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Sierra Stories

  • African-Americans caught Gold Fever, too

    By Mark McLaughlin on January 14, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin   In one of the largest voluntary migrations in human history, the California Gold Rush attracted adventurous men and women from around the world. Crazed by the lure of instant wealth, they jammed aboard cramped sailing ships or endured fatiguing overland treks in order to dig placer gold in the Sierra foothills. These daring gold seekers came […]
  • Sugar Bowl turns 75 | Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on December 30, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin     Editor’s Note: Part I may be found at TheTahoeWeekly.com. Seventy-five years ago in December, the Sugar Bowl ski resort opened for business. Northern California’s first true alpine ski area, Sugar Bowl was much larger than any other nearby operations and its chairlift, the first in the Sierra, enabled a skier to sit down for an […]
  • Sugar Bowl celebrates 75 years: Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on December 17, 2014
      Sugar Bowl Ski Resort recently celebrated  its 75th anniversary of opening on Dec. 15, 1939. Known as the Grand Dame of California resorts, it represents a long and colorful ski history. During the 1930s, long before the winter resort build up at Lake Tahoe, the Donner Summit region boasted the most extensive concentration of rope tows, ski clubs and […]
  • Coming of age: Forecasting weather

    By Mark McLaughlin on December 3, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  The winter season is nearly upon us and everyone is studying the tea leaves to determine what our weather has in store for us. Similar to last year, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has forecast warmer than normal temperatures in the West, with below average in the southeast. The precipitation forecast, based on a weak El Niño […]
  • Moses Schallenberger: Alone at Donner Lake, Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on November 19, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  The Donner Party story receives the headlines, but two years before that tragic event a teenage boy named Moses Schallenberger survived the winter of 1845 alone at Donner Lake, 170 years ago. Moses was born in 1826 in Ohio to European immigrants. His parents died of cholera when Moses was a young boy, so his older […]
  • Moses Schallenberger: A winter alone at Donner Lake, Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on October 29, 2014
     By Mark McLaughlin ·  Visitors to Donner Lake hear all about the historic Donner Party tragedy that occurred there in the winter of 1846-47. Unfortunately, few learn the story of Moses Schallenberger, a remarkable teenage boy who survived the winter of 1845 alone at Donner Lake, 170 years ago. Born in Ohio in 1826, Moses was the youngest of seven […]
  • Myron Lake: Winner takes all, Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on October 15, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin · In October, Nevada will celebrate 150 years of statehood. It was on Halloween in 1864 that Congress approved admittance of the Silver State into the Union. America’s Civil War was still raging and Nevada’s entry as a free soil state helped bolster President Abraham Lincoln and his Republican Party in their efforts to abolish slavery in […]
  • Jane Gets Charley, Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on October 1, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  Jane and Myron Lake had worked hard to parley a modest nest egg into a small fortune. Their 1865 hotel venture at the short-lived Sierra mining town of Meadow Lake northwest of Donner Pass had earned them a tidy profit, but the effort had sorely tested their marriage. After the Meadow Lake adventure, the couple returned […]
  • Myron Lake: Winner takes all, Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on September 24, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  In October, Nevada will celebrate 150 years of statehood. It was on Halloween in 1864 that Congress approved admittance of the Silver State into the Union. America’s Civil War was still raging and Nevada’s entry as a free soil state helped bolster President Abraham Lincoln and his Republican Party in their efforts to abolish slavery in […]
  • Lora J. Moore’s Wychwood: 100 Years at Tahoe, Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on September 17, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  Lora Josephine Moore’s legacy is enshrined in the magnificent Scandinavian castle Vikingsholm that she had built at Emerald Bay in 1929, but her first property at Tahoe was located at Chinquapin, a sheltered cove just east of Dollar Point in Carnelian Bay. It was 100 years ago, in 1914, that Mrs. Josephine Moore (eight years before […]