by Carol Van Etten
Tahoe City’s First 100 Years, a newly-published book by Carol Van Etten, is a fond but fact-filled remembrance of the unique characters, circumstances and events that helped shape the community in its first century, from its beginnings in 1864 as a fishing camp and hay meadow to its development as a seasonal tourist mecca to its growth in the wake of the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley.
Van Etten’s new book brings together information and images collected over a lifetime of study, and its 160 pages are crammed with facts, written accounts and the recollections of early residents, brought vividly to life with over 250 illustrations. Photographs of the town during the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s by residents C.W. “Bill” and Ethel Vernon, along with a series taken by Bill Briner in its 100th year (1964) emphasize the changes wrought by time.
The book is divided into three sections. A chronological account traces the community’s transition from an economy based on agriculture, lumbering and fishing to one dominated by tourism. Next, a section on services describes such developments as electrification, telephone service and the town’s first sewer. Finally, a walking tour of the commercial district describes the earlier uses of each parcel. Throughout the book, eyewitness accounts add rich flavors to the descriptions. Numerous maps and an extensive index will delight fans of old Tahoe City.
(An excerpt from the book entitled “High Sierra Speakeasy: The Log Cabin” is posted on this Website.)
At $19.95, Tahoe City’s First 100 Years is well worth owning – an important addition to any Tahoe library. Click above to order your copy.