No area of the American West saw such a diverse accumulation of railroads as the Tahoe and Truckee basins of the Sierra Nevada. Lake Tahoe itself is nestled amid the towering pine-covered mountains along the California and Nevada state lines. Its waters provided transportation for not only the timber, but for passengers, mail and freight aboard the many steamboats that plied its blue waters.
In this beautiful setting, logging railroads and steamboats of the Carson & Tahoe Lumber & Fluming Company brought the huge logs to lakeshore sawmills. The Lake Tahoe Narrow Gauge Railroad and its connecting Clear Creek Flume took the timbers, lumber and cordwood up and over the divide for the Comstock Bonanza towns. By the late 1890s, most of the virgin stands had been cut. In the early 1900s, tourists began to flock to Lake Tahoe. They rode on a new narrow gauge, the Lake Tahoe Railway & Transportation Company. Eventually the Southern Pacific took over the property and converted it to standard gauge. The SP branch was abandoned in 1941.
This is the story of the many logging railroads that operated in and near the Tahoe basin, with hundreds of rare photographs, maps, plans and illustrations. The author, a distinguished historian of narrow-gauge railroading and the West, has with this book added further luster to a long record of fine publications.
The book will certainly appeal to anyone interested in narrow-gauge and logging railroading, as well as to enthusiasts of railroad history in general. And those with interests in the history of California will find it a valuable addition to their library.
Signature Press, 256 pages, standard portrait book 8 x 10 in., 294 photographs, 55 maps and graphics, rosters, bibliography, index.