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Posts Tagged ‘tahoe history’

Small Slice of Tahoe City History

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Yes, yes I know  that if you’re from California you’re not accustomed to seeking out historical sites within the state. This is the New Coast – the brave new world where you were either a profit seeker, treasure hunter or just plain ole crazy enough to move All The Way Out. Well I’m hear to simply let you know that there are a few places right in Tahoe City to pique your interest: The Watson Cabin and the Gatekeeper’s Museum.

Watson Cabin Tahoe City

Watson Cabin Tahoe City (photo from North Tahoe Museums)

The Watson Cabin was built by Tahoe City’s first cop – Robert Montgomery Watson. The highest peak above town also bears his name, as does the beautiful reflection-pond near that summit (a great bike ride, incidentally, and also a fun semi-offroad adventure for anyone with a Jeep). The cabin stayed in the family until the late 1970’s when the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society purchased it. They do all sorts of little events that are very kid-friendly so keep an eye on their calendar.

The Gatekeeper’s Museum is beautiful building located right at the headwater of  Tahoe’s sole outflow, the Truckee River. This is a really cool place to just meander – there are some placards if you feel like reading, some lawn for windsprints, a gorgeous rocky shore with a neat angle on Tahoe, oh and a museum! They showcase Washo Indian baskets, clothing, history exhibits of the resort boom, etc. The Truckee River outflow gates are right here and you can walk along the glass-lined structure where you’ll see the now-non-human-powered crank that winds the gates up and down.

Gatekeeper's Museum, Tahoe City (photo from North Tahoe Museums)

Gatekeeper's Museum, Tahoe City (photo from North Tahoe Museums)

If you get into these places and want some more, check out the Ehrman Mansion down at Sugar Pine State Park and then reward yourself with a historical beverage at the old bar on Chamber’s Landing pier…


Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Bathymetry:the measurement of water depth. Sound boring? OK, I guess I agree. BUT apply it Lake Tahoe, one of only 17 ancient lakes in the world, and you’ve got my attention (for a minute at least). About a million or two years ago Tahoe was formed. Roughly a dozen years ago scientists figured out how to show us what the bottom looks like.

Tahoe Bathymetry

Tahoe Bathymetry (image from USGS)

Pretty cool. Then I learned that there was a massive avalanche or landslide that essentially extended the West Shore by almost 3 miles. See tha bulb of ‘water’ that extends the upper left section a bunch? Well that happened in one incident as actual mountains fell into Tahoe. Tahoe Tessie got one heck of a ride that day as a tsunami thought to be hundreds of feet high whitewashed the shoreline in every direction. The good news was that this landslide created a windfall for Granlibakken. Once located miles from Tahoe’s crystal clear waters, the Big G now became an almost-poolside paradise for all the dinosaurs in Placer County.

West Shore Landslide Bathymetry

West Shore Landslide Bathymetry (image from USGS)

When you look at the full bathymetry map and see all the debris scattered directly across from the landslide it’s impressive. But it’s truly mindblowing when you put the scale in perspective: those huge mountain-pieces traveled miles and miles through extremely deep water to finally rest where they now are – good stuff.

To learn more, check out this link. For a YouTube video go here. And to experience all of this firsthand (and look for dinosaur footprints) swing on over to Granlibakken and take a dip on Tahoe’s newest shoreline….

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