Snowshoe Thompson topic of Hope Valley lecture

Record-Courier Report
Snowshoe Thompson will be the topic of a history lecture on Saturday.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — “Mailman of the Sierra” Snowshoe Thompson is the topic of a living history presentation at Hope Valley on Sunday.

“Thompson carried the mail across the Sierra Nevada winter snows for 20 years,” historian David Woodruff said. “He would travel the 180-mile round trip in just five days on his hand-crafted snow skates (skis) with nothing more than a jacket, dried meat, matches and his 80-pound bag of mail.”

Thompson is credited for carrying type for the Territorial Enterprise when it first published in Genoa.

His May 16, 1876, death at age 49 was reported in the May 19, 1876, edition of The Carson Valley News.

“His great physical power, fleetness, endurance and punctuality in that style of travelling has long rendered his name renowned, and his soubriquet, ‘Snow-shoe Thompson had become as familiar to the people of the Coast as a household word,” The News reported.

A large procession of friends in carriages and horseback accompanied the arrival of his remains from his Diamond Valley Ranch in Alpine County.

“Many of our citizens proceeded up the Valley and met the procession.”

A statue of Snowshoe Thompson stands in Mormon Station State Historic Park in Genoa.

Woodruff’s presentation is noon Sunday at inside the heated tent at Wylder Hotel Hope Valley.

The program is free and open to the public. Call Woodruff at 760-920-8061 for more information.

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