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

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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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 herein Tahoe City.

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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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Full Moon Snowshoe Hikes at Sugar Pine Point SP

Step back in time along the west shore of Lake Tahoe for a great cause.

The Sugar Pine Point State Park Rangers are leading full moon snowshoe tours through the historic Hellman-Ehrman estate sharing local history tidbits and the wonders of the natural environment. All proceeds benefit the Sierra State Parks Foundation.

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Sugar Pine Plantings

Sugar-Pine-Planting-at-Lake-TahoeHelp the Sugar Pine Foundation plant healthy, fungus-resistant sugar pines at these upcoming planting events

Sugar pines and other white pines are plagued by a non-native invasive pathogen. White pine blister rust kills about 90% of sugar pines it infects. Scientists and restoration managers have agreed that the only effective restoration strategy is to identify seed trees resistant to the rust and plant their progeny.

This is exactly what the Sugar Pine Foundation does. And, you can help too.

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Tahoe’s Cultural Heritage in Ink at 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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Blue Angels Ski Club at Heavenly

Blue-Angels-Snack-HausIt 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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Pony Express Re-Ride through South Lake Tahoe June

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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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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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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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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Tahoe’s Boating Heritage Featured on Collector’s Stamps

The passion of stamp collectors and wooden boat aficionados have intersected to mark the important role in the nautical history of Tahoe’s classic craft and promotion of the restoration and preservation of vintage wooden watercraft at the highest level,

Tahoe’s iconic boating heritage is captured on US Postal Service collector stamps.

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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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Olympic Nordic Trails at Sugar Pine Point State Park

biathlonprone-shooter_billbriner-compress4-300x218Did you know that Sugar Pine Point State Park is the site of the first-ever Olympic Biathlon event held as part of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games at Squaw?

Today, a total of 15 kilometers, approximately 25%, of the 1960 Olympic Nordic Trails have survived and been restored for hiking and biking.
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Do you know…how KT-22 got its name?

unofficial.JPGNo, it’s not named after any resemblance to Pakistan’s K2.

It’s named after Kick Turns. 22 of them.

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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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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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Tahoe Ghost Ships at Tahoe Maritime Museum

SS Tahoe Tahoe Ghost Ships at Tahoe Maritime MuseumDiscover the treasures lost beneath the surface of Lake Tahoe at the Tahoe Maritime Museum during “Ghost Ships,” a new exhibit featuring boats that sank in Lake Tahoe. Using oral history, underwater footage and found artifacts, “Ghost Ships” pieces together the history of boating on Lake Tahoe.

The exhibit features a combination of salvaged vessels, video and historical documents to explore the stories of select boats and question the social and legal issues pertaining to salvaging vessels along with the impact of public interaction with underwater historic sites.

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Building the Lincoln Highway by Dr. David Borges

The Lincoln Highway by M WallisDr. David Borges, local historian and history instructor at Lake Tahoe Community College, presents the amazing story of the building of the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway in the nation which passed through South Lake Tahoe and Truckee.
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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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Meet Smokey Bear at Firefest

Sit in a fire truck, escape from the Smoke House, wear fire fighting equipment, squirt fire hoses, watch the fire fighters compete, learn about fire resistant construction, and enjoy a Kiwanis BBQ at FireFest on Saturday, September 30, 2017 from 10am to 3pm at Hard Rock Casino at Stateline.

You’ll also get to meet Smokey the Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog at this favorite annual South Lake Tahoe event.

I’m in!

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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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Kitchen Kids & Pope House Tours at Tallac Historic Site

Tallac Historic Site Tahoe CultureWhile 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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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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Conversations with History at Vikingsholm Castle

“Conversations with History” features a behind-the-scenes tour of the incomparable Vikingsholm Castle in Emerald Bay, and an intimate conversation with long-time park advocate and historian Helen Smith who spent 14 summers at Vikingsholm as the guest of Lorna Knight, the owner.

All proceeds will support the Sierra State Parks Foundation earmarked to provide critically needed funds for the maintenance and repair of the Vikingsholm.

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Great Gatsby Festival at Tallac Historic Site

Return to the Roaring 20’s – Tahoe style at the Great Gatsby Festival at the Tallac Historic Site in South Lake Tahoe every August.

While costumes are not mandatory, you may look out of place without one. Throughout the weekend a variety of activities take place on the Pope and Baldwin Estates—vintage car shows, wandering musicians and jugglers, a raffle, special sales of period appropriate items and sale of the annual Gatsby poster.

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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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Living History Day at Ehrman Mansion

This only happens once a year. Ehrman Mansion will be open to the public for free during Living History Day.

Here’s your chance to step back in time and relive life at the lake as it was in the 1930s, at one of the most scenic spots along the west shore of Lake Tahoe, and one of our most famous houses.

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The Donner Party, Truckee, CA

donner-party.JPG

The Donner Party was no party at all.

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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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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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Annual Gathering At Gatekeeper’s Museum Fundraiser

GatekeepersMuseum Tahoe CultureThe North Lake Tahoe Historical Society hosts its annual “Gathering at the Gatekeeper’s” fundraiser dinner every August.

The meal is inspired by an 1908 Tahoe Tavern menu.  There will be a Barbershop Quartet strolling through the hotel lobby.  Inside the museum you can view Tahoe Tavern artifacts. Bid on exciting trips and activities during our live and silent auctions. All proceeds from the event will go toward the ongoing operation of Watson Cabin and The Gatekeeper’s Museums and their culturally and historically rich events.  read more →

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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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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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Isolated Estate on West Shore: Ehrman Mansion

ehrmanfrnt.jpg

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

tahoevillage19502.JPG

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

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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, was built in the summer of 1859.

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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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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Watson Cabin Tahoe City

watson-cabinThe Watson Cabin still stands on the original site where the Robert Montgomery Watson built it in 1909, and remains an outstanding example of turn-of-the-century construction. It is the oldest building in Tahoe City that still sits where it was built, in the heart of Tahoe City, above Commons Beach, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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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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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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Hwy 50 Wagon Train

Talk about keeping it real. The annual Highway 50 Wagon Train rides through South Lake Tahoe first weekend of June.

Sunday they’re riding from Zephyr Cove, Nevada to Amacker Ranch in Meyers (a South Lake Tahoe hamlet), California.

Would you like to ride in a wagon?

Here’s how to qualify.

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Wa She Shu It Deh Native American Arts Festival

Wa She Shu It' Deh FestivalThe Washoe are the original inhabitants of Da ow aga (Lake Tahoe) and all the lands surrounding it. Tahoe is a mispronunciation of Da ow, meaning “lake.” Washoe ancestral territory consists of a nuclear area with Lake Tahoe at its heart, and a peripheral area that was frequently shared with neighboring tribes.

The Washoe will re-unite at the Tallac Historic Site in South Lake Tahoe in July to honor their culture and heritage during their annual Wa She Shu It’ Deh Native American Arts Festival. read more →

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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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Historic Valhalla Boathouse Theatre

Tahoe Culture Tallac Historic Site Boat HouseThe historic  Valhalla Boathouse Theatre is a unique cultural resource in the Tahoe Basin.  Guests sitting in the theatre are treated to a view of the lake like no other, through the floor to ceiling window behind the stage. The interior, preserved with exposed beams and wonderful natural acoustics, is both intimate and grand creating an experience unrivaled in performing arts venues.

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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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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.
Obexer's West Shore Lake Tahoe since 1911
Coffeebar Truckee loves Tahoe Culture by Travis
Fall at Lake Tahoe
Emerald Bay
Bear at Taylor Creek Lake Tahoe
Angora Fire Lookout
Tahoe Culture Fall Glory
Plein Air at Lily Lake at South Lake Tahoe
Alder Peak LO


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