Tahoe Timber Trails was the “brainchild” of Gordon McMahon. It was his dream to have a place where people of all ages could bring their families, communicate with nature, and enjoy friends. Everything he did in the planning of the park reflected that idea. The Bylaws were designed to make the newly forming membership as comfortable as possible and still maintain a feel for the great outdoors. Groundbreaking ceremonies were in the spring of 1970, and on October 29, 1970, the Articles of Incorporation were adopted and filed with the Nevada County Recorder.
Social activities and working committees have played a very important part in the history of Tahoe Timber Trails. Not only have they provided a place and motive for members to come together, but they have saved the Association thousands of dollars in improvements to the park that members would have had to provide with their dues payments.
“This History of Tahoe Timber Trails is dedicated to the Board of Directors for their tireless and sometimes thankless endeavors; to the Committees who have raised well over $175,000 for improvements throughout the Park; and to all those members that have given tirelessly and unselfishly with no personal agenda other than the good of the Park. Without all their continuing efforts there will no longer be a Tahoe Timber Trails.”
Harris Hall Lodge
The original Lodge was built with a large breezeway centered between rooms at either end. In 1977, Hal Harris asked for, and received, permission from the Board of Directors to enclose the center section of the building to protect the interior from the elements and put the entire building to better use. The project was estimated to take two years to complete, and Hal set out to begin the project with donated funds and volunteer man power. The Lodge was officially dedicated and named Harris Hall at a celebration on July 4th, 2000.
In 1998, the Bigotti brothers, Rico and Joe, approached the Board with a plan to complete or improve several items beginning in the spring of 1999. The Bigotti brothers rounded up volunteers, funding and donated materials for their proposed improvements and work soon began on the playgrounds to bring them up to acceptable safety standards. The savings to the Association cannot be measured. This was not the first time, nor would it be the last, that the Bigotti brothers made major contributions to the park.
Almost from the very beginning the original Cook Shack was the center for activities in the park. The Annual Membership Meetings were always held on the hillside next to the Cook Shack and Members, Bill and Amy Ashford were usually the cooks on duty. Bill became the “Supervisor” for the project and paid close attention to every detail. His dream was becoming a reality – a larger, more useable Cook Shack for the members to use. The work area was a beehive of activity. Members were coming in from every direction to work, sidewalk supervise, or to be a gofer. By the middle of the 1982 camping season the new Cook Shack was finally ready for business. Unfortunately, the man with the dream, Bill Ashford, passed away shortly before its completion. Although the members were saddened by Bill’s passing, everyone knew he would have wanted a Grand Opening to celebrate all the hard work. BILL’S PLACE was officially born on September 4, 1982.
In earlier times, volunteerism was not only something everyone did, but it was even expected that the members would be more than willing to do just about anything for the good of the park. Perhaps that explains why the June, 1981, Newsletter made the following announcement. “Painting Program – Paint is being purchased for the exterior of the comfort stations. Members on each loop will be responsible for painting their comfort station. This could be a good reason for members of each loop to get together.”
Hal Harris spearheaded and chaired a program to build fire engine sheds to protect the equipment from the elements and construct fire hose boxes strategically located throughout the park. In September of 1993, over forty volunteers helped with the construction and various committees donated funds to this project.
Chapel of the Pines
In 1974, the Board circulated a questionnaire amongst the members asking them to indicate their wishes and desires about the opening of a Chapel in the park. It would, of course, be a non-denominational gathering to worship. The response was overwhelmingly in favor.
In 1999, Bob Shillato asked the Board for permission to plant native trees in an area to the southeast behind Harris Hall as a memorial to past members. The cost would be borne by any member wishing to purchase a tree and dedicate it to the memory of a loved one. The Board approved of the program and Bob has unselfishly dedicated his time and expertise to what has become known as the Memorial Trees.
In 2001, Louise and Bruce Thiede presented a proposal for a Snack Bar to be located at Harris Hall. It would offer hot dogs, polish dogs, sodas & water, ice cream and other frozen items, packaged chips, candy and cookies. All profits were used for improvements throughout the park. Their plan was approved, and work soon began on the little snack bar. A contest was conducted to name the new building, and the name chosen was Grizzly Bar.