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Sierra Stories

  • Virginia & Truckee Railroad rides again | Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on August 20, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin  ·   All aboard! Arguably the most famous short line railroad in the American West, the Virginia & Truckee Railroad, is back on track this summer with weekend excursions from Carson City to Virginia City, Nev. Built during the heyday of the roaring Comstock Bonanza in the 1870s, this legendary ride into history travels the original route […]
  • Lansford Hastings: Donner Party villain?

    By Mark McLaughlin on August 13, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin ·    For nearly 170 years, historians have labeled California land promoter Lansford Hastings as the villain in the 1846-47 Donner Party tragedy. Hastings was the man who steered the Donner Party wrong, enticing the wagon train to take a primitive, untried trail through the rugged Wasatch Mountains of Utah as a shortcut to the Pacific Coast. […]
  • Joe King: The King in Kings Beach, Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on August 6, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin    The community of Kings Beach is going through big changes as the streets are improved, sidewalks and traffic circles installed, and other pedestrian-friendly amenities take shape this summer. With Kings Beach getting such a dramatic facelift, it seems like an appropriate time to reflect on the neighborhood’s history. Kings Beach developer Joseph King came to Truckee […]
  • Joe King | The King in Kings Beach, Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on July 30, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin  ·   The community of Kings Beach is going through big changes as the streets are improved, sidewalks and traffic circles installed, and other pedestrian-friendly amenities take shape this summer. With Kings Beach getting such a dramatic facelift, it seems like an appropriate time to reflect on the neighborhood’s history. Joe King came to Truckee from Texas […]
  • The strange tale of Charley Parkhurst

    By Mark McLaughlin on July 23, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin  ·   Charley Parkhurst at the reigns of a stagecoach.  · Stagecoach companies were big business during the Comstock’s heady years of massive silver production. One of the most successful lines was the Pioneer Stage Company. The Pioneer Stage route followed the old trail between Placerville past South Lake Tahoe, to Genoa, Nev. The company maintained 12 […]
  • Summit Canyon | A trail to history, Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on July 16, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin  ·   Remains of the Dutch Flat road may be seen on the Summit Canyon trail.  ·   Editor’s Note: Part I may be found at TheTahoeWeekly.com. The original Donner Pass on historic Highway 40 is arguably one of the most significant square miles in the United States. Its legacy encompasses Native American travel and trade, pre-Gold […]
  • Summit Canyon | A trail to history, Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on July 9, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin  ·   Along the Summit Canyon trail  · Donner Pass is arguably one of the most historic square miles in the United States. Its legacy encompasses Native American travel and trade, pre-gold rush pioneers, the nation’s first transcontinental railroad and highway systems, as well as the vanguard of cross-country aviation. Over the years, there have been many […]
  • Squaw Valley Tram | A ride into history

    By Mark McLaughlin on July 2, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin  ·   Five months from now, Squaw Valley will celebrate the 65th anniversary of the opening of the ski area in November 1949, but you don’t have to wait until the snow flies to experience the magic of Olympic Valley. The aerial tram at Squaw Valley will lift you effortlessly up into the Sierra high country, where […]
  • Lola Montez: A hike into history, Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on June 25, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin ·    Lower Lola Montez Lake At Donner Pass, fascinating history and stunning scenery combine to provide some of the most awe-inspiring walks and hikes in the United States. Several years ago the Donner Summit Historical Society began installing informative plaques as it established the 20 Mile Museum along Donner Pass Road from Donner Lake west to […]
  • Lola Montez Lakes: A hike into history, Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on June 18, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  At Donner Pass, history and scenery combine to provide some of the most inspiring walks and hikes in the United States. Several years ago, the Donner Summit Historical Society began installing informative plaques as the group established the fascinating 20 Mile Museum along Donner Pass Road from Donner Lake west to Cisco. The recent purchases of […]