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Sierra Stories

  • Moses Schallenberger: A winter alone at Donner Lake, Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on October 29, 2014
     By Mark McLaughlin ·  Visitors to Donner Lake hear all about the historic Donner Party tragedy that occurred there in the winter of 1846-47. Unfortunately, few learn the story of Moses Schallenberger, a remarkable teenage boy who survived the winter of 1845 alone at Donner Lake, 170 years ago. Born in Ohio in 1826, Moses was the youngest of seven […]
  • Myron Lake: Winner takes all, Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on October 15, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin · In October, Nevada will celebrate 150 years of statehood. It was on Halloween in 1864 that Congress approved admittance of the Silver State into the Union. America’s Civil War was still raging and Nevada’s entry as a free soil state helped bolster President Abraham Lincoln and his Republican Party in their efforts to abolish slavery in […]
  • Jane Gets Charley, Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on October 1, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  Jane and Myron Lake had worked hard to parley a modest nest egg into a small fortune. Their 1865 hotel venture at the short-lived Sierra mining town of Meadow Lake northwest of Donner Pass had earned them a tidy profit, but the effort had sorely tested their marriage. After the Meadow Lake adventure, the couple returned […]
  • Myron Lake: Winner takes all, Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on September 24, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  In October, Nevada will celebrate 150 years of statehood. It was on Halloween in 1864 that Congress approved admittance of the Silver State into the Union. America’s Civil War was still raging and Nevada’s entry as a free soil state helped bolster President Abraham Lincoln and his Republican Party in their efforts to abolish slavery in […]
  • Lora J. Moore’s Wychwood: 100 Years at Tahoe, Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on September 17, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  Lora Josephine Moore’s legacy is enshrined in the magnificent Scandinavian castle Vikingsholm that she had built at Emerald Bay in 1929, but her first property at Tahoe was located at Chinquapin, a sheltered cove just east of Dollar Point in Carnelian Bay. It was 100 years ago, in 1914, that Mrs. Josephine Moore (eight years before […]
  • Lora Knight’s Wychwood: 100 Years at Tahoe, Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on September 10, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  Lora Josephine Knight’s legacy is enshrined in the magnificent Scandinavian castle, Vikingsholm, which she had built at Emerald Bay in 1929, but her first property at Tahoe was located at Chinquapin, a sheltered cove just east of Dollar Point in Carnelian Bay. It was 100 years ago, in 1914, that Mrs. Josephine Moore (eight years before […]
  • Soaring with eagles

    By Mark McLaughlin on September 3, 2014
    Meteorologists call it The Monster, a powerful mountain lee wave that forms to the east of the Sierra Nevada in the Owens Valley of California. The Owens Valley is a visually stunning region that contrasts the towering, granite ridgeline of the High Sierra with a desert valley that is protected from the severe storms that frequently rage in the upper […]
  • Virginia & Truckee Railroad rides again | Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on August 27, 2014
    By Mark McLaughlin  ·   Editor’s Note: Part I may be found at TheTahoeWeekly.com 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. The locomotives and rolling stock of the original railroad were sold off to Hollywood […]
  • 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. […]