Not far from where this, the most beautiful and charming hotel of the Lake is erected, there used to be a logging camp, noted as the place from which the first ties were cut for that portion of the Central Pacific Railroad lying east of the summit of the Sierras. A number of beautiful private residences line the Lake for some distance, the area having been portioned out in acre and half-acre lots. Chief of these are the summer home of Professor W.T. Reid, for a time President of the State University of California, and Idlewyld, the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Kohl, of San Francisco.
One of the oldest villas of this portion of the Lake used to be owned by Thomas McConnell, of Galt, and it was his daughter, Mary, who first made the ascent of one of the peaks now known as Maggie’s Peaks, as a marble tablet placed there testifies.
In the mountains beyond are Ward’s Peak (8665 feet) to the right, and Twin Peak (8924) to the left, from the first of which heads Ward’s Creek, and the second Blackwood Creek, both entering the Lake two miles or so apart. Just beyond Twin Peak are Barker’s Peak (8000 feet), and nearer to the Lake, Ellis Peak (8745 feet), the waters from the former making the South Fork of Blackwood Creek. Ellis Peak, being easily reached by a good trail, is the common point of ascent from Homewood, McKinney’s, Tahoe Tavern and other resorts.
Six miles out from the Tavern, the first stop is made at Homewood, one of the newer resorts.
Three and one-half to four miles further along is McKinney’s, one of the oldest, best known and well established resorts on Lake Tahoe. It was founded by J.W. McKinney, who was first attracted to this region by the Squaw Valley excitement. (See special chapter.) For a time in 1862-3 he sold lots on the townsite of Knoxville, then when the bottom dropped out of the “boom” he returned to Georgetown, engaged in mining, but returned to Tahoe in or about 1867, located on 160 acres on the present site and in 1891-2, after having erected two or three cottages, embarked fairly and fully in the resort business. For several years his chief patronage came from the mining-camps, etc., of Nevada, Gold Hill, Virginia City, Dayton, Carson City, Genoa, etc. They came by stage to Glenbrook and thence across the Lake, on the small steamer that already was doing tourist business in summer and hauling logs to the lumber mills in winter and spring. Thus this resort gained its early renown.
The bottom of the Lake may be seen at a considerable depth near McKinney’s, and looks like a piece of mosaic work. The low conical peak, back of McKinney’s is about 1400 feet above the Lake and used to be called by McKinney, Napoleon’s Hat.