|Lake Tahoe and Sierra Nevada History|
Tahoe history at The History of transportation to California. Wagon, Highway & Railroad Routes Homewood History. North Lake Tahoe Historical Society at the Gatekeepers Museum 530-583-1762 Washoe Tribe of California & Nevada (775) 888-0936 History Page at the Tahoe Center for a Sustainable Future (TCSF). at the Truckee Tahoe Sight at Tahoe Country Sight High Sierra History Page Placer County History Old Time Tahoe at Tahoe Country History Links at Yahoo Tahoe Conservation Donner Pass Area Petroglyphs History of I-80 and N. Tahoe Area Calif. History The Donner Party Chambers-LandingTahoeInfo
Discovery of Lake Tahoe:
Lake Tahoe was known as "Mountain Lake" until 1852 when it was referred to as Truckee Lake and Bigler Lake, for California's third governor, John Bigler. (Fremont and Carson originally named it Lake Bonpland, after a French botanist who had accompanied an earlier expedition. But Preuss, Fremont's map maker, referred to the lake on his maps of the area as "Mountain Lake".) In 1862 William Henry Knight, map maker for the United States Department of the Interior, asked Dr. Henry DeGroot, a correspondent for the Sacramento Union, for an indian name, whereupon Degroot consulted his notebook and found "tahoe," which, he said, meant "big water," "high water," or "water in a high place." A political debate over the names Bigler and Tahoe ensued with none other than Mark Twain getting involved. Twain, who was unimpressed with indian lore, referred to the name as an "unmusical cognomen" which, he declared, could never do justice to the lake's varied wonders and magnificent setting.
It took 75 years to officially change the name from Bigler to Tahoe.
North Lake Tahoe Becomes a Destination Area:
By the late 19th century, Lake Tahoe had become a popular vacation spot for wealthy San Francisco residents. Beginning in 1887, Robert M. Watson,, ran an inn called the Tahoe House with his wife and five children. In 1901, the original Tahoe Tavern was constructed by Walter Danforth Bliss. Over the next several decades, the Tavern was expanded to include such amenities as a casino with a bowling alley, ballroom (which was later converted to a movie theater), physician’s office, laundry, steam plant and water system. Both the Tahoe House and Tahoe Tavern were located in Tahoe City on the West Shore.
Source: Tahoe History - Go Tahoe North
In the early 20th century, Lake Tahoe became a destination for the wealthy to build large estates. It continues to be a destination for Billionaires today.
Tere are several accounts of the origin of the name. A Paiute indian chief helped early wagon trains, communicating by means of signs and diagrams drawn in the sand. Many versions abound over who first called him "Truckee".
Another account is the first settlers encountered his tribe with the friendly chief yelling "Tro-kay" at them, the Paiute word for "hello" or "all right."
See: Chief Truckee at truckeehistory.org