Where history comes to life.
Whether purchasing a ticket to the latest Shirley Temple movie or a seat on a motor boat, many Americans sought to survive the Great Depression through the culture of escapism. By attempting to leave behind the harsh conditions of their regular life, these people became customers that provided the stimulus necessary for many recreational areas and industries to fight their way through this challenging decade. Despite this aid, not every company with a strong footing at the beginning of the Great Depression would live to see its conclusion.
In Tahoe Escape: Surviving the Great Depression, the Tahoe Maritime Museum examines the many interests, social forces, and developments of the Great Depression and the culture of escapism through the maritime vessels influenced by those forces.
White Smoke – 30’ 1930 Sea Lyon Runabout
Phantasy III – 21’ 1932 Chris-Craft Barrel Back Runabout
Miss Tessa – 16’ 1930 Dodge Runabout
16’ 1938 Old Town Canoe
On Loan from the Collections of California State Parks:
Mercury – 35′ 1926 Duralumin Racing Craft
The Jevarian Outboard Motor Collection
Discover the various types and the mechanics behind outboard motors through viewing this piece of the museum’s outboard motor collection.
In 2000, the Alstom Shilling Robotics Company from Davis, California stumbled across the submerged vessel that we known today as Shanghai. Over the course of the next few years scientists worked to raise her and then place her in a state of arrested decay. Learn about Shanghai’s early life and recovery through the text and photo display surrounding one of Tahoe’s oldest residents.
Filled with rare boats too large for the Homewood site, a visit to the Truckee Annex is a must for hard core boat lovers. This portion of the museum is available for viewing during scheduled open houses but groups may also enjoy this display by calling ahead of time for an appointment: 530-525-9253
Tahoe Maritime Museum’s collections features a wide array of important vessels, engines, and documents that each speaks to an important piece of Lake Tahoe’s culture and development. Through exploring our interpretive displays and rich archives, guests and researchers alike will gain a better understanding of this important part of Tahoe’s past and present. To read more about a few selected pieces from our collection click here.
Shanghai, an 1890s steam launch salvaged from the bottom of the Lake
Early Tahoe Yacht Club Records
Jevarian Outboard Motor Collection
Tahoe Miss Photographs and Ephemeral Materials
The Tahoe Maritime Museum boat collection rivals many maritime museums in the nation. Currently there are over 30 vessels ranging from a salvaged 1890s steam launch to luxurious 1960s powerboats. Many of the boats are lake-worthy and see service on Lake Tahoe’s crystal blue waters during the summer. The combination of work, race, and leisure boats in the museum’s collection help us tell the story of Lake Tahoe’s and the nation’s maritime history.
Engines and Motors
Gathered through large donations and reconstructed through small finds here are there, the museum boasts a diverse collection of outboard and inboard engines.
Library and Archives
The museum’s archives are full of helpful and hard to find books and magazines about Tahoe’s Maritime history and the development of the boating culture and industry. Please contact Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment to view our Library and Archives.
At the beginning of the 1920s, Lake Tahoe residents were entering into a time of incredible change. The end of WWI and the beginning of prohibition brought out a spirit of rebellion and innovation in people and industries across the nation. The maritime world used this energy to bring about a new period in boating: the era of the speedboat. Meanwhile, Lake Tahoe residents faced uncertainty as they sought to make tourism their main industry. The beauty of the lake, easing transportation sources, luxurious accommodation, and invigorating activities combined to make Lake Tahoe a first class destination.
In Tahoe Twenties: A Story of Boats, Booze & Business, the Tahoe Maritime Museum examines the many interests, social forces, and developments of the 1920s through the lens of its maritime vessels.
Miss Lakeside – 27’6″ 1925 Sea Sled
Marguerita – 24’ 1924 Fay & Bowen Junior Runabout
Florence M II – 26’ 1926 Stephens Brothers Runabout
Kerosene Kate – 1916 REO Speedwagon
Gar Wood’s Tahoe Legacy
May 2011-April 2012
Since the arrival of Lake Tahoe’s first Gar Wood in 1927, these boats have become part of the lake’s unique maritime history. The art deco features, powerful engines, and rich mahogany wood reflect the nation’s style and desire to enjoy their newly developed speed capabilities. Through displays of vintage advertisements, archival photographs, and three large motorboats, this exhibit tells the story of the development of Gar Wood’s company and its presence in Lake Tahoe.
3 Full size Gar Wood Motorboats
Tahoe Powerboat Club Racing Trophies
Click on any other image to view it in a larger size.