Twain coming to Tahoe’s shores

Special to the Sun
Courtesy photo

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Mark Twain forever rhapsodized about Lake Tahoe after his escapades here. This June, he returns to his “jewel of the Sierras” to regale us with tales of another paradise, the Sandwich Islands — today called Hawaii. This is the first in a series of “3rd Thursday” events to be held at the Gatekeeper’s Museum this summer.

In 1866 — not long after his Lake Tahoe adventures — the Sacramento Daily Union commissioned Twain for a series of travel letters from the Sandwich Islands, at $20 apiece. He planned visit the islands for four weeks. In reality it took four months, and included his account of 15 survivors of the clipper ship Hornet, who spent 40 days in a lifeboat with only 10 days of food and water supplies after it sank.

Twain’s letters appeared in The Union between April and November of 1866. They also appear — edited — in “Roughing It:” according to the New York Times, “Those chapters are basically the Hawaii letters in polished form; Twain added some material and left out the cruder parts.”

On Thursday, June 20, Twain will hold forth about his Hawaiian adventures at the Gatekeeper’s Museum. The questions will be posed by interviewer Michael O’Malley, the gentleman who last year moderated the heated debate about where Twain camped on the lake. It is fitting that Twain come to the shores of his beloved Lake Tahoe for this discussion.

Gatekeeper’s Museum is located at 130 West Lake Blvd. in Tahoe City, next to Fanny Bridge. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a no-host bar; the trouble begins at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free for NLTHS members; $10 suggested donation for non-members. For more information contact the museum at 530-583-1762 or email Gatekeepers Musuem is located at 130 West Lake Blvd. in Tahoe City. Visit

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.