The Gatekeeper's Cabin and Museum

The Gatekeeper's Cabin and Museum (HMNCQ)

Location: Tahoe City, CA 96145 Placer County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 9.997', W 120° 8.636'

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[First Marker - Located on the left:]
The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society (NLTHS) operates and maintains the Gatekeeper's Museum, The Marion Steinback Indian Basket Museum, the Watson Cabin Living Museum (located above Commons Beach) and William B. Layton Park. The organization was founded by: Betty Layton, the manager of the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce; Gardner Mein, President of the Chamber of Commerce; David Stollery, an Historian and Author; and Judge C.W.Vernon.

Hoping to purchase the Gatekeeper's Cabin and surrounding land, the Board of Directors of the NLTHS began negotiations with Sierra Pacific Power in 1969. California State Parks ultimately purchased the parcel in 1978. The NLTHS operates on State Parks land through a special contract.

On July 9, 1981, the Gatekeeper's Museum opened to the public. The Museum features the history of Lake Tahoe and includes exhibits on the area that illustrate: Native Americans: local pioneers; natural history and the Ellen Attardi Library. The Edmund S. Barnett/Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum addition opened in 1995. This collection includes approximately 800 baskets from over 85 tribes and Native American tools, pottery and dolls.

[Second Marker - Located on the right:]
The first dam on Lake Tahoe, a stone and timber crib, stretched across the outlet in 1870. Water flow was restricted to float logs downstream and to generate power. In 1913, the Lake Tahoe Outlet Dam was completed across the mouth of the Truckee River. A newly hired gatekeeper recorded daily lake levels and adjusted the 17 outflow gates as needed.

The original cabin on this site was built for the gatekeeper and his family. Arthur Smith, the first Gatekeeper, and his wife Emma were the first to make this area their home. The cabin had the community's only flush toilet and a telephone.

Emma died during the flu epidemic of 1918, and Arthur left. Leroy Paul, a University of Nevada Engineering School graduate served four years as the next gatekeeper. W.A. Simmonds and his wife Ida lived here for 24 years supplementing their income by renting out tent cabins on the property.

Art Frodenberg, Ida's son by a former marriage, became the next Gatekeeper in 1949. Mr. Frodenberg served as Gatekeeper until 1960 when Daryl DeWalt, his son-in-law, became the Gatekeeper.

The newly appointed Federal Water master based in Reno, Nevada took over responsibility for operation of the dam in 1968. The Dewalts vacated the cabin and closed the small trailer park that they had operated on the property.

The original cabin was destroyed by arson fire and rebuilt on the original foundation by the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society.
Placed ByNorth Lake Tahoe Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 6:20pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 746751 N 4339152
Decimal Degrees39.16661667, -120.14393333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 9.997', W 120° 8.636'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 9' 59.82" N, 120° 8' 38.16" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)530, 775
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100-148 W Lake Blvd, Tahoe City CA 96145, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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