Past Exhibits

May 2013 – April 2014

Tahoe Escape: Surviving the Great Depression

Whether purchasing a ticket to the latest Shirley Temple movie or a seat on a motor boat, many Americans sought to survive the Great Depression through the culture of escapism. By attempting to leave behind the harsh conditions of their regular life, these people became customers that provided the stimulus necessary for many recreational areas and industries to fight their way through this challenging decade. Despite this aid, not every company with a strong footing at the beginning of the Great Depression would live to see its conclusion.

In Tahoe Escape: Surviving the Great Depression, Tahoe Maritime Museum examines the many interests, social forces, and developments of the Great Depression and the culture of escapism through the maritime vessels influenced by those forces.

Oral Histories from longtime Tahoe locals interviewed for this exhibit further enhance the display. Click here to listen to one of the recording featured in the exhibit. In this clip, Washoe Tribal Member Steven James talks about one the jobs he took on to help his family and community survive the hard times of the 1930s.

Exhibit Highlights:

White Smoke – 30’ 1930 Sea Lyon Runabout
Phantasy III – 21’ 1932 Chris-Craft Barrel Back Runabout
Miss Tessa – 16’ 1930 Dodge Runabout
16’ 1938 Old Town Canoe
On Loan from California State Parks:
Mercury – 35′ 1926 Duralumin Racing Craft

View the Interactive iPad Displays Here:

Mercury Tessa –

May 2012-April 2013

Tahoe Twenties: A Story of Boats, Booze & Business

At the beginning of the 1920s, Lake Tahoe residents were entering into a time of incredible change. The end of WWI and the beginning of prohibition brought out a spirit of rebellion and innovation in people and industries across the nation. The maritime world used this energy to bring about a new period in boating: the era of the speedboat. Meanwhile, Lake Tahoe residents faced uncertainty as they sought to make tourism their main industry. The beauty of the lake, easing transportation sources, luxurious accommodation, and invigorating activities combined to make Lake Tahoe a first class destination.

In Tahoe Twenties: A Story of Boats, Booze & Business, the Tahoe Maritime Museum examines the many interests, social forces, and developments of the 1920s through the lens of its maritime vessels.

Exhibit Highlights:

                 Miss Lakeside – 27’6″ 1925 Sea Sled

                 Marguerita – 24’ 1924 Fay & Bowen Junior Runabout

                 Florence M II – 26’ 1926 Stephens Brothers Runabout

                 Kerosene Kate – 1916 REO Speedwagon

May 2011-April 2012

Gar Wood’s Tahoe Legacy

Since the arrival of Lake Tahoe’s first Gar Wood in 1927, these boats have become part of the lake’s unique maritime history. The art deco features, powerful engines, and rich mahogany wood reflect the nation’s style and desire to enjoy their newly developed speed capabilities. Through displays of vintage advertisements, archival photographs, and three large motorboats, this exhibit tells the story of the development of Gar Wood’s company and its presence in Lake Tahoe.

Exhibit highlights:

3 Full size Gar Wood Motorboats

Archival Photographs

Tahoe Powerboat Club Racing Trophies