Chapel of the Transfiguration listed on National Register of Historic Places |

Chapel of the Transfiguration listed on National Register of Historic Places

Special to the Sun
Submitted to

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; The Chapel of the Transfiguration, better known as The Outdoor Chapel, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places Aug. 18, 2011. The Outdoor Chapel is situated in the forest just off of Highway 89 approximately one mile south of Tahoe City. As a result of being placed on the National Register, the property has also been listed in the California Register of Historical Resources.

In 1908 the D.L. Bliss family donated two acres of land one-half mile south of their hotel, the Tahoe Tavern, to the Episcopal Church for the construction of an outdoor chapel. The construction of the Chapel of the Transfiguration took place during the summer of 1909. Robert M. Watson, who also built the Watson Cabin, and his youngest son, Robert H. Watson, built the chapel out of native rock and trees to harmonize with the natural environment.

In addition to the few year round residents, the summer congregation of the Outdoor Chapel included many families from the San Francisco Bay Area as well as from foreign countries who visited Lake Tahoe during the summer season. Weddings would be held in the Outdoor Chapel and an elegant reception would be held at the Tahoe Tavern.

The Outdoor Chapel is in good original condition and has had no significant alterations to the building. The pews outside of the chapel have been replaced a few times. The latest replacement was completed in June 2009 when Gus Gotschall took on the demolition of the old benches and construction of new benches, for his Boy Scout Eagle Project, in conjunction with the centennial anniversary of the Outdoor Chapel.

The Outdoor Chapel is part of Saint Nicholas Episcopal Church and is still used for their summer services and weddings can be arranged. Nancy Gotschall, a member of Saint Nicholas Episcopal Church, researched the Outdoor Chapel and wrote the nomination on behalf of St. Nicholas Church for listing on the National Register. Unfortunately the Tahoe Tavern was demolished in 1969 and condominiums were built on its footprint, but the Chapel of the Transfiguration continues to welcome visitors just as it did back in 1909.

For information, visit or call 530-583-4713.

and#8212; Submitted to

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.