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Sierra Stories

  • Lake Tahoe: Drought to flood, Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on July 29, 2015
      By Mark McLaughlin ·  The heavy winter of 1996 pumped Big Blue to its maximum legal limit of 6,229.10’. | Courtesy Mark McLaughlin ·  The second wettest winter in 1995 raised Lake Tahoe nearly 7 feet. | Courtesy Mark McLaughlin ·  Editor’s Note: Part I may be found at TheTahoeWeekly.com. California is currently being hit hard by a four-year […]
  • Lake Tahoe: Between droughts & floods, Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on July 22, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  In 1992, Lake Tahoe’s water level fell to 6,220 feet, the lowest on record. | Courtesy Mark McLaughlin ·  There’s no doubt about it, California has been hit hard by the current four-year drought, with much of the state suffering exceptionally dry conditions. In the Sierra, streams, lakes and reservoirs are languishing, with some dried up […]
  • Eilley Oram: Seeress of Washoe

    By Mark McLaughlin on July 15, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  Eilley Bowers, circa 1863. | Courtesy Nevada Historical Society ·  When Alison “Eilley” Oram was a young girl growing up in the Highlands of Scotland during the 1830s, she already sensed that she was destined for more than the dreary life of farming. Born in September 1826 in the Royal Burgh of Forfar, Scotland, Eilley was […]
  • Truckee shootout at Hurd’s Saloon, Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on July 8, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin · Deputy Sheriff James Reed shot and killed Constable Jacob Teeter. | Courtesy James B. Casey. Editor’s Note: Part I may be found at TheTahoeWeekly.com. During the late 1860s, the town of Truckee went through an economic boom as a logging and railroad center. The financial gains from lumber production and railroad operations provided jobs and boosted […]
  • Truckee shootout at Hurd’s Saloon, Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on July 1, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin ·    Constable Jacob Teeter served his community for 24 years. | Courtesy Truckee Donner Historical Society During the early years of the California Gold Rush, San Francisco was ground zero for tens of thousands of immigrants arriving from countries around the world, all hoping to get rich or die trying. There were honest men and women […]
  • Ximena McGlashan: Truckee’s butterfly farmer

    By Mark McLaughlin on June 24, 2015
      By Mark McLaughlin ·  The cover of Ximena McGlashan’s Butterfly Magazine | Courtesy M. Nona McGlashan ·  Young Ximena McGlashan’s happiness was hinged on butterfly wings. As a teenager, she started her own business in Truckee to become the nation’s first professional butterfly farmer. Due to her father’s passionate interest in entomology, the study of insects, Ximena became fascinated […]
  • The Discovery of Lake Tahoe

    By Mark McLaughlin on June 17, 2015
        By Mark McLaughlin ·    When Mark Twain first set eyes on Lake Tahoe in 1861, he mused “… it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” Twain can be forgiven if his remark barely captures the lake’s visually striking milieu of blue water, changeable sky and picturesque mountains. It’s a draw-dropping scene of natural […]
  • Titus Family’s Truckee roots, Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on June 10, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  Frank Titus Jr. at age 93, an aviator in World War II, career pharmacist and accomplished skier. | Mark McLaughlin ·  Editor’s Note: Part I may be read at TheTahoeWeekly.com. The town of Truckee dates back to the mid-19th Century, but there are still local families with roots in that pioneer era. The story of the Titus […]
  • Titus Family’s Truckee roots | Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on June 3, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin ·   Frank A. Titus was a Truckee constable and engineer on the Tahoe Truckee Railway. | Courtesy Mark McLaughlin  The 19th Century may seem so long ago, but there are still local families with roots dating back to that pioneer era. Consider 93-year-old Frank Titus Jr. who today lives in his family home along the Truckee […]
  • 2015 Winter Snowfall | Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on May 20, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin ·   Central Sierra Snow Laboratory staff measure water content near Donner Pass in March 1946. | Courtesy Mark McLaughlin · Summer is almost here and water sports will soon be on everyone’s mind. Most people realize by now that the winter of 2015, the least snowy of record, added little moisture to the Tahoe Basin. Lake […]