Casino in America”. But, Lucky’s casino was built on the California Side at the Tallac Resort in South Lake Tahoe which was a popular hangout for the nouveau rich from San Francisco, Sacramento and Virginia City.

You can still see the concrete foundation today.

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The Donner Party, Truckee, CA

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The Donner Party was no party at all.

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“Something Doing Every Minute”…Tahoe Village Casino circa 1950

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Tahoe’s casinos date back to the 1920′s when Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin built the “Greatest Casino in America”.

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Tahoe Maritime Museum

The Tahoe Maritime Museum invites you to share your passion for preserving our maritime history and Tahoe’s unique cultural heritage.

Besides maritime history and activities for kids like the inside boat simulator, you’ll find nautical and landlubber outings and unique items here, on the west shore of Lake Tahoe at Homewood.

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Tahoe’s Cultural Heritage in Ink @ Gatekeeper’s Museum Bookstore

This place is a treasure trove of Tahoe’s cultural heritage.

In addition to the largest collection of Washoe Indian baskets in the west, the Gatekeeper’s and Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum Store carries several historical books written by local authors.

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1960 Olympic Winter Games Museum

On Thursday, February 18, 1960, under storm-threatening skies, the greatest winter athletes in the world gathered in Squaw Valley.

It was the beginning of the VIII Olympic Winter Games and many notable events and achievements like Carol Heiss pictured here who won a Gold Medal in Women’s Figure Skating.

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The Edible History of Tahoe – NLTHS Historical Recipe Cookbook. Submissions due Sept 30.

Tahoe Culture Tahoe Tavern ChefsThe North Lake Tahoe Historical Society (NLTHS) is producing its first-ever historical recipe cookbook, and the anecdotes surrounding them.

Culinary contributors are needed for “The Edible History of Tahoe” by September 30, 2009.

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Watson Cabin Centennial Celebration Tours

watson-cabinThat lone cabin smack dab in the middle of Tahoe City overlooking Common’s Beach is turning 100 years old this year.

North Shore is holding a series of events to celebrate this Tahoe gem.

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Unveiling Whiskey, a Garwood Classic at Tahoe Maritime Museum June 24

maritimeLearn more about our nautical history over breakfast at the Tahoe Maritime Museum on June 24th.

The Unveiling of Whiskey, a 1935 Gar Wood will be presented.

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Tahoe’s Boating Heritage Featured on Collector’s Stamps

Finally.

Tahoe’s stunning boating heritage will be captured on US Postal Service collector stamps.

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We live in a special place. A place so beautiful it nurtures the soul and creative spirit. A place so breathtaking it inspires stewardship. 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.
Coffeebar Truckee loves Tahoe Culture by Travis
Obexer's West Shore Lake Tahoe since 1911
Emerald Bay
Fall at Lake Tahoe
Bear at Taylor Creek Lake Tahoe
Angora Fire Lookout
Tahoe Culture Fall Glory
Plein Air at Lily Lake at South Lake Tahoe
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