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Museum: Last Tahoe toll house needs to be restored

Tribune staff report

The Lake Tahoe Historical Society is in the process of raising funds for the restoration of a more than 150-year-old Tahoe toll house — the last remaining in the Basin.

The Osgood Toll House is behind Lake Tahoe Museum on Highway 50, but it might not be for long if it doesn’t receive some much-needed repairs, according to a caretaker.

The building is leaning to one side and needs work on its windows, walls, doors and floor, museum chair Diane Johnson said. There are also of items stored inside the that need to be inventoried. A $3,000 grant from the El Dorado County Foundation was given to the Historical Society to begin stabilizing the building, and some of that money was already used to pressure wash and coat the four corners of the structure. To address some of the bigger concerns, nearly $30,000 is needed to cover the first phase or restoration, according a local architect. There were once many toll houses in the basin, as gold and silver seekers crossed the mountains to California, only the Osgood Toll House still exists. Neamiah Osgood built it more than a 150 years ago at the bottom of Echo Creek. The building eventually became obsolete. And it was moved numerous times before reaching its current home at the South Lake Tahoe museum. In an effort to get the toll house the attention it needs, museum board member Bob Harms started a fundraising challenge to keep the piece of history alive. Harms will match any donation up to $5,000 toward the restoration. The Historical Society has raised about $2,000. For information visit http://www.laketahoemuseum.org or contact the Historical Society at P.O. Box 18501, South Lake Tahoe, Calif. 96151.


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