Tahoe estate is up for sale for $36.5 million
MEEKS BAY – One of the last old-time estates on the west shore of Lake Tahoe is up for sale.
The Drum House, designed by noted San Francisco architect G. Albert Lansburgh, is on the market for $36.5 million through the Chase International real estate firm.
John Drum, president of the American Trust Co., bought the Meeks Bay property in 1923.
“It’s beautiful. It’s like the old Tahoe of years ago,” said Trinkie Watson, the agent handling the sale.
The main lodge was built with cedar logs shipped to Tahoe from Oregon. The contractor was Matt Green, who later would build Vikingsholm at Emerald Bay. That popular tourist attraction now is owned by California State Parks.
The Drum estate hosted extravagant parties and notable visitors, including Charles Lindbergh, who visited in 1927 just months after his historic trans-Atlantic flight.
It was purchased in 1961 by Erik Jonsson, former mayor of Dallas and founder of Texas Instruments.
“I suspect all the movers and shakers of San Francisco probably went through there at some time,” said Mark Jonsson, Eric’s grandson. “If the walls could talk, I think they’ve seen a lot of things.”
Jonsson, 54, said difficulties of multiple-family member ownership make it necessary to sell the property.
“I’ve been there every summer of my life,” he said. “It’s just nothing but good memories. I’m sorry to see us have to sell it.”
The estate has 10 acres and nearly 750 feet of lakeshore. Buildings include the main lodge, three guest cottages, a modern, four-bedroom lakefront home, a boat house, tennis court and two piers.
The property has been toured in the past by officials from the California Tahoe Conservancy and California State Parks, but Jonsson said he’s unaware of any active plans to acquire the estate for the public.
“If the public wanted to step up to the plate, they would be happy to sell it to them,” Watson said.
Jonsson wouldn’t mind, either.
“Then I would still be able to visit,” he said.