The History of the Lakeside Park Association
For centuries people have summered at Lake Tahoe from Emerald Bay to the area of the present Edgewood Golf Course and Lakeside Park Beach. It was believed the waters of Lake Tahoe had great healing powers and the area now called Lakeside Park was an area which increased one’s fertility.
John Charles Fremont and Charles Preuss discovered Lake Tahoe on Valentines Day, 1844. Fourteen years later in 1859 Billy Lapham moved to the lake from Placerville. Thinking that the wagon train connection between Carson City and Sacramento would run next to Lake Tahoe, not over Donner Pass, he bought land and set up shop. Lapham built his “Lapham House and Landing” near the intersection of today’s Hwy 50 and the Pioneer Trail with barns and a corral across the street where Raley’s stands today.The Pony Express rode past the Lapham House between Friday’s Station and Yank’s Station. Lapham House was a 12 room hotel along with a saloon. The Landing was located where Lakeside Marina is today.
By 1873, Billy Lapham had over 700 acres in the South Lake Tahoe area along with the Lakeside Park wharf. He decided to lease out the Lapham House and take a mortgage from Mrs. A. Marion Hill of San Francisco so he could build a steamer ship, the Governor Stanford which would dock at the Lakeside Park Pier off Lakeside Park Beach.
The name of the hotel was changed to Carney’s Stateline House and operated until 1876 when it burned down, and as a result Billy defaulted on his loan to Mrs. Hill. She foreclosed, taking over his land and the remaining buildings. Her husband, E. B. “Starvation” Smith then rebuilt the house and named it “Lakeside House”. Smith also re-named the area Lakeside Park and the Smith-Hill holdings were almost 1,000 acres. Throughout this time they thought they were located in Nevada and that the stateline ran through the dining room of Lakeside House. In 1899 a new survey found the line to be 2000 feet North and the Lakeside House was not in Nevada but in California. The stateline is still in this 1899 location today next to Harvey’s and Harrah’s Casinos.
A post office opened in the west wing of Lakeside House in June, 1901. Also, a large building to the west of the house was used for community gatherings and dances. The area bordered by Park Avenue, Hwy 50, Stateline Blvd.and the Lake was subdivided in 1909 into home size lots and offered for sale as campsites.