Did you know that Sugar Pine Point become a California State Park fifty years ago? To celebrate, this year’s annual Living History Day will be a 50th Birthday Bash for the park with a day filled with free family friendly events ranging from live 60’s music to a children’s activity zone. The historic Hellman-Ehrman Estate will come alive on July 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a day to delight the entire family.
Living history activities will include family lawn games, open house tours, children’s activity zone, a 60’s rock n’ roll band, a car and boat show, an art exhibit, birthday cake, and an auction. Refreshments will be available for purchase. All events are free, though please note that there is a $10 parking fee.
The public is invited to spend the entire day at the park as it throws back fifty years to 1965, complete with costumed volunteers, vintage boat and vehicle displays, groovy live music by the Fillmore Zone, family games and contests, an all ages costume parade with prizes, guided natural history hikes, and open house tours of Pine Lodge and the Erhman Mansion. Entrance to the mansion is available on a first come, first serve basis. (Tours of the mansion are usually priced at $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for juniors.)
The Ehrmans were a wealthy San Francisco family who summered at the lake for 45 years. Pine Lodge was built by Florence Ehrman’s financier father, Isaias W. Hellman, in 1903, and for 45 years the Ehrmans opened the mansion to family members and friends for lavish summer stays. The 2,000 acres and two miles of lakefront beach were closed to the public until Esther Lazard, Florence’s daughter, sold the property to the state of California in 1965, fifty years ago.
In addition to the numerous activities, there will also be a silent auction and raffle. Living HistoryDay raffle tickets are 6 for $5 and can be purchased on the day of the event or at the Sugar Pine Visitor Center. The silent auction will include a many fabulous prizes donated by local businesses that include gift certificates to local restaurants, hotel stays, golf, and fine art prints – a full list of prizes can be found at LakeTahoeLivingHistory.com. All proceeds go towards supporting LivingHistory Day events.
Visitors will want to bring lawn chairs to enjoy the live music, and swimwear and towels so they may enjoy the estate’s beach. A bathhouse is available for changing clothes. Those who would like to picnic on the vast lawn overlooking the lake are invited to visit the food concessions which include Big Blue Q and Cheri’s Ice Cream.
Young and old will want to tour General Phipps’s Cabin, the home of the frontiersman who came to Tahoe in 1860 to homestead 160 acres that eventually became part of Sugar Pine Point State Park. The cabin Phipps built in 1872 is still standing, and Living History Day is the only day of the year when visitors may walk through it. Guides playing Phipps’s pioneer friends will regale visitors with stories of pioneer life as they work with their tools and load and shoot their black-powder rifles.
Further information and a full schedule of events may be found online at www.laketahoelivinghistory.com.