The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society was founded in 1969 and incorporated in 1971 by a group of concerned citizens who were passionate about this history, and its preservation. Their first major project was to preserve the historic Gatekeeper’s Cabin, then to rebuild the structure as a museum after it was destroyed by arson fire in 1978. The Gatekeeper’s Museum opened in 1981. In 1992, the collections were expanded by the donation of the Marion Steinbach Indian Basket collection. The mission of NLTHS is the preservation, presentation and interpretation of Lake Tahoe history. NLTHS comprises 3 museums with over 3,000 square feet of display space. The Gatekeeper’s Museum sits on the site of a known Washoe Indian campsite.
Gatekeeper’s Museum – An eclectic collection of Tahoe history, including photographic collections, oral histories and transcription, newspapers, court ledgers, maps and written materials, letters, clothing, artifacts and furniture.
Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum – A collection of over 800 baskets, pottery, clothing, dolls and artifacts from over 85 tribes nationwide.
Watson Cabin – A 1909 log cabin listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest house built on site in Tahoe City. It currently serves as a living history exhibit showcasing pioneer life on Lake Tahoe.
The museums are visited by over 10,000 visitors annually. Average annual membership is 750 members. NLTHS school tour program and traveling Washoe exhibit serve over 1,000 school children annually. In addition, NLTHS offers a speaker series and educational series, which has most recently included a basket weaving presentation provided by Julia Parker, a world renowned Native weaver from Yosemite, California.
During the past 34 years, NLTHS has accumulated an incredibly diverse collection of Tahoe memorabilia, including, Native American baskets, historical photographs, oral histories, maps, archival documents, newspapers and artifacts. One of our most extensive collections includes thousands of historical photographs of Lake Tahoe and its inhabitants, dating from the late 1800’s. These photos capture the historical progression of Tahoe history, from its Native inhabitants through the gold rush, westward movement, mining and logging eras and the establishment of the tourism industry of Lake Tahoe.
Your donations help:
Donations from this program will be used to furthur our Mission. We are working towards disseminating information about our history and museums to our local and outside areas.
There are many ways you can get involved.
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