A short walk from Old Faithful Geyser is the Old Faithful Inn, which opened in1904. It is the largest log hotel in the world and, quite possibily, the largest log building. The first ” then” photo dates from shortly after the opening, the second is dated 1906, and the third is 1928.
Picture the Tetons completely surrounding Jackson Hole WY, and you can picture what Lake Tahoe is like. Divided down the middle by the Nevada and California state line, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the U.S. and the second deepest. Tahoe City is located about 0ne-third of the way down the California side. It is a great place to stay and use as a base for all the terrific hiking and sightseeing in the area.The town celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2013 and is seen here in an 1886 photo.
Tahoe City is on the rustic side of the lake with much more emphasis on outdoor activities. Here is a 1940s photo of the center of town.
Just north of the center of town is the Tahoe Inn. It was built in 1934 just before the tourist season. It quickly replaced the previous speakeasy and hang out for Baby Face Nelson and other gangsters of the day. Today it is part museum and part Mexican restaurant. The photo is dated 1935.
Here is the same buliding shown in winter during the mid 1930s, in a 1952 postcard, and as it now appears.
The crown jewel of the entire Lake Tahoe area is Emerald Bay located at the southwest portion of the California side. It served as the Canadian wilderness in the movie Rose Marie and also can be seen in Call of the Wild and numerous other action/adventure films from the 1930s. It is seen here in a hand-painted postcard from that period.
Located directly below the cliff view of Emerald Bay shown above, is Vikingsholm, built at water level as a summer home in 1929 for $500,000 (What Depression??). It replicates a 9th Century Norse fortress. The owners were the major financial backers of Lindberg’s solo flight across the Atlantic The photo is from the early 1930s.
Heading back to Tahoe City from Vikingsholm for about fifteen miles, you will come across the 1903 Ehrman Mansion, which is similar to Vikingsholm in that it too is located on the water, has a turret, and is part of a a state park (Sugar Pine Point) open to visitors. Incredibly preserved inside and out, it was the first in the region to have power and indoor plumbing . They generated their own electricity until it became commercially avalable in 1927. The oppulent summer home required a seasonal staff 0f 27 to meet the needs of family and their many guests.
Bannack was the original capital of the Montana Territory as evidenced by the photo of the recently completed court house in 1875. The county seat was moved in 1881, and the building was converted to a hotel in 1890. It boasted excellent accommodations and superb food served on fine china and white linen. It closed in the 1940s.
Just to the left of the Meade are the old drug store and then the assay office. In July 2013 a devastating flash flood damaged about 80% of the 50+ old buildings in Bannack, and the assay office had to be completely rebuilt. The old photos date from the 1940s.