Lake Tahoe History & Museums: Gatekeepers Cabin Museum at Lake Tahoe California

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Gatekeeper's Cabin Museum

A vital part of Lake Tahoe, California history is at the Gatekeeper's Cabin Museum, and it is a must-see when visiting the Lake Tahoe Basin. Exhibits show memorabilia from early Native American culture as well as later historical events. A world-class display, it can't be missed on your vacation. Read More

The original gatekeeper lived in this cabin, a water master controlling water flowing out of Lake Tahoe. This Gatekeeper's Cabin Museum was reconstructed after a fire burned the first dam attendant's building in 1978. Now this popular museum brings to view history of the Native inhabitants of the region as well as showcasing the logging era and how the tourism industry began here.

The whole family will enjoy the Native American basket exhibition, the photographs from bygone eras and the archival documents, news articles and even oral histories. It's a trip into the past that will give more meaning to your Tahoe vacation. Each summer different private collections are presented.

You will tour the two-story gatekeeper's house to see period furniture, maps, artifacts and clothing, including jewelry from the collection of Marion Steinbach. You will marvel at the construction of this hand-carved cabin, built from lodgepole pine trees.

No gatekeeper has been required since 1968, when the raising and lowering of the water level in Lake Tahoe became the responsibility of the Federal Watermaster. He oversees the process from his office in Reno, although the physical process of maneuvering the seventeen gates of the dam is still done at the lake.

Other Gatekeeper's Cabin Museum Resources

North Lake Tahoe Historical Society

The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society maintains the local Gatekeeper's Museum, Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum, and Watson's Cabin Curios.

Bonneville Dam

Large, historic dam on the Columbia River.