One of our favorite South Lake Tahoe sites is Camp Richardson, and honestly, we are not the only ones. Camp Richardson, with its history, culture, and views, was named as one of the top hotspot destination areas for the Lake Tahoe area. Camp Richardson offers unbelievable beauty and unlimited outdoor activities, it’s also a wonderful historic site for history enthusiasts. You can camp in cozy lake view cabins, stay in the historic Hotel, and rent out other rustic lodging (tent sites/RV sites), very reminiscent of an old-timey Lake Tahoe. The resort offers special amenities as well, like the General Store, Coffee Shop, and Ice Cream Parlor.
Camp Richardson has been a place for visitors to escape the hardships of the typical urban lifestyle for more than a century. The resort is currently operated under the U.S. Forest Service SUP (Special Use Permit), and except for the marina, is functioning, to this day, as a topnotch vacation getaway for people of all ages.
As I mentioned in a blog earlier this week, Lake Tahoe was considered sacred land by the Washoe Indians, before European explorers arrived. Fish and animals were caught within the Taylor Creek area, during the summer time, to sustain the tribe during the long, harsh winters. The Washoe Indians began to change their lifestyles, after the white men arrived, and work in the camps and sawmills for low wages. The fishing, hunting, and seed gathering very quickly became a thing of the past.
In 1875, M.C. Gardner purchase land from the U.S. Government, and opened a sawmill and railroad track on the several thousands of acres. He is considered to one of the earliest owners of the present day Camp Richardson Resort area. At the time he paid 25 cents an acre (plus $1 per acre payable over 20 years). His railroad followed the present Jameson Beach Roadway.
E.J. “Lucky” Baldwin bought the property from Gardner in the 1880s, after much of the land had been logged. Baldwin developed along the lakefront, and sold pieces to other families (Pope, Tevis, Comstock, and Lawrence) who built the lovely homes which are now on the adjacent properties.
From there, the property changed hands numerous times, from Joseph Parmeter and his niece, to the infamous Captain Alonzo Richardson himself. Interested in finding out more history of how “Camp Rich” came to be in its current state? Take one of our fantastic South Lake Tahoe tours with one of our extremely knowledgeable tour guides. They will help guide you through the Sierra Nevada terrain, and into the history of this majestic era.
Written By: Emily Hauck