Lake Tahoe Vacation Homes, Condos & Resorts

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Lake Tahoe History

Information for California Vacations in Lake Tahoe

The first humans that lived in the Lake Tahoe region were the Native American tribe known as the Washoe. Stone artifacts and projectile points discovered around Lake Tahoe confirms the Washoes presence as much as 10,000 years ago. Each summer they migrated from the Carson Valley area seeking the cooler temperatures, abundant fish and plentiful game of Lake Tahoe. The Washoe women made exceptionally fine baskets of remarkable artistry.

About Lake Tahoe | Lake Tahoe History

The first recorded sighting of Lake Tahoe by a non-Indian was by John C. Fremont in February of 1844. Guided by the legendary scout Christopher "Kit" Carson, the party first viewed part of Lake Tahoe when they arrived at the top of Red Lake Peak, at what is now Carson Pass. This area is located 20 miles southwest of South Lake Tahoe. In 1848 Kit Carson carved a trail over what is now called the Carson Pass, which became the main east/west route from Utah to California. For many years thereafter, Lake Tahoe was virtually ignored until the Comstock Lode was discovered in Virginia City, Nevada in 1859. During the 1860s Tahoe became the center of commerce for the silver mines in Virginia City and the Central Pacific Railroad, which was pushing over the Sierra-Nevada Mountains toward the town of Truckee.

Word of Lake Tahoe's beauty soon reached the wealthy families of San Francisco and by the turn of the century, Lake Tahoe had become a haven for the wealthy. Popular hotels of the time included the Tallac House, Tahoe Tavern and the Glenbrook Inn. This period also featured the use of steamship transportation around the lake, with mail and supply delivery around the lake, and lavish transport for visitors. During the '20s and '30s, the roads through the mountains were paved, bringing in greater numbers of people. Development at Lake Tahoe began in earnest in the 1950's when roads to Lake Tahoe began to be plowed year-round, enabling permanent residence. The 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley established Lake Tahoe as a skiing center for the western United States.








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