Current Exhibitions

on the water high

It’s a recreational exhibit for 2016-2017!


TMM Archival Collection 2013.3.2 Chamber’s Lodge brochure from the 1930’s.

Lake Tahoe’s crystal waters have attracted people for generations, but it wasn’t until the 1850s that the region had its first year-round settlers when logging camps formed around the basin in order to supply the lumber required to build the Comstock silver mines.  Knowing logging was a fleeting industry, the camp owners quickly turned to tourism. By 1900, Tahoe’s summer resorts were catering to visitors from the nearby Nevada cities, and the larger Californian cities to the west. Tahoe was truly a summer playground, with recreation at the resorts focused around boating and other water activities.

TMM Archival Collection 2013.19 Postcard of woman, man, and dog in rowboat on Lake Tahoe c. 1940’s.

Along the beaches visitors could bask in the warm mountain sun and then cool off by taking a dip in the Lake. Resorts rented rowboats, kayaks, and sailboats so their guests could explore the various coves on their own. Powerboating also took off and a ride aboard a runabout became one of the most memorable parts of any vacation. The popularity of Tahoe continued to grow over the next decades. Outdoor activities like hiking and horseback riding increased as the mountain trail system expanded, and skiing made it a year round destination, but the true summer recreation continued to focus around being on the Lake and boating. Join us during business hours, to see our new exhibition that explores Tahoe’s summer sport and leisure in depth.