Van Sickle was a noted character, a fearless, rude pioneer, but well liked and highly respected. His fame was materially enhanced when he killed Sam Brown, one of the noted desperadoes of the Tahoe region in the days of the Virginia City mining excitement. Tradition says that Brown was a fire-eating southerner, from Texas, a man proud of his bad record of several murders. He was notorious in Virginia City, and when the war broke out was one of the outspoken heralds and advocates of secession. He had trouble with Van Sickle and had threatened to kill him on sight. Coming to the place for this purpose he himself was killed, for Van Sickle secured a shot-gun, “laid for him,” and shot him. A great sense of relief was felt by many people at this, what was then considered not only a justifiable but highly laudable act, for Brown was seeking to raise a body of men to go South and fight in the Civil War. This event had much to do with stopping too vigorous advocacy of the claims of the South from that time on in Virginia City and the immediate neighborhood.
The road around the Lake forks at a place originally known as Edgewood’s, the branch to the left continuing along the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe, past Round Mound and Cave Rock to Glenbrook, where it swings over the grade to the east and over the summit, divides, one branch going down Clear Creek Canyon, and the other down King’s Canyon to Carson City. It is thirteen and a half miles from Glenbrook to Carson by way of King’s Canyon, and automobiles use this route, while stages run regularly over the other route via Clear Creek Canyon which is only fourteen and a quarter miles to Carson.
It was during the lumbering days at Glenbrook that the railway ran from the mills to the summit, nine miles, carrying carloads of lumber there, which were then unloaded and shot down the water-flume to Carson City.
Letting the eye still follow the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe completing the circuit, northward, Snow Valley Peak and Marietta Peak are reached. Under the latter, to the southwest, is Marlette Lake, largely an artificial body over a mile long and half a mile wide, which is the reservoir for the water supply of Virginia City. The course of the conveying flume may distinctly be traced, for part of its twenty-four miles of length. Both peak and lake were named after S.H. Marlette, once Surveyor-General of Nevada, and a well-known character of the earlier mining days.
Just below Marlette Lake, almost directly facing Tahoe Tavern, are several scarrings, running almost parallel to each other and going in the most direct fashion to Lake Tahoe. These denote where the flume broke and the water made its own rude channels to the Lake beneath.
From this inadequate and imperfect description it can readily be imagined what a sublime and comprehensive view is afforded from Watson’s Peak. Every visitor to Tahoe should take the trip, especially those who stay for a few days or longer at Tahoe Tavern.