At the present time (winter of 1914-15) the matter is in the courts awaiting adjudication, which it is to be hoped, while being satisfactory to all parties to the suit, will fully conserve for the scenic enjoyment of the world all the charms for which Tahoe has been so long and so justly famous.
MARK TWAIN AT LAKE TAHOE
Early in the ’sixties the immortal Mark made his mark at Lake Tahoe. In his Roughing It, he devotes Chapters XXII and XXIII to the subject. With the kind consent of his publishers, Harper Bros, of New York, the following extracts are presented.
Later, when in Italy, he described Lake Como and compared it with Tahoe in Innocents Abroad, and while his prejudices against the Indians led him to belittle the Indian name—Tahoe—and in so doing to make several errors of statement, the descriptions are excellent and the interested reader is referred to them as being well worthy his attention.
Chapter XXII, Roughing It.—We had heard a world of talk about the marvelous beauty of Lake Tahoe, and finally curiosity drove us thither to see it. Three or four members of the Brigade had been there and located some timber lands on its shores and stored up a quantity of provisions in their camp. We strapped a couple of blankets on our shoulders and took an ax apiece and started—for we intended to take up a wood ranch or so ourselves and become wealthy. We were on foot. The reader will find it advantageous to go on horseback. We were told that the distance was eleven miles. We tramped a long time on level ground, and then toiled laboriously up a mountain about a thousand miles high and looked over. No lake there. We descended on the other side, crossed the valley and toiled up another mountain three or four thousand miles high, apparently, and looked over again. No lake yet. We sat down tired and perspiring, and hired a couple of Chinamen to curse those people who had beguiled us. Thus refreshed, we presently resumed the march with renewed vigor and determination. We plodded on, two or three hours longer, and at last the Lake burst upon us—a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snowclad mountain peaks that towered aloft full three thousand feet higher still! It was a vast oval, and one would have to use up eighty or a hundred good miles in traveling around it. As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.