1844 - John Fremont sighted Lake Tahoe while leading the U.S. Army's first official exploratory expedition across the Sierra Nevada and into California. His journals brought Tahoe to the attention of the western world
1853 - Joseph Calhoun "cock-eyed" Johnson and an anonymous Placerville Herald correspondent broke trail from Hangtown up the Rubicon Gorges south to Lost Corner dropping down to Meeks Canyon to the creek, then bay. They were met by a band of 70 friendly Digger Indians (probably Washoe). The bay was filled with speckled trout. The Indians told them tales of how Lake Tahoe was formed. They added these to their own upon returning to Placerville.
1859 - The first bridge to cross the river at this site was built of logs.
1860 - General William Phipps staked out a 160 acre homestead on Sugar Pine Point. He was one of the first known permanent residents of Lake Tahoe. There was a logging camp at Sugar Pine Point for awhile which explains the lack of sugar pines in the area. Phipps protected his 160 acre homestead from the saw.
1861 - John McKinney and John Wren, both Georgetown pioneers, established a hay ranch on the summit of Burton's Pass (adjoining the El Dorado - Placer County lines.)
1862 - John Mc Kinney moved to the lake at Burton Creek's outlet. Burton and Company cut 75 tons of wild hay from meadowland flanking Burton's Creek and shipped it to South Tahoe. Stephen and Joseph Meek (Meeks and Co.) cut 25 tons of wild hay from the surrounding flatlands of Meeks Bay.
1863 - McKinney established Hunter's Retreat (log cabin, tents, sapling pier & 3 fishing boats.)
1864 - The first cabin was built by a black trapper and trader. It was a favorite stopping point for travelers, loggers and trappers traveling the Rubicon Trail. Today it is a popular place for four-wheelers and other recreationists to stop and rest.
1867 - Upson Bay (McKinney's) received 8ft of snow in 12 hours Agustus Colwell bought 900 acres lake shore property, from McKinney's property line at Burton's Creek 1 1/4 miles east to Sugar Pine Point. He built a steam powered sawmill near the future site of Moana Villa. John and George Hunsucker (miners from Kelsey, E D County, felled pine trees and built their cabin south of Rubicon Springs (taking credit for their discovery), bordering on Rubicon River. Their cabin was at the foot of Rubicon's frowning granite gorge. It was the log cabin that evolved into what was known as Rubicon Soda Springs Resort.
1869 - McKinney's Retreat comprised 160 acres (13 lake front), catering to Nevada's mining nabobs for hunting and fishing.
1875 - McKinney built the boathouse on the wharf used as a clubhouse and bar.
1877 - Colwell closed his sawmill and began selling property, holding only the land adjoining McKinney's. The Hunsuckers had added outlying shacks and a pine corral for their stock at Rubicon Springs. Word was that the hunting was excellent (thouands of mule-tail deer were slaughtered and the hides packed down to Lower Hell Hole).
1880 - The Hunsuckers began bottling spring water and selling it at Georgetown and McKinney's. They had a hard time supplying the demand. Health seekers from Nevada were now beginning to come to Rubicon Springs. Water was sold as *Rubicon Water.*
1884 - the Murphys bought the Meeks Bay land for $250 in gold eagles.
1886 - Mrs. Sierra Phillips Clark, "Vade", (daughter of Joseph W. D. Phillips who owned Phillips Station on Johnson Pass road) bought the Rubicon Springs from the Hunsuckers and added Potter's Springs 1 mile away - beginning the RESORT. She got El Dorado County to make the trail from McKinney's over Burton's Pass to Rubicon into a one-way road
1888 - Phipps sold his property to W. W. "Billy" Lapham who opened a resort and called it "Bellevue" (French for Beautiful View). Rooms cost $2.50 per night.
1889 - Vade built a 2 1/2 story hotel at the Springs, with curtained glass windows, 16 small rooms and a parlor with horsehair furniture and a foot-pedal organ. She used white linens and polished silverware to serve 3 meals per days (sometimes 100 people). On busy weekends, visitors slept in tent, cabins, or under the stars. She also put in service a 4 horse six passenger coach to McKinney's. It took 2 1/2 hrs to cover the 9 miles.
1887 - On August 3, 1887, the County of El Dorado passes a resolution making the roadway from Georgetown through Wentworth Springs and Rubicon Springs to Lake Tahoe a public road. The basis for use of the Public Land was found in the Mining Law adopted by the Thirty-Ninth Congress in 1866, Session 1 per Chapter 262, Section 8: "That the right of way for the construction of highways over public lands, not reserved for public uses, is hereby granted"; this law was recodified as RS2477.
1889 - The US Geological Survey made what is called Folio #39 (The Truckee Quadrangle) which describes the Rubicon Trail. It is noted that the 1863-1864 boundary of Placer County and El Dorado County was Rubicon River and Rubicon Trail to Lake Tahoe.
1892 - The Murphy brothers (from Meeks Bay) along with their sister Frances' husband, Luke Morgan, from Georgetown, leased McKinney's Resort from the Westhoff family. The Indians also relocated to McKinney's living off the tourists. For 25 cents they were given community meals (leftovers from the tourist's meals.)
1893 - A fire destroyed the Bellevue.
a period of seven days in Tahoma.
recycled wood from a Tahoe City building that had been taken
down (between 6th & 7th and Fir & Alder)
from Esther Lazard (Mrs. Ehrman's daughter. Some furnishings were auctioned off by Butterfield & Butterfield that summer.
(CA4WDC) begins working closely with the U.S. Forest Service, Placer County, and the Lahontan Water Control Board on issues surrounding the McKinney-Rubicon Road in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The goal of this collaborative effort to ensure recreational access and to protect the water quality of
1980's - Planning for a basin-wide effort to improve the water quality entering Lake Tahoe included water shed improvements along the McKinney-Rubicon Road. These improvements were funded by State of California Bond Acts, OHV Trust Fund dollars (Greensticker funds as some of us refer to it) as well as Placer County. The improvements along this route included the construction of rolling dips, water bars, rock-lined ditches, sediment basins, hardened water crossings, and rock work structures as well as the bridge over McKinney Creek just below the staging area. These improvements remove sediment and decrease vehicle interaction with watercourses. As a provision of receiving the funding, Placer County agreed to maintain these improvements for a minimum twenty-year period (1986-2006).
1982 - Bridge refurbished through the efforts of several volunteers and four-wheel drive clubs.
1990's - Lahontan Water Quality Control Board (who have authority over all water quality issues in the Tahoe Basin) became concerned with the deterioration and lack of maintenance of these water quality improvements.
Funded by the OHV Trust Fund, Placer County, and federal monies applied for and received by CA4WDC, the county embarked on the maintenance of these improvements.
Additionally there were concerns from private property owners about tow vehicle parking, and people doing "highway readiness" activities in the Homewood subdivision. There were also concerns from the OHV community about the accessibility and safety of the staging area located one mile in on the route. It was determined that the best course of action was to pave the route from the subdivision to the staging area and handle all run-off using culverts under the roadway. This process took two years which included the maintenance and/or reconstruction of all the improvements between the staging area and the rim of the basin.
The actual logo was something I guess I came up with and Randy put a bit of polish on. What I wanted was an image that could go on anything, from a mug or t-shirt, to letterhead, but it needed to be something that could also be easily made into a spray paint stencil. It needed to be recognizable but inclusive. We hardly knew where we were going, but we wanted as many people as possible to come along! I am rather proud of it. The original logo and the new logo say different things. "The Shovel was about the grassroots, hands-on, "Use us before closures" statement that was drafted at that first meeting. The newer logo is more refined. It says "We are here. "Different tools for different times...", Mike Pulskamp
2001 - El Dorado County begins work on the Rubicon Trail Master Plan.
2004 - The very first donation to RTF is made by Jack Sweeney for $1000. Jack stated, "well let's get this started" and pulled out a check for $1000 and handed it to Founding President, Del Albright.
2004 - Pleasant Lake re-route is done, creating the "Whale Bones" route to Ellis Creek. The very first easement is established between private property owners and county, to solidify access.
2004 - After the closing of Spider Lake, it is realized that behaviors must change on the trail. "Big" Rich Klein, the founder of WeRock and Dirt Riot, creates the Rubicon Trail Patrol. Volunteers are trained at meetings around Placerville, notably the Round Table Pizza. El Dorado Sheriff attends several meetings to assist training volunteers.
2005 - RTF pays for the first meals to FOTR volunteers.
2005 - "Jackhammer Jesus" Water Bar is the first one built on the trail.
2005 - Labor Day weekend, TDO (The Dysfunctional Organization) creates the first Cantina For The Con event to raise money for the Rubicon Trail Foundation. The first Cantina For The Con raises roughly $5000 for the foundation.
2020 - El Dorado County secures OHV Grant to fly rock to Cadillac Hill. RTF votes unanimously to spend $32,000 in matching grant funds to fly rock to Cadillac Hill
2020 - Volunteers from Jeepers Jamboree, Rubicon Trail Foundation, and Green Acres work with El Dorado County to support helicopter flight of rock to shore up Cadillac Hill from further erosion.