The Alpine County Historical Complex in Markleevilee includes several buildings important to Alpine County and Markleeville history. The Historical Complex houses the Alpine County Museum, the Old Webster School, the Old Log Jail, and a restored Silver Ore Stamp Mill. The construction of the complex began in 1964 by the Historical Society of Alpine County, and completed in 1972 and dedicated that same year by the Grand Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West.
The Old Webster School was built in 1882 was used as a one-room schoolhouse until 1929 when the new Webster School was built. It was restored in the 1960s. The museum contains displays on Washoe Indian basketry, a pioneer family exhibit, a blacksmith shop exhibit, and other displays on pioneer life and prehistoric relics. The Old Log Jail was originally located in Silver Mountain City, and moved to Markleeville in 1875.
Markleeville is named for Jacob Markley, who staked a 160-acre claim here on a creek and erected a toll bridge on the road from Genoa, Nevada. Markley was killed in a gunfight in 1863. The town of Markleeville was established in 1861 where Markley made his claim. Markleeville became the Alpine County seat in 1875, and has remained so ever since. The original inhabitants of Markleeville were the Hung Lei Ti, a southern Washoe tribe. Jedidiah Smith, Joseph Walker, Kit Carson, and John C. Fremont were early American explorers of the area. When silver mines were discovered nearby, the area grew to a population of over 11,000. Today, Alpine County is the least populated county in California but is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Alpine County Historical Complex is located at 1 School Street off of Montgomery Street in Markleeville.
High in the Sierra along the Nevada border, Alpine County is sparsely populated, and is in fact the least populated county in California. Situated between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park, Alpine County is a destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking to get away from the crowds. Grover Hot Springs State Park is in Alpine County, and parts of the El Dorado National Forest, Stanislaus National Forest, and Toiyabe National Forest are within Alpine County. In 1844, John C. Freemont’s expedition, accompanied by Kit Carson, passed through the area and over today’s Carson Pass. The Overland Emigrant Trail passed through this county, and is marked today by yellow painted iron markers and plaques. Markleeville is the County seat.