History: A memorable weekend at the Pope Estate

Publisher’s note: This is reprinted with permission from the August 1989 Lake Tahoe Historical Society newsletter.

At the Pope Estate: August 18, 1925

Dear Agatha,

You asked me to describe our weekend at Lake Tahoe but I fear that I cannot do it justice. From Tahoe City we were driven in an open car by a silent, careful chauffeur to Mr. Pope’s estate. We arrived a two in the afternoon, our minds filled with the most gorgeous sights of the lake, the mountains, the trees and the granite formations. After resting for a few hours in the quiet, we wandered along the paths, among the tall, grand old trees and into the estate gardens where we sat in a gazebo for a time. Around five we went to see the men play polo but it was very noisy and hot in the field so went to wander and wade beside the lake.

Supper was served outdoors on the veranda where we were served wonderful salads and even venison steak. The sound of wind in the trees, the smoke from the outdoor fireplace, the beautiful view of the lake and the ambiance of the woods gave the food added flavor.

The next morning we joined four other guests in the runabout for a try at fishing. The boat was lowered from the boathouse into the water on the railroad rails, then pulled over to the dock so that we could board without getting our feet wet. Only a few yards away from shore, the beautiful Pope House was hidden from view among the trees. Some of the guests climbed Mt. Tallac that day, but it was too much for us. We fancied we could see them up on the side of the mountain but I do not think we really could. We caught ten cutthroat Trout which were cooked by the Popes’ excellent cook for our noon meal. I have never eaten better or fresher fish.

That evening there was a formal dinner party and we might have been at a San Francisco society soiree. The food was grand, the music lively, the guests the most elegant I have ever met. The constant attention of the servants made me realize just how nice it would be to be rich. This all occurred within a single weekend and it is one I will never forget. I with you had been with us.

Love, your sister, Clarinda


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Comments (2)
  1. jenny says - Posted: January 24, 2013

    It’s easy to imagine Clarinda’s stay at the Pope estate in 1925 with the buildings so wonderfully restored.

    We are grateful that this beautiful estate is open for all ~ to wander through, sit & relax in the gazebo, and play on the beach. Many thanks to the people who made this possible. A gem!

  2. grannylou says - Posted: January 27, 2013

    …and to think that this is right in our own backyard! We are so fortunate to be able to bike over there whenever the mood strikes us!