Tahoe Keys History

Tahoe Keys Aerial History

The first recorded sighting of Lake Tahoe by a non-Native American was by John C. Fremont in February of 1844. His exploration party was 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, 10,651 feet elevation, 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. This trail became the main east/west route from Utah to California and was known as the Mormon-Emigrant Trail.

For many years thereafter, the area was virtually ignored. In 1859 the Comstock Lode was discovered in Virginia City, Nevada. During the 1860s Tahoe became the center of a lively commerce involving the silver mines in Virginia City and the Central Pacific Railroad, which was pushing over the Sierra toward the town of Truckee.

Wood was needed to supply the mines, the new boomtowns and the railroad. An extensive logging empire was established on the east shore of the lake from Incline Village to Glenbrook. The loggers clear-cut the entire shoreline until both the silver mines and the demand for timber petered out in the late 1870s to early 1880s. The scars of the logging industry lasted for decades.

By the 1890s Lake Tahoe had become a popular retreat for the wealthy from San Francisco, Sacramento and Virginia City. At this point in history the only industry that showed promise was tourism, so the rush began to build resorts.

In retrospect, from the turn of the 19th century small groups of diverse people discovered the lake's beauty and resources. Native Americans, explorers, early entrepreneurs, Basque sheepherders, Chinese laborers, and society's elite each contributed to the foundation of Tahoe's heritage.

By action of the California state legislature in 1945, Lake Tahoe became the official name of the lake. The Indian word "tahoe" means "big water."

After World War II, developers started to built roads and structures. In the late 1950s, approval was given for Dillingham Corporation to develop a marina on Pope Marsh. This became the extensive Tahoe Keys at the south end of the lake.

The Tahoe Keys Lakefront Expert in South Lake Tahoe!  See you on the Lake!

BROWSE All Tahoe Keys Lakefront Listings
MAP All Tahoe Keys Lakefront Listings

Interactive Mapping Email Alerts Instant Home Valuation