Then and now: Stateline through the years

An aerial view of Stateline in 1962. Photo/UNR Special Collections Department

An aerial view of Stateline in 1962. Photo/UNR Special Collections Department

The early aerial photo, above, was taken over the Nevada side of Stateline circa 1962 shows South Shore’s first high-rise hotel just finishing construction at Harveys. Across the street (left) from Harveys is Barney’s Casino (opened in 1961) and Tahoe Harrah’s (now Harrah’s Tahoe). The empty area in the upper left on the California side was becoming the Crescent V Center, including Raley’s and Lawrence’s Department Store.

Stateline in 1972. Photo/Lake Tahoe Historical Society

Stateline in 1972. Photo/Lake Tahoe Historical Society

About 1972, the left side of Highway 50 included First National Bank of Nevada, Barney’s Casino, and Harrah’s. The lake side of the highway had Harvey’s and the Sahara Tahoe, which opened in 1965. Entertainers listed on the Sahara sign include Jack Benny, singer Rouvaun, The June Taylor Dancers, The Modernaires, The Original Caste, Buckley & Collins, and musician Page Cavanaugh. Behind the camera and near Kingsbury, the new Harvey’s Inn was under construction. In 1973, it burned to the ground the day before its opening. It is now the Lakeside Inn and Casino.

Stateline looking west in 2014. Photo/Bill Kingman

Stateline looking west in 2014. Photo/Bill Kingman

Today’s view is from the same position as the 1972 photo. MontBleu has replaced the bank, multiple businesses have replaced Barney’s, and all the casinos now have hotels.

— Bill Kingman


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Comments (17)
  1. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: August 10, 2014

    When Harveys built the first high-rise with all those hotel rooms my family owned and operated the Echo Motel. I remember my Dad telling me at the time “Bob, this changes everything”. He was right. With all the other casinos being built and adding rooms it started the long slow decline for the family owned motels that lined hwy 50.
    The end of an era and the beginnig of a new one. Out with the old and in with the new. OLS

  2. Mark says - Posted: August 10, 2014

    My 2 cents worth is that Harvey’s should bring back the “Wagon Wheel” on top of the sign.

  3. Sunny Solomon says - Posted: August 10, 2014

    As someone who can still recall Sahatis State LineClub , the best parts of Kingman’s photograph are those gorgeous clouds.

  4. ljames says - Posted: August 10, 2014

    I’m guessing that “empty area” that is becoming Crescent V center was a meadow – now we spend millions to restore what nature provided for free…makes you wonder who wins and who loses?

  5. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: August 10, 2014

    ljames, As best as I can remember, where Cescent V is, it was graded in the late 50’s. What was that land before? You’re probably right, it was a meadow or possibly a mix of open area and native grass and trees.
    Look up the slope behind Raleys to get an idea what was on that land prior to developement. OLS

  6. Know Bears says - Posted: August 10, 2014

    I remember when the high rises at Stateline were painted in bright colors. I’m so glad they were forced to tone it down, but I don’t remember what year that was.

  7. rock4tahoe says - Posted: August 10, 2014

    Coming up on the Harvey’s bombing 34 years ago.

  8. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: August 10, 2014

    Before Harvey’s went high-rise and for some years afterward it was a western themed casino. When it was still one story there was a facade in the front to make it look bigger. There were pictures on the walls inside of ranches, horses, cows and rodeos. The interior had red carpet with the old “Harvey’s Wagon Wheel” logo imprinted on the carpet all over. The seating on the casino floor was in red overstuffed leather chairs.
    My folks were really into the whole western thing so they LOVED Harvey’s! After it went to 10 stories tall they kept the casino floor western but evetually they went “modern”. They tore up the carpet and my Dad bought some for a room in our house on Glenwood.
    Harvey Gross was always nice, as was Bill Harrah, and Harvey served up beef raised in the Carson Valley and I believe that it was butcherd right here in So. Shore.
    Oh well, it was nice while it lasted. OLS

  9. Trudy Sprinkel says - Posted: August 10, 2014

    I recall dinners at the Top of the Wheel when the menu had abalone and sage hen or Grouse and Mr. Rose and his trio played while we danced and partied.
    Good times remembered.

  10. Shadow says - Posted: August 10, 2014

    Before the Crescent V Center, it was a horse corral. I remember riding horses there in the 50’s. Joseph Magnin and Lawrence Dept store were the great retailers in the 60’s. Loved them. When the Sahara was being built, my sister and two guy friends would run up and down the stair wells. What fun we had during Tahoe summers.

  11. LAURA says - Posted: August 10, 2014

    What fun to “hear” the stories of long-time Tahoe residents.
    Come to Camp Rich Tuesday, September 16th, 7pm (or earlier for good seats) to hear more locals talk about the olden days. Sponsored by Lake Tahoe Historical Society.

  12. Bill Kingman says - Posted: August 10, 2014

    Thank you, “Shadow”! Just above the entrance to the new VanSickle Bi-State Park (Montreal Road) is Jack VanSickle’s original barn upon which has been re-mounted his nostalgic “Stateline Riding Stables” illuminated glass sign (cowboy on horse) which stood at the Highway 50 and Park Avenue stoplight until 1960s or 70s. VanSickle’s pasture land included Steve Myers’ Tahoe Drive-In Theatre (where Heavenly Village Cinema now stands) and later what became the adjacent Crescent V Center. Sometimes an animal sauntered through your movie….

  13. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: August 10, 2014

    Bill, Shadow and Sunny, Bill and Shadow, thanks for clarifying what was on the property before Crescent V. I don’t recall the sign for the stables but I do remember the quanset hut movie theater just up the road on 50. Lots of good times there!
    Sunny, I have an old photo of my Dad up by stateline and in the background you can see Sahatis sign off to the side. I think him and my mom were on their honeymoon.
    As Bing Crosby used to sing “thanks for the memories”. OLS

  14. Garry Bowen says - Posted: August 11, 2014

    To restate: that Quonset Hut that was the theatre (roughly where Applebee’s is now) was owned by Judge Rudy Buchanan and his wife Jeannie, who also owned the theatre in Meeks Bay, and used to ferry the movies across the Lake via the Stateline Marina at the end of Park Street… they also built the Buchanan building, across from Denny’s, which was where the Al Tahoe post office was…a building I believe was moved to the Senior Center area. . .

    The southern end of Harvey’s (before connecting) was George’s Gateway Club (owned by George Cannon, NV’s Senator) before Harrah’s bought it and used it for the first South Shore Room (1957[?]- 1959), when the new one opened) – the Historical Society has a photo of the front of Harrah’s Lake Club with a prominent sign on the facade announcing Anna Maria Alberghetti as the ‘star’, and most people don’t even remember Anna Maria.

    The Sage Room in Harvey’s is about the only piece of ‘real estate’ that’s close to original, along with the outline of the old Carriage House coffee shop (the space where Straw Hat pizza is now) – between the Sage Room and the Carriage House (now occupied by their Cashier) was the famous bar, behind which there was a stage, upon which the Newton Bros. played. . .[one of Wayne’s (along w/ his brother Frank) first gigs as an “entertainer”, when he was all of 15-16 (not old enough to be in there !). . .

    I learned of the first Drive-In from my Real Estate teacher in High School, Ed Hegarty, who built the ‘Beachcomber’ on Lakeview, as the second drive-in on Glenwood was then in play, with its huge sign at the corner of Herbert & Hiway 50 (it was easier to go straight down Herbert, a right @ Blackwood and then a left onto Glenwood to access it). . .saw, among others, ‘Dr. Strangelove’, there [Peter Sellers playing multiple roles]. . .also, ‘Manchurian Candidate’, with Frank Sinatra. . .

  15. Tom says - Posted: August 11, 2014

    My first job was busing tables at the Carriage House. Remember the Pancake Parlor on the very end of Harvey’s at stateline?

  16. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: August 11, 2014

    Gary Bowen, WOW! Now that’s some history! I remember Ed Hegerty as well but I think he retired by the time I got to STHS in 68′.
    As far as the quanset hut theater goes? My folks would drop me off there to watch a movie while they went to play the slot machines at Harrahs. They always played by the window so when the movie was over I’d walk up there and watch them pull the handles from the sidewalk outside. I was about 5 or 6 at the time.
    The drive in on Glenwood was where I worked in the summers from 69′ to 72′. Part of my job was to change the movie titles on all three theaters including the one you mentioned on the roof of the building on the corner of Herbert and Hiway 50. I had some experience in doing that as we changed the rates on our “reader board”in front of the motel depending on what the other motels were charging, it was very competitive. Gotta rent those rooms!
    Thanks Mr. Bowen for sharing your memories, it helps to bring back some of mine!
    Be good, join the Lake Tahoe Historical Society if your not already are a member and run for city council!
    Take care,Old Long Skiis

  17. sunriser2 says - Posted: August 11, 2014

    Thanks for the comments. Reading the posts from the old-timers makes me feel young.