Peter Mires presents “Lake Tahoe’s Rustic Architecture” at 2 p.m. on March 3. This presentation is part of the First Saturday lecture series, where the Sparks Museum presents free programming 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month.
Lake Tahoe is the gem of the Sierra Nevada. Those who visit this beautiful “Lake of the Sky” may share Mark Twain’s impression of the place as he camped on its shore in 1861: “As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” Twain’s quote, from Roughing It, includes the trinity of Tahoe’s landscape—sky, mountains, and lake—that people still find inspiring. This explains, in large part, why the man-made environment around the lake is predominantly rustic, a style of architecture noted for its compatibility with its surroundings through the use of natural materials in construction—logs, stone, and wooden shingle—along with muted shades of green and brown. Through its homes, resorts, and other assorted buildings, Lake Tahoe remains “the fairest picture.”
Peter Mires was born in the Green Mountain State when there were more cows than people. He received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire, M.A. from the University of Arkansas, and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. Peter taught geography and anthropology at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and the University of Delaware. He now lives in Carson City, Nevada. When not reading or writing, he can be found hiking up at Lake Tahoe or exploring Nevada’s outback.