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By: W. Dire Wolff

 

South Shore - Lake Tahoe

Many people have come to associate Lake Tahoe’s South Shore with the bright lights and nightlife of Stateline’s exciting Casino community. Highrollers come from around to roll the bones, play the slots, and to try not to "let that deal go down". But tucked away in the mountains south of Lake Tahoe are some very nice resort communities that provide any type of winter vacation that one can expect from a beautiful, quiet, snow clad forest. Maybe you are not really into the gambling scene, but there's nothing like coming home to a hotel room with all the amenities on the south shore's casinos. Unless of course you prefer to find some remote mountain chalet and spend the nighttime watching the flicker of the fire, and falling asleep early, after a long day of snowriding.

Surrounding the area of "Stateline" on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore, there are places to stay, restaurants, and many forms of entertainment and nightlife. Besides the world class hotels and condominiums, one can stay at one of many budget minded motels and inns. There are gourmet restaurants, little diners and cafes serving home cooked food, and of course all the usual fast food establishments. There are many bargain prices that can be found on buffets and breakfasts served at the casinos. Tahoe guest can buy tickets at the casinos for musical presentations by some of the most famous names in entertainment, and the casinos also feature many other bands as free service to their patrons. Throughout both the North and South Shore regions, resorts and bars at Lake Tahoe feature music from many local bands of many different types. Some places also feature DJ dancing. South Shore has a lot to offer the Tahoe visitor, by providing a variety of selections of food, places to stay, and entertainment.

Captain John Charles Fremont, who at the time was the leader of a surveying party searching for a new route to California, is believed to have discovered Lake Tahoe on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1844. Captain John Charles Fremont is said to have been the first white man that laid eyes on what later became known as Lake Tahoe and "The Jewel of the Sierra". Fremont and his party struggled over the rough mountain terrain searching for westward passage. By the time they discovered the lake, they were half frozen to death and almost starving. But they found the western pass to California, which in the years to come, would be crowded with gold seekers.

In the 1840's California became famous for the great gold rush, that followed the discovery of gold. After gold was discovered in 1848, people traveled from around the world to California. Some of those that were already in the West headed to the California hills to search for gold. Tahoe became more important as a center for commerce when gold and silver were discovered in Virginia City in 1859. Throngs of gold prospectors traveled east through Lake Tahoe’s southern pass to Nevada’s silver mines, and commerce developed on the South Shore. Supply wagons and cattle were driven along Lake Tahoe to feed the miners of that great mining boom. The South Shore was originally developed to provide a place for travelers to restock their supplies and have a little bit of entertainment.

California’s first state highway was the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road, a toll road from Placerville east to the Nevada line. After silver was discovered in Virginia City in 1859, many of the westward bound pioneers traveled the same road east to the riches of Nevada. The road became a long stretch of stalled wagon traffic, as the travelers labored to navigate their wagons down the deeply rutted mud road. This old wagon road is now the route that motorists can easily navigate the southern mountain passes of Lake Tahoe, on Highway 50.

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