Historic Miniature Fleet
The Miniature Fleet of Emerald Bay
A Brief History
In the cold, clear waters of Emerald Bay lie the remains of at least ten small vessels, which were once part of the Emerald Bay Resort. Created in 1881, the Resort used the boats for fishing and recreational purposes, but were then scuttled when the Resort was demolished for the creation of the State Park. This "miniature fleet" is well-preserved in the waters of Lake Tahoe, and allows sport divers and historical enthusiasts to catch a glimpse of Emerald Bay's past.
Some of the maritime history of Emerald Bay began with the stories about the "Hermit of Emerald Bay," Captain Richard Barter, who was the caretaker of Ben Holladay's cottage on the bay during the 1860s and 1870s. The hermit was a well-known and eccentric seaman. His archaic tomb was built atop Emerald Isle, and then removed prior to the building of the stone "teahouse".
During the peak of the Emerald Bay Resort's popularity, steam vessels such as the SS Tahoe made cruises to and from the bay. The vessels would stop and ferry the visitors around the bay, and out into the larger body of Lake Tahoe. Although people primarily traveled by steam ship, it was also common for resort visitors to fish and pleasure boat with the smaller craft provided by the resort.
The lake enthusiasts continued to frequent Emerald Bay through the early half of the 1900s, and many vessels (such as the Emerald Bay Barges) were used in the construction of Vikingsholm, the island teahouse, and the Emerald Bay Camp.
Some of the history can still be seen below the waters. Many of the original hand crafted fishing vessels can be found in the waters near the Emerald Bay Camp, and the Barges lie well preserved on the opposite shore.
To learn more about the historic boats of Emerald Bay, visit:
Emerald Bay Historic Boats
Scott, E.B. "The Saga of Lake Tahoe, Volume II," 1973
Sierra-Tahoe Publishing Company, Pebble Beach, CA.