Tales and Stories
My first visit to Lake Tahoe at age 5, was exciting being surrounded by massive mountains. At age 8, I was allowed to roam behind my grandmother’s cabins located on Montreal Blvd., South Lake Tahoe. The mountain was my venture into the deep wilderness. I tried sneaking up on chipmunks and squirrels. I climbed massive stones, some I could see the Lake once on top. I first strapped on a pair of snow skis and taught myself how to turn on a patch of snow behind the cabins.
I have been told stories by my Grandparents of Mrs. Whitney who settled on the mountain. With the help of an old Spaniard, she and he built a beautiful cabin and all girls private summer camp. She, with the assistance of the Spaniard, cut trees, removed the bark, and let them dry, all at Lakeside. Once properly dried, they would haul them up the mountain where they built her home. During snow season, they moved them by using a large flatbed sled, drawn by horses. My grandparents had visited her home, telling me how her bed was placed into a bay window projecting out from the room, which allowed her to look over the treetops to see the lake. I have heard, from longtime locals, that her nephew still lives on the property and works at Harvey’s.
The foundation is all that remains of the camp after it burned down.
The original Harvey’s was a meat market that had a gambling back room. Since Harvey’s was the only meat market around, the locals bought their meat from him. The story goes, when Harvey was drunk and sleeping it off behind the counter, the locals would take what they needed, weighed the meat and left payment on top of the next to the till.
There is the story of Fannette Island, where the “Tea House” is located in Emerald Bay. Constructed for Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight where she had noon tea with her summer guests.
Before Mrs. Knight had the tea house constructed, Captain Dick Barter had built his cabin on top of the island. His cabin location blazed the trail for Mrs. Knight’s tea house. The story of his demise goes something like this. The Captain was a deep sea sailor who had moved to Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay. The story told, was that he would sail his boat to Tahoe City where he would stay late drinking. Emerald Bay is located several miles from Tahoe City. Anyone familiar with the rapid weather changes of Lake Tahoe Basin can attest that weather can change rapidly and catch a sailor off guard. In 1873 this happened to Captain Barter as he sailed back to the island from Tahoe City. His boat was found capsized along the shore of the lake. His body was never found. To this day, at night around midnight, the time he usually would have arrived back to his island, his ghost can be observed climbing slowly up the path of the island. He will sing a drunken sailors song as he treks back to the cabin. Wikipedia 15 September 2017
Quirky Lake Tahoe Stories
By Tahoe Staff http://tahoe.com/articles/quirky-lake-tahoe-stories
“Any self-respecting town should have its weird stories, and Lake Tahoe’s quirky ones make for entertaining pondering. For starters, there’s George Whittell. He was an odd old bird with enough money to excuse his eccentricities. A preservationist at heart, Whittell bought up several tracts of land on the north near Incline Village and built himself quite the stunning residence, Thunderbird Lodge. As far as quirky goes, Whittell would throw poker parties in the game room, and if his luck were down, instead of enjoying the sport of the game, he’d excuse himself to the bathroom, open a compartment in the shower and retreat to the lodge via a secret passageway, never losing face or money.
If you’re interested in gory lore, the locals claim that the when the mafia had bodies to dispose of, the thugs would throw the corpses into the middle of the lake. The depth of the lake and near-freezing temperatures, these individual are said to be suspended several meters below the surface, fully intact, one still wearing her wedding gown. And, we can’t help but mention the legendary Frank Sinatra — a fire involving his cherished CalNeva at Crystal Bay, some insurance money and a whole lot of not talking about the scandal.
Then there’s Sand Harbor State Park, the only state park in Nevada that consistently makes money due to the popularity of the beaches, convenience of the boat launch and stellar lifeguard staff.
And, what about ole Mark Twain? He visited Lake Tahoe to stake a claim for timber or gold and ended up burning down his shanty, all the trees on his claim allotment and on down to the beach.
If you’re looking for a place with a distinctive personality, make sure to visit Tahoe and ask the locals lots of questions. You’ll get truth and legend and a good laugh if nothing else.”
October/November 2017 – Just Before The First Snows
Before the first snow and the ski crowds visiting, South Shore Lake Tahoe offers a relaxing environment. Bands and musicians play for the entertainment of patrons to California Burger, Azul (Mexican cuisine) and Base Camp Pizza, seen above and below.
Salmon Return To Their Birth Spot
Within the borders of the National Forest Service, Visitors Center flows Taylor Creek.
As a youth, my grandfather and I fished Taylor Creek. I cannot remember ever catching salmon. In fact, I never snagged any fish out Lake Tahoe; I was too busy exploring and not enough time fishing.
For other water sports, the Lake is perfect. The first two feet of the top layer, the water is warm, below that the water remains cold. Our children used the tops of wetsuits for wakeboarding and even swimming.
Sitting in a ski boat in the middle of the lake offers a person and their dog, time to be transported into nirvana. Very little boat traffic, and almost o interruptions. Be sure to lather on the sunscreen for the periods of sleep because of the warm sun.
Serves a great meal and you can enjoy the view of the lake from any spot within the restaurant or on its outdoor deck.
Riva Grill is located at the Lake end of Ski Run Blvd. on the lake. The location to board MS Dixie Dinner Dance Cruise to Emerald Bay and back. During dinner, the sun sets in the western hemisphere.
Marriotts Timber Lodge and Grand Residence
Situated between the Marriott’s Timber Lodge and Grand Residence is Heavenly Valley’s Gondola. In late October and early November Heavenly’s crews are performing maintenance on all their lifts. When staying at either Marriott resort during ski season, leave your apartment to walk out the door with ski’s, and you get on the Gondola to head up the mountain.
Within the same village are shops, bars, restaurants, art galleries, ski shops, water sports shops and all these only steps away from Harrah’s and Harvey’s.
Gambling During Slow Times
The casinos are almost crowd-free, so much so that you can walk up to tables and play without waiting. Slot machines are wide open. The casino atmosphere is also relaxing,
During our visit, Harvey’s was holding the 2017 World Series Of Poker Circuit Event.
Strolls To The Lake
Mornings offer a great time to walk from the Marriott to the sit on the Beach of the Lake. Spend time reflecting, creative thinking or running with the kids along the Beach. The Mountains surround you, giving you the feeling of almost like a baby wrapped in a blanket. Reflections off the lake of these surroundings add to the dramatic experience.
Lake Tahoe during off times offers us the opportunity for solitude and quiet time. Time to:
1: Overcome Fears
2: Let go of guilt
3: Change our mindset
Christina Park, a regular contributor to Forbes Magazine, can provide a more in-depth into these three topics. https://tinybuddha.com/blog/3-ways-embrace-need-solitude-quiet-time/
The busy person needs to plan for quiet times each day, as well as extended stays of quiet time. Retirees will experience to reflect on how to get back in tune with themselves. Lake Tahoe will offer the perfect environment for these rejuvenating sessions between seasons.
While writing the article, I contacted Lake Tahoe Historical Society out of curiosity on Mrs Whitney. I wanted to verify the stories my grandfather had shared with me during my times for visiting the Lake. Remember, grandfathers, love to elaborate on the facts in order to create a story of excitement. Lake Tahoe Museum ran and operated by volunteers. When I inquired about Mrs Whitney, I was informed that Free Lance Writer Jill Beede just completed an article about the founding of Camp Chonokis that was founded by Mrs Whitney and Mrs Pope of Pope Estates South Lake Tahoe, Pope Estate
Jill composes the fiction article from the eyes of one of the young ladies who grew-up attending Camp Chonokis. The story changes from an all-girls school to an all-girls summer and winter camp.
Should you find yourself curious about this fantastic fiction article, contact Lake Tahoe Museum to ask for the article to be mailed to your home. Better, visit the Museum and become a member asking for a copy of the article. Membership is more than reasonable.
Lake Tahoe, an exciting Alpine experience with hundreds of stories, all exciting. Polk Estates has a very exciting story of history. Another Blog article for a different time.