Living water flows in marvelous abundance through Deer Park all throughout the year. Springs and melting snow send four different streams, tributary to Bear Creek, coursing across the property. The domestic water supply of the Inn is gained from springs on the mountain side, 800 feet above the Inn, and it is piped all over the place and to every cottage.
There has been some talk, recently, of converting Deer Park into a private park. There is no better location for such a purpose in the whole Tahoe region. Situated as it is in the heart of a canyon it is readily isolated and thus kept entirely secluded and free from intrusion. While such a procedure would be a great advantage to any individual or club who might purchase the estate, it would be a decided loss to the general public who for so many years have enjoyed the charms and delights of this earliest of Sierran mountain resorts.
One of the oldest and most famous resorts of the High Sierras is Rubicon Springs. It is nine miles from Lake Tahoe, at McKinney’s, over a mountain road built many years ago, engineered so as to afford marvelously entrancing glimpses of the Lake and of the mountain scenery on either hand. Here are primeval forest, flower-strewn meadows of emerald, crystal streams and placid-faced glacial lakes in which snow-clad mountain summits are mirrored in quiet glory. The Rubicon River is one of the feeders of the American River, and the springs are located not far from its head waters.
The Rubicon Springs were originally discovered and located upon by the Hunsaker brothers, two genuine explorers and adventurers whose names deserve to be preserved in connection with the Tahoe region. They were originally from the Hoosier state, coming to California in 1849, across the plains, by Fort Hall, the sink of the Humboldt, Ragtown, and by Carson Canyon to old Hangtown (now Placerville). They mined for several years. Then came the Comstock excitement. They joined the exodus of miners for the Nevada mountains and were among the earliest to help to construct the Georgetown trail. Thus it was they discovered Rubicon. In 1869 they located upon 160 acres, built a log-house and established a stopping station which they called Hunsaker Springs. In the winter they rested or returned to Georgetown, making occasional trapping trips, hunting bear and deer, and the meat of which they sold. In those days deer used to winter in large numbers almost as far down as Georgetown (some fifteen miles or so), so that hunting them for market was a profitable undertaking in the hands of experts.
They and John McKinney, the founder of McKinney’s, were great friends, having worked together in the Georgetown mines. They soon made their places famous. Their mining friends came over from Virginia City, Gold Hill, Carson, etc., by way of Glenbrook, where they were ferried across Lake Tahoe by the old side-wheel steamer, Governor Stanford, to McKinney’s. Then by pack trail over to Hunsakers.