Mystery At Lake Tahoe
By Rachele Baker, DVM – Today I am going to deviate from my usual dog and cat related information. I want to share some exciting news with you. I am working on writing my first novel! It is going to be a cozy mystery set in Lake Tahoe, California, and will be the first book in a series of cozy mysteries that I will write set in Lake Tahoe. Until such time as I get further along with writing the plot for my book, the working title of my book will be Mystery At Lake Tahoe.
I lived in Lake Tahoe in Tahoe City many years ago. My ex-husband and I bought a fixer-upper motel there. We renovated it and ran it for over seven years. While we were there, I worked most of the time, so I did not get the chance to enjoy the area as much as I would have liked.
I had not been back to Tahoe for many years, but I knew that I wanted to write a cozy mystery set in that area. The area is full of interesting history and legends that will provide plenty of ideas and inspiration for my series of cozy mysteries. So, a couple of weeks ago, I spent several days in Lake Tahoe enjoying the beauty and special attractions of the lake.
Today I am going to share with you some of the photos that I took on my brief vacation to Lake Tahoe as research for my book Mystery At Lake Tahoe.
On my first day in Tahoe, I took a trip on the Tahoe Gal paddlewheel boat out of Tahoe City. We cruised down the west shore of Lake Tahoe all the way to Emerald Bay and then back to Tahoe City. The historical narrative from the captain along the way was very interesting. I learned things about the lake that I did not know previously.
I took this photo from the Tahoe Gal while we were cruising around Emerald Bay. This is the tea house at the top of Fannette Island. I think that Fannette Island, the old tea house that sits on top of the island, and the Vikingsholm estate in Emerald Bay will be the setting for Mystery At Lake Tahoe.
A very wealthy woman named Lora Knight purchased the property in Emerald Bay as well as Fannette Island in 1928. She built a summer home at Emerald Bay in a Scandinavian architectural style and named it Vikingsholm. She entertained many guests each summer. Once or twice each summer, she would have her butler row her and her guests over to the little tea house on Fannette Island for their afternoon tea.
During my recent visit to Lake Tahoe, I spent an entire day in Emerald Bay and toured the Vikingsholm estate. You can really appreciate the Scandinavian architecture of Vikingsholm from the lake side.
The dining room in Vikingsholm is classically Scandinavian with large windows looking out onto the lake.
I rented a kayak in Emerald Bay so that I could paddle out to see the tea house for the first time. I have wanted to do that for years! I scrambled up a very rough and rocky path to the top of the island to see the tea house. I found it hard to imagine Lora Knight and her well-dressed guests hiking up that rocky path to have tea. This is the path that I took to the top of the island.
Here is what the tea house looks like today. Now it is just a ruin. I would have loved to have seen it when it was intact. It used to have a second floor.
Look at this fabulous view from one of the windows of the tea house looking out towards the mouth of Emerald Bay.
This is a selfie I took while I was in the tea house.
The Washoe Indians inhabited Lake Tahoe prior to the arrival of white men. The Washoe have many colorful legends and tales of the lake. There are still Washoe people who live in the area. I visited the Gatekeeper’s Museum and Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum in Tahoe City while I was in Tahoe. The displays include baskets made for hunting, fishing, food gathering, cooking, storage, and carrying infants. Most of the baskets date from 1890 through 1940.
I thought that this spear that was on display in the museum was really cool.
So what do you think? Is your imagination fired up like mine is for a cozy mystery set in Lake Tahoe?
Have you heard any legends or interesting bits of history about Lake Tahoe? I am reading lots of books about the history and legends of Lake Tahoe as research for my book Mystery At Lake Tahoe. But I would love to hear anything that you know about the history or legends of the lake. You can share in the comments section below this post, or email me using the contact form here.