Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Winner Take All: Card Room at the Thunderbird Lodge and GIVE AWAY WINNER!

A couple of weekends ago, I was up at Lake Tahoe and spent some time at the Thunderbird Lodge. It was a little jaunt back in time to see one of the last and perhaps best examples of Lake Front estates built by the grand old San Francisco society members before World War II.

George Whittell Jr. was one of California's most notorious playboys and was famous for his exploits with women, fast cars and fast boats. He collected women and wild animals, many of which he kept on his estate. It would only follow that he had a penchant for gambling. The Card Room at the Thunderbird Lodge was built to entertain the "boys of summer" with card games and those women I mentioned. It is one of the few Card Rooms still in existence on the Lake.

George had a clever communication system in place to let the boys know when the coast was clear for a card game, or when to stay away when the wife was in residence. He had a series of lights installed on the chimney of the main house. When it was game night, the light was green. When the wife was home, the red light would show across the Lake. Clever pre-texting system, no?

The Card Room has two huge stone fireplaces, one at each end of the room. There are leaded glass windows and exposed beam ceilings. One of the most striking additions to the decor is the massive Elk trophy. It is believed to have come from New Zealand, so it has been suspected that George may have won it in one of his card games.

I am sure that George had his share of winnings......

For you curious George fans, click on over HERE for more stories about George Whittell's infamous past.

And now for another winner!
I am happy to announce the winner of Barry Dixon's latest book:

Congratulations to 
Linda in AZ!!!


Al said...

Fabulous photos! You must have had a wonderful time on your trip. Thanks for sharing.

Cristin {Simplified Bee} said...

I just toured the lodge a few days ago! It was spectacular. Didn't you get a kick out of the secret stairwell in the card house's bathroom? George was an interesting character indeed. I am just thankful that he didn't develop the east shore of the lake. I think it was ego-driven, rather than eco-driven, but still thankful. :)


The enchanted home said...

Wow that looks truly incredible and like the ultimate boys club with a view!
Congrats to Linda!

Karena said...

What great history behind this grand estate! I bet it was wonderful to visit!

Congrats Linda!

Art by Karena

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

The stone fireplace looks like my own.
Sans elk, of course.

Linda in AZ * said...

*** W*O*W, Katie!!! I just received your e-mail about WINNING BARRY'S BOOK, & I am like a little girl @ Christmas!!!

Since I had previously purchased, & TOTALLY DEVOURED his other book (it was "love at first page"!), this gift just MAKES MY DAY~~~ What a LUCKY girl I am!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I am such a "HAPPY & THANKFUL CAMPER" right now!

Warmest blessings,

Linda in AZ *
(As requested, I'm E-mailing the info you need for mailing...)

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

great images Katie...George seems like an old goat!

Love how it sits amongst the rocks!

Congrats Linda!

under spanish moss said...

Well now...George seems like quite a rascal. Poor Georges' wife! Looks like a perfect man cave. Congratulations to Linda!
Angela and Renee