Tahoe Heritage Foundation in Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada, United States | Museum
The Tahoe Heritage Foundation was founded in 1996 to enable a public/private partnership with the US Department of Agriculture that manages Forest Service restoration projects and interpretive activities at the Tallac Historic Site and the Visitor Center adjacent to the southern shore of Lake Tahoe. While the Tallac Historic Site and the Visitor Center are the flagship partnerships of the Tahoe Heritage Foundation, over the years the Tahoe Heritage Foundation has formed partnerships with other public entities for specific projects. Tahoe’s shores have attracted summer visitors for hundreds of years. The first humans to enjoy the basin were the Native American culture group known as the Washoe. They migrated each summer from the Carson Valley area seeking the cooler temperatures, abundant fish, and plentiful game of Lake Tahoe. The area from Taylor Creek to Camp Richardson was a favorite Washoe campsite. In about 1850, silver was discovered in Nevada, the transcontinental railroad arrived, and Lake Tahoe became a popular retreat for the wealthy from San Francisco, Sacramento, and Virginia City. Resorts were built to host the new clientele. Guests enjoyed chartered boat rides, card-playing rooms, saloons, and a sensational dance floor mounted on springs. In 1880 Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin, assumed ownership of the Point House and expanded it into a luxurious resort which accommodated over 250 wealthy guests who enjoyed the opulent ballroom, string orchestra, croquet, tennis, steamer rides and promenade strolls. By 1916 the “Era of Opulence” was drawing to an end which resulted in the demise of the wealthier establishments. Examples of the luxurious estates remain today with the Baldwin, Pope and Heller Estates of the Tallac Historic Site. This 150 acre site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 for its historic and architectural significance as historical examples of past life at Lake Tahoe.