Then and now: Squaw Valley’s evolution

Squaw Valley wasn’t always a world-class ski resort. Like most, it had humble beginnings.

old-1old-2old-3Somewhat blurry frames from my ancient home movies (before Super-8) filmed about 1950-52 show what the resort was like back then. Also pictured, at left, are me and my sister getting off the chairlift.

In the early 1950s there was the single original chairlift based at the original Squaw Valley Lodge main building. That main building burned down in 1956.

According to the San Mateo Times dated Aug. 30, 1956, “The main building housed the dining room, lobby, bar and shops. … It was destroyed in less than an hour. A truck from the Tahoe City Fire Department, nine miles away, was the first to arrive at the scene. … Other fire trucks from nearby Truckee, Kings Beach and Forest Service firefighting stations arrived a short time later. They pumped water from the lodge’s swimming pool to prevent surrounding buildings from burning.”

Squaw Valley succeeded in hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics less than four years later.

The aerial tram was constructed in 1967.

The tram being built in the 1960s. Photo/Squaw Valley Ski Resort

The tram being built in the 1960s. Photo/Squaw Valley Ski Resort

Squaw Valley Photo/Bill Kingman

Squaw Valley village looking toward the mountains. (The opposite view of photo 2.)
Photo/Bill Kingman

Squaw Village is looking to expand its current village.

— Bill Kingman