Lake Tahoe’s History
Lake Tahoe’s History began several million years ago when continued volcanic activity dropped the valley floor down and eventually resulted in the formation of the Lake Tahoe basin.
The Lake Tahoe basin and the Sierra Nevada Mountains that surround it were well beneath sea level 300 million years ago. As the North American Continental Plate and the Pacific Ocean Plate drifted together, friction and pressure melted the two plates and sent up a hot plug of magma that cooled to form the base of granite that would eventually develop into the Sierras.
About 100 million years ago, the Sierras began to take shape as erosion and exposure to the elements began carving the granite into mountains. A very active volcanic age 30 million years ago faulted and uplifted the surrounding ranges on the east and west of the Sierras.
The cooler summer temperatures in Lake Tahoe along with the abundance of fish and game are just some of the reasons why the western Nevada Washoe Indian Tribes have summered here for some 10,000 years. The first white man discovered Tahoe in 1844, but it was largely ignored until the Virginia City Comstock Lode was discovered in 1859. Tahoe’s natural resources were plundered to provide lumber for building and fueling the mines for the next 20 years.
Initially the water level in the basin was over 800 feet higher, but downstream flow and several periods of glaciation over the last 10,000 years have cut the valleys and eroded the canyons into their current channels allowing the water to flow through the Truckee River down to the lowlands of Nevada. Emerald Bay, Fallen Leaf Lake, and Donner Lake are all characteristic examples of glacial valleys.
By the turn of the century, wealthy San Francisco families had purchased large areas of Lake Tahoe after it had been logged and stripped of its timber. Resorts like Tahoe Tavern, Glenbrook Inn, and Tallac House began to spring up to serve the summer tourist trade of west coast vacationers, and Tahoe’s undisputed reputation as “the place to go” for summer fun had begun.
Today you will find that the Lake Tahoe – Truckee area is still “the place to go” for summer and winter fun in Northern California. Resort and second home owners make up the largest part of residential property here and they come from all over the world. Lake Tahoe boasts some of the most exciting lake and mountain properties anywhere, and the range of property type goes from a cozy cabin in the woods to world class luxury homes, golf course resort properties, ski-in ski-out slope side homes and condos, lakefront estates and amazing lake view homes that seem to be falling off of a cliff!
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For information about buying or selling residential or commercial property in the Lake Tahoe – Truckee area and all of your Lake Tahoe – Truckee Luxury real estate needs – please call Craig Cooper, 530.414.4123, Tahoe REALTOR®, Tahoe Real Estate Agent, CLHMS, CRS, ABR, RSPS, Luxury Home Specialist, Craig@TahoeLakefrontHomes.com Cal BRE# 01746610
Chase International Real Estate, Tahoe City, California
Lake Tahoe’s History