The Museum was officially founded in 1987, but it took more than ten years to become anything more than ideas on paper. The vision of Tahoe Maritime Museum’s founders was to create a space to preserve Lake Tahoe’s rich maritime history and to present that history to the public. Many supporters from Tahoe and beyond donated artifacts, funding and countless hours to help the Museum achieve its ambitious mission. Like many of the boats and artifacts that make up the collection, Tahoe Maritime Museum had a long and interesting journey before “dropping anchor” in Tahoe City, CA.
In the summer of 1999, Tahoe Maritime Museum began as a seasonal display at Sugar Pine Point State Park. Later, the Homeside Motel in Homewood, CA became the first year-round location for the Museum. Since that time, the organization grew in staff, scale, and scope. It was soon apparent that the former motel was not equipped to hold the Museum’s expanding historic collection.
In May of 2008, the Museum launched another exciting chapter in its history with the completion of a 5,800 square foot building where the motel once stood. The beautiful building offered many diverse exhibitions during its tenure. A few short years later, it was once again apparent that Tahoe Maritime Museum had outgrown its home.
One journey was left to be taken. It began with the purchase of the Tahoe Tree Company property, which was the first step towards the Museum’s long term plan of establishing a Museum campus. The campus will ultimately include a welcome center, educational space, and administrative offices in the Log Lodge, as well as a gallery building, a boat shop, a collection storage facility, and maritime sculptural gardens. The move and subsequent building project will create a final home for the Museum, its collection, and the stories of so many that have lived in Tahoe. Most of all, the new location allows Tahoe Maritime Museum to continue our tradition of providing a fun, family-friendly destination for the Lake Tahoe community and visitors to our beautiful region. There are many more nautical miles to travel, but the future is bright! Tahoe Maritime Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The Museum operates a public Museum in Tahoe City, CA.