Stop #7: In front of Pope house

"The Tevis family added the remaining 2000 square feet to the original house built by George Tallant.  The Tevises also had most of the outbuildings that you see constructed.  William Tevis, administrator of the Kern County Land Company, went bankrupt after a merger with Francis "Borax" Smith’s United Properties Company.  Although the Tevises continued to visit the estate after their 1913 bankruptcy, the bank finally took it in 1920 until it was sold to the Pope family in 1923 for $100,000.  George Pope, Sr. was co-owner of the Pope & Talbot Lumber Co. that operated out of Port Gamble, Washington.  The Pope & Talbot Lumber Co. survived until 2008, at which point it was a public stock company.  The Pope family called their estate the Vatican Lodge, a play on their name.  This estate, like the other two estates on the Tallac property, was only used in the summer.  Pope family and guests enjoyed their summer home during the same time of year that the Tallac Site is currently open, from about Memorial Day to Labor Day.  A caretaker who lived on the south part of the estate was the only person who stayed here year-round.  Much of the Pope house is built with old-growth redwood, a non-native wood that came to the south shore of Lake Tahoe the same way that family and guests came: on a train from San Francisco to Sacramento, another train from Sacramento to Truckee, a narrow gauge train from Truckee to Tahoe Tavern, and then steamed across the lake.  The expense of having non-native wood to construct the house was yet another display of the wealth of the families who built and lived at the estate.  The Pope family made a few changes to the house.  They enclosed the lakeside porch on the west end to extend the living room.  They also added sleeping porches to the upper story on each side.  Although you can still see the one on the west side, the one on the east side was knocked down by a falling tree in 1982.  You will also see a door on the second story of the east side of the house.  Edith Pope, George Pope, Sr.’s wife, had a fire escape added here after her house in Hillsboro, California burned down in 1946.  The fire escape came down with the tree as well.  The house also originally had diamond-paned windows.  Now walk to the back of the house to the area of the servant’s quarters.”

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