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A Bit of History: The Richardson Building, Series 4

The earliest records of ownership around the present day Camp Richardson and Marina are from 1875 when M.C. Gardner acquired a timber holding of several thousand acres from the U.S. Government and built a sawmill and railroad line. 

By the late 1880’s, Gardner had logged over most of the areas and sold it to E.J. “Lucky” Baldwin who developed the lakefront portion.  He built a summer home and sold parcels to other families such as the Pope, Tevis, Comstock and Lawrence families who built the homes which are now on the adjoining properties.

In 1921, Captain Alonzo Richardson leased a large parcel from the Comstock and Lawrence families and set up a stage service from Placerville to South Lake Tahoe.  In 1924, he bought the property and built cabins and a lakefront pavilion.  By 1926 he added the hotel, dining room, gas station and other buildings of the present day resort.  He also built the “long wharf” which is now the Resort pier.

The late 1960’s was a period of building and development in the Tahoe Basin and there was pressure on the family to sell the property for condominium or commercial development.  The son-in-law of Captian Richardson, Ray Knisley, approached the USFS to take over the area from Baldwin Beach and Taylor Creek through Camp Richardson to Pope Beach.  This conversion was accomplished without a single dollar of government money and has created one of the largest and most valuable areas of recreation ever converted to public use.