North Lake Tahoe Historical Society -

North Lake Tahoe Historical Society

The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society was founded in 1969 and incorporated in 1971 by a group of concerned citizens who were passionate about Lake Tahoe's captivating history, and its preservation. Their first major project was to safeguard the historic Gatekeepers Cabin, and then rebuild the structure as a museum after it was destroyed by arson in 1978. The Museum opened in 1981. In 1992, the collections were expanded by the donation of the Marion Steinbach Indian Basket collection. The Lodge also offers a stunning location for weddings, conferences, corporate and special events. The Thunderbird Lodge is operated by the non-profit Thunderbird Preservation Society.

The mission of NLTHS is the preservation, presentation and interpretation of Lake Tahoe history, and during the past 34 years, NLTHS has amassed a diverse collection of Tahoe artifacts, including, Native American baskets, historical photographs, oral histories, maps, archival documents, newspapers and memorabilia. One of our most extensive collections includes thousands of historical photographs of Lake Tahoe and its inhabitants, dating from the late 1800s. These photos capture the historical progression of Tahoe history, from its Native inhabitants through the gold rush, westward movement, mining and logging eras and the establishment of the tourism industry of Lake Tahoe.


NLTHS comprises 3 museums with over 3,000 square feet of display space:

The Gatekeepers Museum sits on the site of a known Washoe Indian campsite. Gatekeepers Museum An eclectic collection of Tahoe history, including photographic collections, oral histories and transcription, newspapers, court ledgers, maps and written materials, letters, clothing, artifacts and furniture.

Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum A collection of over 800 baskets, pottery, clothing, dolls and artifacts from over 85 tribes nationwide.

Watson Cabin A 1909 log cabin listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest house built on site in Tahoe City. It currently serves as a living history exhibit showcasing pioneer life on Lake Tahoe.

The museums are visited by over 10,000 visitors annually. Average annual membership is 750 members. NLTHS school tour program and traveling Washoe exhibit serve over 1,000 school children annually. In addition, NLTHS offers a speaker series and educational series, which has most recently included a basket weaving presentation provided by Julia Parker, a world renowned Native weaver from Yosemite, California.

Gatekeepers Museum / Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum

Hours of Operation: May 1 June 15: Wed Sun 11am-5pm; June 16 Aug 31: Open Daily 11am 5pm; Sep 1 Sep 30: Wed Sun 11am 5pm; New this year! Open October - April: Weekends 11am - 3pm (Weather permitting - call in advance if severe weather is predicted)Admission: $3 adults; $2 seniors (55 and over); $1 kids (6 - 12); Museum members and Children and under are free.

Watson Cabin Museum

Hours of Operation: Memorial Day June 30 Open Weekends Noon 4pm; July Labor Day Wed Mon (closed Tues) Noon 4pm. Donations welcome.

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South Shore (CA)

Explore Summer Homes Of Wealthy Families From The Early 1900's.

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North & West Shore (CA)

The Gatekeeper's Cabin Museum is a Lake Tahoe Time Capsule.

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North Lake Tahoe Historical Society Keeping Tahoe's History Alive!

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Truckee / Donner

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North Shore (NV) / Incline & Crystal Bay

Learn About This Historic Vocational School For American Indian Children.

Address: 5500 Snyder Avenue Carson City, NV 89701
North Shore (NV) / Incline & Crystal Bay

Ride The Train With Your Family!

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Learn Loads Upon Loads at the Nevada State Museum!

Address: 600 North Carson Street Carson City, NV 89701
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Look Inside The Historic Home Of Robert M. Watson And His Son.

Address: 560 North Lake Boulevard Tahoe City, CA 96145
Truckee / Donner

Don't Get Locked Up At The Old Truckee Jail Museum!

Address: 10142 Jibboom Street Truckee, CA 96160
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Wander Around The Wild Wild West.

Address: Jibboom Street Truckee, CA 96161