Whittell prom moves to Thunderbird Lodge | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell prom moves to Thunderbird Lodge

William Ferchland

ZEPHYR COVE – In a sense, George Whittell High School’s prom will be more like a homecoming.

After plans fell through for the formal gala to be held at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, an opportunity arose for the May 26 prom to be held at the Thunderbird Lodge, a mansion on the shores of Lake Tahoe built by former inhabitant George Whittell.

Excitement on the high school campus is brewing.

“It’s going to be one of the awesomest things this year,” said junior Kyle Kjer. “It’s super nice. It’s like one of the nicest places in Tahoe.”

“It’s going to be the best prom ever,” said senior Meri Johnson.

Built in 1936 with multiple additions along the way spanning a six-acre site, the mansion was owned by Whittell (the man), a wealthy land baron who owned 40,000 acres and 24 miles of Lake Tahoe shoreline in Nevada.

The property changed hands, but its majestic qualities have increased.

“The Thunderbird Lodge is one of the last and best examples of a great residential estate on Lake Tahoe from the period in which prominent San Francisco society built homes on the lake,” according to the Web site of the Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society. “In addition to the main house, there is a card house, caretaker’s cottage, the cook/butler’s house, an elephant garage, the Admiral’s house, the boathouse with adjoining tunnel and gatehouse.”

The theme of Whittell’s prom is “Castle in the Sky.” Students on the prom committee said little decoration will be necessary because of the mansion’s grandeur. Catering will be provided by Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.

“I think it’s going to leave a mark in our school’s history,” said Megan Esquivel, a junior on the prom committee.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.