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Virginia and Truckee #9

Chimney Beach Cabin

Date of photo: 1950s-60s
Photographer: Unknown

Source: Facebook: Tim Lampe

Tags: chimneybeach, laketahoe,

Available Sizes: 710x800 | 909x1024 | 1244x1400


At Lake Tahoe there is a beach known as Chimney Beach, for the stone chimney that stands on the shore. The chimney is the only remnant of this old cabin that used to stand on the beach. Built in the 1920s, the cabin burned in the 1970s and the Forest Service removed everything but left the chimney behind.


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Date Uploaded: October 14, 2023

Permanent Link: http://wnhpc.com/details/fb10228610905956313

Contributor: Tim Lampe on Facebook

Source: Facebook: Tim Lampe

Source URL: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sgennerich/permalink/2289202414620849/

Source Caption: 1. I did not build this cabin; it was there when I acquired in the early 1930s the area now known as "Chimney Beach". 2. In the early 1920s, several San Francisco families purchased private property at Secret Harbor (south of today's Chimney Beach) and built a members-only camp. (Today, the Secret Harbor Camp is still operated by descendants of those families.) 3. The cabin at "Chimney Beach" was purportedly built circa 1923 for Poker Petey (AKA Poker Peter), a legendary Tahoe figure, and first caretaker of the Secret Harbor Camp. 4. The beach had no name, and then various names throughout recent history. In the 1940s-60s, locals frequently called it "Elephant Beach" because my animal trainer once took my pet elephant, Mingo, there to drink and exercise. 5. At various times during the summer months until the 1960s, my property construction and maintenance personnel would live in the small cabin. 6. The three young girls pictured here in the late 1950s or early 60s are the Casey sisters. These are the daughters of my nurse, Ruth Casey (who died in 1989). I believe their mother is in the photo behind them, and the remaining individual is unidentified. 7. In the early 1970s, this land of mine was conveyed first to New York financier Jack Dreyfus and then to the U.S. Forest Service. During that decade, after partiers torched much of the cabin, a Forest Service work crew tore down the remaining portions leaving only the chimney behind. 8. It was not until the late 1970s and early 80s that the Forest Service started referring to the area as "Chimney Beach", after the landmark they created for posterity. 9. Except for Secret Harbor Camp itself and one parcel just to the east of it, all of this was my private property until 1969. 10. Other buildings were present when I purchased my ~ 45,000 acres of property in the 1930s, many of those buildings are now gone. However, the 12 buildings I constructed at my Thunderbird Lodge estate between 1935 and 1941 are all still standing, functional, and now maintained by the non-profit Thunderbird Lodge and Yacht - Lake Tahoe. The estate is open for public tours May - October (call 1-800-GO-TAHOE). And there you have it, the unvarnished truth.

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