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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Norden in Nevada County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Clair Tappaan Lodge

Hwy 40 Scenic Bypass

 
 
Clair Tappaan Lodge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, April 26, 2018
1. Clair Tappaan Lodge Marker
Captions at bottom right: picture here top: contemporary picture of the main hallway. Middle and bottom: original construction pictures and 1930's skiers in front of Castle Peak. The black and white photographs are from the Clare Tappaan scrapbook.
Inscription.  History
Clair Tappaan Lodge was hand-built by a hearty group of Sierra Club volunteers in 1934 as a retreat for hikers, skiers and mountain climbers. This rustic building, consisting of post and beam construction, was designed by Walter Radcliff, a noted Berkeley architect and member of the Sierra Club. The superstructure of the lodge consists of large vertical logs with a rough-sawn beam roof structure from timber felled on the site. Volunteers expanded the building several times and maintain it today.
The lodge is named after Sierra Club President and Superior Court Judge Clair Tappaan.

A Good Story
Ned Robinson was seven years old when Clair Tappaan Lodge was built. His job was to stand on the running board of an old Ford truck (right) and relay requests for the vehicle to move in order to raise the beams. There is a video of the bare-chested young men building the lodge with hand saws and hammers which can be viewed on the lodge website http://ctl.sierraclub.org

Things to do right here
You can enter the building and view the enormous timbers (above) used in the
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initial construction. The cozy library has a display of historic photos, books on Donner Summit history, and early-days visitor's logs.
The friendly, casual atmosphere and affordable highly rates (including family-style meals) make the lodge the perfect rustic getaway and a charming spot from which to explore the riches of the Sierra Nevada.
In summer, the recreational opportunities are unlimited. A network of nearby trails offers miles of hiking and provides access to remote meadows and peaks, crystal lakes and numerous fishing streams. The well-known Pacific Crest Trail is only a mile away. The Donner Summit area is great for both road and mountain biking. It is also widely known as a rich climbers' mecca.
The area receives the highest average snowfall of the entire Sierra Nevada range, making the lodge a favorite with cross-country ski and snowshoe enthusiasts. In winter you can rent skies and snowshoes to explore the many groomed trails, take weekend classes, or sled on the hill behind the lodge.
 
Erected by Donner Summit Historical Society. (Marker Number 16.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EnvironmentNotable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Donner Summit Historical Society series list.
 
Location.
Clair Tappaan Lodge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, April 26, 2018
2. Clair Tappaan Lodge Marker
39° 19.004′ N, 120° 21.003′ W. Marker is near Norden, California, in Nevada County. Marker can be reached from Donner Pass Road near Soda Springs Road, on the right when traveling west. The marker is located in the unloading area on the north side of Donner Pass Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 19940 Donner Pass Road, Norden CA 95724, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tri Lodges (a few steps from this marker); Cal Lodge (a few steps from this marker); Summit Valley (within shouting distance of this marker); Hutchinson Lodge (approx. 0.2 miles away); Norden Station (approx. 0.2 miles away); Royal Gorge History (approx. 0.3 miles away); Summit Valley Sheep Pens (approx. 0.3 miles away); Dutch Flat Donner Lake Wagon Road (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Norden.
 
Regarding Clair Tappaan Lodge. Many fond memories for this contributor.
 
Clair Tappaan Lodge image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, April 26, 2018
3. Clair Tappaan Lodge
Clair Tappaan Lodge image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, April 26, 2018
4. Clair Tappaan Lodge
Clair Tappaan Lodge image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, April 26, 2018
5. Clair Tappaan Lodge
The main hallway and 'living room' image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 27, 2018
6. The main hallway and 'living room'
The library image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 27, 2018
7. The library
The dining hall image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 27, 2018
8. The dining hall
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 8, 2019. It was originally submitted on February 7, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 289 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on February 7, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Jun. 17, 2024