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In December 1946, Tahoe residents were looking forward to their first Peacetime ski season. Members of the Lake Tahoe Ski Club (which included nearly every local who could draw breath) had been working to prepare the town hill, and all was in readiness for the arrival of snow.

Hopes were high for a great ski season, and a newcomer in town, Jim Williamson by name, agreed to take over the business of running the rope tow. But as the winter wore on, the skies never really opened, and the Winter of 1946-47 went down as one of the driest in Sierra history.

The young lift-op went on to develop a successful pier-building and heavy equipment business in Tahoe City known as Williamson Engineering, but his first winter in town, he later recalled, “I lost my shirt.”

As for the town ski hill, competition from commercial ski areas and development of surrounding property led to its ultimate demise. Bill Briner’s 1964 photo of the hill (shown above) shows the encroachment of vegetation that in the intervening years has nearly erased this piece of local history.

 

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