Tahoe City in Placer County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Conflict Over Water
Controlling the flow of water through Lake Tahoe's Truckee River outlet
The Donner Lumber and Boom Company built the first dam across the Truckee River outlet in Tahoe City in 1872. Water released through the dam controlled the flow of logs to lumber mills downstream.
Afterwards, conflicts over the rights to regulate the flow of water released into the Truckee River regularly occurred between competing interests.
In the early 1900s the federal government attempted to resolve the long-standing disputes. Congress authorized the U.S. Reclamation Service as part of the Newland Reclamation Project to take control of the land surrounding the outlet, construct a new concrete dam and regulate water flow.
Annual variations in rainfall and water levels hampered the agency's efforts. For example, heavy snowfall in the mountains surrounding the Tahoe basin in the winter of 1915-1916 caused the lake's water level to rise the following summer, resulting in flooding. Angry property owners fired off a mass of lawsuits in response. Then in 1934 drought gripped the area and desperate farmers climbed the
Erected by North Lake Tahoe Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1872.
Location. 39° 10.014′ N, 120° 8.635′ W. Marker is in Tahoe City, California, in Placer County. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tahoe City CA 96145, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lake Tahoe (within shouting distance of this marker); A Tradition of Basketmaking (within shouting distance of this marker); The Gatekeeper’s Cabin and Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); The Plentiful Lake (within shouting distance of this marker); A Safe Harbor (within shouting distance of this marker); The Sacred Lake (within shouting distance of this marker); Lake Tahoe Outlet Works and Gatekeepers Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker); Duane Leroy Bliss (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tahoe City.
More about this marker. Marker is located at the south end of the Truckee River outlet and next to Lake Tahoe Dam.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 19, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. This page has been viewed 120 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 19, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.