History of Tahoe Vista

The search for gold is rooted in Tahoe Vista, California.

The original inhabitants of the beautiful shores of Lake Tahoe were the Native American Washoe Tribe, which held their home until Kit Carson and John Fremont explored the area in 1844. The explorers interpreted the name of the lake to be Tahoe, and the name remained even through several different attempts to rename it, such as Bonpland, Mountain Lake, and Bigler Lake. Finally, in 1945, Lake Tahoe became the official name.

In 1859, the peaceful setting was disrupted as the Comstock Lode was discovered in nearby Virginia City, Nevada. Miners and fortune seekers scurried to the Lake Tahoe area with dreams of striking it rich. The path that many of these would-be miners carved through the mountains soon became known as “Bonanza Road.”

By the early 1900’s the beauty of Lake Tahoe called to the socialite families in San Francisco that sought a new getaway. Plush hotels were constructed, and steamships that had once delivered mail and supplies were used to host lavish parties on the lake. As the reputation of Lake Tahoe as a premier resort began to spread, the elite of Hollywood began to call the Tahoe area their vacation destination.

The face of Lake Tahoe changed once more when Harvey’s Wagon Wheel Saloon and Gambling Hall opened its doors in 1944. The establishment was the not the first in the area, but it was the largest. Competition soon joined, and the gaming industry was well under way.

The Tahoe Vista, California history is tied tightly to the history of the area as a whole. Visitors to the community will see remnants of the Native American era, as well as Hollywood’s Golden Age. There are amazing museums and historical societies that are scattered through the region, and they’re in place so that no one every forgets this amazing, storied past.