The Hellmans used to spend most of August at Lake Tahoe. They would invite lots of friends to visit and would fish, swim, take walks, go horseback riding, and travel up the nearby General Creek for picnics. There was no road around the west side of the lake, so the Hellmans had to take a ferry from Tahoe City to their home.
Sugar Pine Point is now a California state park.
I had a great time finding out about my ancestors' lives while researching Towers of Gold, my book on Isaias Hellman. But this is one of the few spontaneous photos I have of them. Most of the pictures are formal, posed shots, nothing like this picture, which features an unguarded moment.
Photos are critical when writing narrative non-fiction. Even though I poured through thousands of pages of Hellman's diaries and letters, I never saw a description of the days they spent at their summer home in