This two-story Queen Anne-style home, built in 1902, is a good example of a Lake Tahoe summerhouse for the wealthy. The mansion's dining room walls are covered with strips of woven redwood, creating a warm, natural and very unique look. Authentic chandeliers, leaded glass cabinets, and hardwood floors grace the house which is decorated in 1930s period furniture. On the grounds of the estate is a cabin built in 1870, a dozen outbuildings that housed "the help" and supported the family's lifestyle, and many spectacular nature trails.
Rangers provide a 50-minute tour in summer months. For more info visit: http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=991
In 1897, Isaias W. Hellman purchased property on Sugar Pine Point on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. Hellman had immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1859. He moved to San Francisco from Los Angeles when he purchased the Nevada Bank. This bank eventually merged with Wells Fargo and Hellman served as President. During the summers of 1901 and 1902, Hellman's summer home, Pine Lodge, was built on his property. The 11,703 square foot house was designed by Walter Bliss, who also designed the famous Tahoe Tavern in Tahoe City. Bliss was paid $22,000 as the architect and coincidentally, the home cost $22,000 to construct. Upon Hellman's death in 1920, his youngest daughter Florence Ehrman inherited the Pine Lodge and it gradually became known as the Ehrman Mansion.
At the time of Hellman's death, he was President of Wells Fargo Bank, Chairman of the Board of Union Trust Company of San Francisco, Director of the United States National Bank of Portland, Director of Security Trust and Savings Bank of Los Angeles and President of the Farmers and Merchants National Bank of Los Angeles.
The estate was entirely self-sufficient during the early years. The family generated their own electricity, had their own water and septic systems, and cut ice from the frozen creek for the ice house. Supplies were brought in by boat since a road around Lake Tahoe had yet to be built. A staff lived with the family during the summer, occupying 6 bedrooms in the mansion in the servants' wing and on the third floor, as well as numerous outbuildings such as the chauffeur's apartment above the garage, the boatman's cottage, the butler's cabin, the maids' cabin, and the Childrens' House.
The family enjoyed summering at Pine Lodge until Florence Ehrman's death in 1964. Florence's daughter, Esther Ehrman Lazard sold the estate to California State Parks in 1965. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.