The area around Glenbrook was settled by Anglo-Americans in 1860, when prospectors traveled over the Sierra and around the southern end of Lake Tahoe on their way to the Comstock Lode. Entrepreneur Augustus Pray built the first sawmill here, exploiting the abundant forests to produce lumber for Virginia City and its surrounding mines. In 1862, with the completion of the Lake Bigler (Lake Tahoe) Toll Road (now U.S. 50) connecting Sacramento, South Lake Tahoe, Glenbrook, and Carson City, Glenbrook became an increasingly desirable location for hotels; both the Glen Brook House (no longer extant) and the Lake Shore House were erected in 1863.
In the late nineteenth century Duane L. Bliss brought an economic boom to the community by forming the Carson and Tahoe Lumber and Fluming Company. He connected Glenbrook by rail and flume to the eastern valleys, consuming the remaining timber in the area. The railroad carried logs to Spooner Summit, where a flume shot them down the mountain to a location just south of Carson City.
As logging quickly denuded the basin of trees, Bliss turned his attention to converting the milling complex at Glenbrook into a first-class resort. He established the Lake Tahoe Railway Transportation Company, which built a narrow-gauge railroad from Truckee to Tahoe City, California, in 1901. That same year he built the Tahoe Tavern, a luxury hotel, in Tahoe City. He launched several steamers to carry guests between the Tahoe Tavern and Glenbrook, where he built the Glenbrook Inn and Ranch Resort in 1906. Many small cabins soon followed to accommodate additional guests. An agricultural complex adjacent to a large meadow housed beef and dairy cattle and produced crops for the resort. The Glenbrook Inn remained in operation until 1975. Since then, private developers have converted the old estate into an exclusive residential resort community with a golf course and stunning lake views. Historic structures include the Lake Shore House, Jellerson House, Glenbrook Inn, a barn, and some cabins.
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