On December 6, 2009, the Truckee Donner Historical Society formally dedicated the historic Gateway Research Cabin honoring early Truckee citizen and philanthropist Dick Joseph as the Joseph Research Library. The library is located on the west side of Meadow Park at 10115 Donner Trail Road in Truckee, California.
Beginning in June 2009, this historical research library has been open to the public every Thursday from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. Books, newspaper files, maps, and photographs are available for use within the library for researchers, genealogists, historians, homeowners, and all who wish to study area history.
The Historical Society recognizes the significant contributions that Dick Joseph made to the Truckee community and surrounding area as a businessman, a land developer, an entrepreneur, and philanthropist. An Armenian who escaped the massacre of the early 1900s, Joseph raised a family here and remained close to his two sisters, Roxie Archie and Victoria (aka Azad) McIver, until his death in 1986.
Beginning in the 1920s, Dick Joseph owned Manstyle Barbers, the Donner Hotel, and the Pastime Club on Commercial Row. He purchased land from the Union Ice Company after years of persistent inquiry; the parcel extended from Gateway to Donner Lake. He later donated a portion of that land for the construction of the Tahoe Forest Hospital, which opened in 1952. In 1986 Joseph and his sisters donated more land and $100,000 to build a skilled nursing facility. In 1996, sister Roxie donated more land, which she had inherited from her brother, for the hospital’s expansion.
Joseph was known as “the Founder of Gateway,” because he developed the residential area of Gateway and established the Gateway Motel and gas station in 1938. The very cabin in which the Joseph Research Library is located served as the motel office. He and his sisters operated the motel until the 1980s; following his death in 1986 the sisters carried on until selling the land in 1990 to a developer to make way for the Gateway Shopping Center at Donner Pass Road and Highway 89. Joseph’s sisters donated the motel office to the Truckee Donner Historical Society and had it moved to its current location, stipulating that it be used as a research library.
The Historical Society is proud to celebrate the generous spirit of Dick Joseph by bestowing his name on the Research Library. His resourcefulness, persistence, creative thinking, and commitment to the community are ideals that are still admired. All are encouraged to come in and explore the rich history of our area and the extraordinary people, like Dick Joseph, who contributed to it.