Lucky Baldwin was another of Tahoe’s wealthy that made a great deal of money from the Ophir Mine and other mine stocks in Virginia City, NV. beginning in 1875. With the large profits he made he bought the Tallac Point House, turning it into the Tallac Casino and Hotel by 1902. It was located off Hwy. 89 close to Camp Richardson. He owned a total of 6,000 acres around the hotel. This was Tahoe’s first casino and was located in California where gambling was not legal. He had people in Placerville that would inform him when the El Dorado County Sheriff was headed for Tahoe on horse back, this is prior to Hwy. 50. This meant no trips in the heavy snow. Lucky would hide all the gaming equipment in the basement when this happened.
This hotel was state of the art and luxurious. Hot and cold running water, heat and could accommodate up to 250 guests, it was 3 stories tall, serving 8 course meals with a string orchestra to the rich. The price was $14.00 per night in 1899 dollars that was one weeks pay for a miner. He owned 2 steamers, the Tallac and the Meteor to move his guests around Lake Tahoe because roads did not exist yet. Most of Tahoe’s visitors came to Tahoe via train in Truckee and a narrow gauge train to Tahoe City. Map of Tahoe
Baldwin completed the Tallac Casino Hotel in 1902, he died in 1909 and his daughter saw fit to demolish it in 1920 unfortunately. It could have been one of Tahoe’s great historical land marks.