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Sierra Stories

  • Truckee shootout at Hurd’s Saloon, Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on July 1, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin ·    Constable Jacob Teeter served his community for 24 years. | Courtesy Truckee Donner Historical Society During the early years of the California Gold Rush, San Francisco was ground zero for tens of thousands of immigrants arriving from countries around the world, all hoping to get rich or die trying. There were honest men and women […]
  • Ximena McGlashan: Truckee’s butterfly farmer

    By Mark McLaughlin on June 24, 2015
      By Mark McLaughlin ·  The cover of Ximena McGlashan’s Butterfly Magazine | Courtesy M. Nona McGlashan ·  Young Ximena McGlashan’s happiness was hinged on butterfly wings. As a teenager, she started her own business in Truckee to become the nation’s first professional butterfly farmer. Due to her father’s passionate interest in entomology, the study of insects, Ximena became fascinated […]
  • The Discovery of Lake Tahoe

    By Mark McLaughlin on June 17, 2015
        By Mark McLaughlin ·    When Mark Twain first set eyes on Lake Tahoe in 1861, he mused “… it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” Twain can be forgiven if his remark barely captures the lake’s visually striking milieu of blue water, changeable sky and picturesque mountains. It’s a draw-dropping scene of natural […]
  • Titus Family’s Truckee roots, Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on June 10, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  Frank Titus Jr. at age 93, an aviator in World War II, career pharmacist and accomplished skier. | Mark McLaughlin ·  Editor’s Note: Part I may be read at TheTahoeWeekly.com. The town of Truckee dates back to the mid-19th Century, but there are still local families with roots in that pioneer era. The story of the Titus […]
  • Titus Family’s Truckee roots | Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on June 3, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin ·   Frank A. Titus was a Truckee constable and engineer on the Tahoe Truckee Railway. | Courtesy Mark McLaughlin  The 19th Century may seem so long ago, but there are still local families with roots dating back to that pioneer era. Consider 93-year-old Frank Titus Jr. who today lives in his family home along the Truckee […]
  • 2015 Winter Snowfall | Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on May 20, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin ·   Central Sierra Snow Laboratory staff measure water content near Donner Pass in March 1946. | Courtesy Mark McLaughlin · Summer is almost here and water sports will soon be on everyone’s mind. Most people realize by now that the winter of 2015, the least snowy of record, added little moisture to the Tahoe Basin. Lake […]
  • 2015 Winter Snowfall | Part I

    By Mark McLaughlin on May 6, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin ·   Don’t look now, but the 9 inches of snow that reportedly fell at the base of Squaw Valley on April 25 was the third biggest 24-hour storm total in all of 2015. At the upper mountain, near 8,000 feet, the 12 inches deposited by the quickly moving cold front tied for fifth place all season. […]
  • Praying for a Miracle April

    By Mark McLaughlin on April 8, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin ·  When snowfall is meager in the Tahoe-Sierra like it has been this season, you’ll often hear locals say, “We need a Miracle March.” Whether they realize it or not, the term was coined in 1991 after powerful Pacific storms dumped snow and rain containing nearly 25 inches of water on Donner Pass in the first three […]
  • Technology wins battle for Donner Pass

    By Mark McLaughlin on March 11, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin ·   In 1890, Southern Pacific Railroad got its first chance to try out a new, innovative rotary snowplow that it had recently purchased. That severe winter 125 years ago dumped nearly 65 feet of snow on the mountains and shut down SP’s Central Pacific line over Donner Pass for 15 consecutive days. The 776 inches of […]
  • Lake Tahoe: Breeding Ground of Champions | Part II

    By Mark McLaughlin on February 25, 2015
    By Mark McLaughlin ·   The 1932 National Ski Association Championship Tournament.   Editor’s Note: Part I may be read at TheTahoeWeekly.com Most of us take it for granted that the Tahoe-Truckee region will be well represented by local athletes at virtually every top-tier, international ski or snowboard competition. North Tahoe has sent more top competitors to the U.S. National […]