Lake Tahoe History & Museums: Ehrman Mansion at Lake Tahoe California

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Ehrman Mansion

Curious how Lake Tahoe's first wealthy vacation-homeowner's lived? Check out the Hellman-Ehrman Estate, a regal mansion, maintained in era decor, with grounds offering unbeatable access to Lake Tahoe's west shore. Read More

  • Located on the shores of Lake Tahoe in Sugar Pine Point State Park, on Highway 89, one mile south of the town of Tahoma.
  • Grounds, including 2 miles of lake frontage, and mansion are open to the public from Memorial Day through the end of September.
  • Tours are available. Call (530) 535-7232 for information.

Overview

Hellman-Ehrman Estate, fondly called "Pine Lodge" by its original owners, has been property of California State Parks since 1965, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The estate, which includes a cabin built circa 1860 by Lake Tahoe's first non-Native settler, William "General" Phipps, a hunter and trapper, provides visitors with a window into the region's past with open access and tours of the grounds and the mansion.

History

Isais  W. Hellman, a wealthy San Franciscan who earned his fortune in banking, commissioned architect Walkter D. Bliss to build the 3-story Queen Anne-style mansion, which was completed in 1903. (The architect also built the historic Tahoe Tavern.) The estate, an 11,700 square foot "summer home," epitomizes Lake Tahoe's early history as luxury vacation-land for wealthy San Franciscans at the turn on the 20th century. Upon Hellman's death, his daughter, Florence Hellman Ehrman, inherited the estate, holding lavish parties and employing more than 2 dozen servants, until her death in 1964.  

Location/Directions

Located on Lake Tahoe's west shore on Highway 89 at Pine Street, one mile south of Tahoma, the nearly 2000 acre property holds about 2 miles of lake frontage. The estate is located within Ed Z'berg-Sugar Pine Point State Park, which borders El Dorado National Forest. 

Hours/Seasons

The estate is open to the public from Memorial Day through the end of September.

During the high summer season, from mid-June until Labor Day, docents from California State Park offer guided tours of the mansion and grounds six times daily, on-the-hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. At the beginning (Memorial Day-June 11) and tail-end (September 7-September 30) of the season, tours run on-the-hour during weekends and at noon, 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. on weekdays.

For more information regarding estate tours, please, call (530) 257-7232.   

Fees/Cost

Entrance to the museum is $10 for adults, 8 for children 7-17, and free for children 6 and under. Parking is $10. 

More Info

Sugar Pine Point State Park has 175 camp sites available throughout the summer and into the late fall. These sites provide access to 10 miles of trails, mostly inland along General Creek. Call Reserve America at (800) 444-7285 for availablity during the summer. From October 1 through the end of November, sites are first come, first served.  

During the winter season, although the estate is not open to visitors, the surrounding lands offer 4 cross country ski trails to the public. These trails are not groomed, but they are well marked and provide spectacular views of Lake Tahoe. Call (530) 525-7982 for snow information.

The estate is available to host special events, such as weddings, reunions and corporate dinners. For information on rental of the estate, please, call (530) 525-5060.

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