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The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society

The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society (NLTHS) was founded in 1969 by a group of local residents intent on preserving the history of Lake Tahoe, including buildings and historic sites. The group incorporated as a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization in 1971.


The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society is the umbrella organization to the Gatekeeper's Museum, The Marion Steinbach Native American Basket Collection and the Watson Cabin. We are dedicated to educating the public on the history of North Lake Tahoe and preserving this history for future generations. The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society has been apart of the North Lake Tahoe community for over 40 years. Our goal is to remain a pillar of education in the community while conserving and preserving the cultural and historical heritage of Lake Tahoe. 


GateKeeper's Cabin

The original Gatekeeper's Cabin was built alongside the Lake Tahoe Dam to house the Gatekeeper who regulated waterflow out of the dam. Different Gatekeepers and their families lived in the cabin until 1968 when it was closed. By the 1970s, the cabin was slated for demolition, but with community support the NLTHS spent several years negotiating with Sierra Pacific Power Company to purchase the Gatekeeper's Cabin and surrounding acreage, with the goal of listing the building on the National Register of Historic Places and then opening it to the public as a museum. In 1978, just before the deed was signed, a group of kids playing in the Gatekeeper’s Cabin set fire to the abandoned structure, and it burned to the ground in a matter of minutes. 


Under the leadership of the NLTHS, the North Tahoe community came together to rebuild the Gatekeeper's Cabin. The cabin was faithfully reconstructed completely by hand, except for tree felling. Block and tackle was used to raise the beams and roof, and the rebuilt cabin sits on the original foundation.


The Gatekeeper's Museum opened in July 1981.



Our Mission

The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society's mission is to strengthen the community through programs, exhibits and preservation of Lake Tahoe's history.

The NLTHS is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization reliant upon the generosity of the community.

We are truly grateful for your support. . 


We Welcome Everyone

The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society strives to be inclusive of all audiences. Many enriching stories are shared throughout the museum, and visitors can explore and identify with this collective history. 

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Our Staff

Susan Winter | Museum Director

Nancy Stromswold | Archivist

Lizzie Pintar | Basket Curator

Our Board of Directors

Alex Kanwetz | Board President 

Lizzie Pintar | Board Vice President

Rena Zellars | Finance Officer

Carol Van Etten | Historian

Bo Grebitas | Historian

Jimmy Williamson | Historian

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