Mark McLaughlin featured speaker at Tahoe League for Charity

Submitted to Sierra Sun
Mark McLaughlin
Submitted photo

Mark McLaughlin, nationally published author, historian and a most entertaining speaker who had us enthralled and in stitches every moment of his presentation, was guest speaker for the Tahoe League for Charity in November.

McLaughlin spoke on his beginnings as a student at University of Nevada where his primary interests started with the weather history of the Sierra Nevada as he was studying history and geography. While at the university, he amassed a collection of data on all things Sierra Nevada that would become the backbone of his career. He also began his massive collection of images and photos that go back to the 1800s.

Early in his career he worked as general manager in local up-scale restaurants. Mark is a natural-born educator who delighted Elderhostel audiences for many years before pursuing his career as author and public speaker. He has a love of history with a flair for the dramatic and is master of the pen.

Although he enjoys writing about the Sierra, his true passion is talking about it. McLaughlin has 30 presentations on Lake Tahoe, Sierra weather, trains, skiing, the Winter Olympics and just about anything else about Sierra history where he speaks with an engaging and humorous style.

In 1977, he hitchhiked to Yosemite National Park from his home in Philadelphia to spend a summer working at the Ahwahnee Hotel. Later that year, he spent a few days in Tahoe and, lucky for us, decided he wanted to live here — and, he has ever since.

Mark McLaughlin self-published all seven of his award-winning books, which he introduced and described:

“Snowbound! Legendary Winters of the Tahoe Sierra,” focusing on the Top 10 biggest winters in the Tahoe Sierra based on snowfall measured at Donner Pass since 1879. This well illustrated book tells of men and women struggling to cope against some of the most powerful storms on Earth.

“Longboards to Olympics: A Century for Tahoe Winter Sports” a book that tells the fascinating story of how winter sports took Northern California by storm and captured the imagination of a nation.

“The Donner Party Weathering the Storm” a classic western tale of the struggle for survival as powerful snowstorms during the winter of 1847 trapped 81 California-bound pioneers in the High Sierra. This book focuses on how extreme weather challenged the emigrants and their heroic rescuers.

“Western Train adventures Romance, Robberies & Wrecks” A collection of true, railroad-themed adventure stories, ranging from train robberies, wrecks and the wild days at Lake Tahoe and the Comstock. Well-illustrated with historical photos.

“Skiing at Lake Tahoe” a book on organized ski racing in America that started near Lake Tahoe in the 1850s when gold miners rode 15-foot boards that reached speeds near 100 miles per hour. By 1895, residents of Truckee had started the nation’s first winter carnival west of the Rocky Mountains and soon built the largest ski jump in California. Lake Tahoe, with significant annual snowfall, has become home to the largest concentration of ski resorts on the continent.

Two volumes of “Sierra Stories: True Tales of Tahoe.”

Volume I: A dozen exciting stories about stage coach holdups, Tahoe history, the Pony Express and the first train robbery in the Far West.

Volume II: Features early women pioneers and their efforts to tame the West, as well as more daring stories about the greatest Indian battle before Custer.

The up-and-coming Volume III will be on gender and ethnic diversity – the combination of cultures that have influenced the history of the Sierra Nevada.

For more information on Mark McLaughlin presentations and book sales contact Mark at 530-546-5612 or visit Tahoe League for Charity $20 luncheon meetings are open to the public by reservation only. Contact

Source: Tahoe League for Charity

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