Despite its ancient motif, Vikingsholm had all the conveniences available in the 1930s, including electricity, modern fixtures and private baths in the bedrooms. Vikingsholm is a 38-room mansion on the shore of Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe, in El Dorado County, California, U.S., and on the National Register of Historic Places.. History. Come summer, the hiking trails are full of visitors, and state parks rangers open the castle for guided tours. Emerald Bay State Park, South Lake Tahoe, Ca.. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the mysterious widow who built the castle at Emerald Bay. Comment: Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. The items she couldn’t import she had replicated. Pieces of wood resembling spikes adorn the gutters in a nod to the Scandinavian custom people used to ward off evil spirits. Julie Brown is a contributing editor at SFGATE, covering Lake Tahoe. Laura Josephine “Lora” Small Knight (1864-1945) - Find A Grave Memorial Married secondly Harry French Knight. Lora Small was born in Galena, Illinois, in 1864. Hunt also designed the Rose Bowl. Lora married James and her sister married William. lora josephine knight: mistress of vikingsholm by phillip i. earl the three rock point mills at dayton state park by robert l. spude the rise and fall of local newspapers in nevada, 1860s-1960s by james w. hulse exploring the silver state: the oats park art center in ‘the oasis of nevada’ by kirk robertson Support timbers were hand hewn and interior wallboard meticulously hand planed, while metal fixtures like fireplace screens, hinges and latches were hand forged on-site. The last time I was here, I was talking about my sons birthdays and 4 July. Today, Lora Knight’s Viking castle is considered perhaps the finest example of Scandinavian architecture in North America. In early 1916 they bought a home near Santa Barbara hoping that the mild Mediterranean climate might improve his condition, but he died on July 20, 1916, leaving Lora an estate worth $15 million. SFGate - Julie Brown The widowed heiress is Lora Josephine Knight. Currently it is used as a hiking trail by those wishing to visit this remarkable castle. Boy oh boy…it’s been a while, lots happened, great stuff and fun celebrations. Search. Lora and her husband, James, traveled extensively in California as to foreign countries. It was there in 1914 that Moore built a charming lakefront estate that she called Wychwood. But since then, the state park has preserved Vikingsholm, and Knight’s legacy, for hundreds of thousands of visitors who arrive every year. Wildlife have several strategies to endure Lake Tahoe’s winters, Steeped in old town Truckee history, Moody’s serves up innovative cuisine, Alpine wine: Sample vino at one of these Sierra wine bars, All aboard: 5 Ways to Get Out on the Water in the winter. It was paradise, as Mrs. William H. Armstrong described, offering a “safe harbor, beautiful white sand beach, wildflowers, pure ice-cold water, matchless cliffs, mammoth pine and cedar, waterfalls and an exquisite island.” They didn’t want to leave. A sprinkler system was even included on the roof. But Vikingsholm is the house that Lora will always be known for. As fate would have it, Lora married James and her sister Ada married William. Lora Small (Knight) was born in Galena, Illinois, in 1864 of English descent. The other was to a stockbroker who she divorced. Some parts of the structure contain no nails or spikes, as a result of old-fashioned construction methods. Historic Vikingsholm Castle offers one of the most spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay – one of the most photographed bays in the world. James Hobart Moore passed away in 1916 at their home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Vikingsholm was built by Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight as a summer home. This spectacular site was originally built to be the summer residence of Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight. In the summer, when guests would visit her at her castle on the shore of Emerald Bay, called Vikingsholm, the butler would row her and her friends across the bay to the island for tea time. McLaughlin says the replicas were so exact, Knight even had the ages of the wood matched and scratch marks on the original copied. Her father, Edward Small, was a corporate lawyer who took on two brothers as partners in his law practice — William Henry Moore and James Hobart Moore. It was built in 1929 and was the summer home of Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight. Despite the expense and effort, the tea house was rarely used, even though Lora spent all her summers at Vikingsholm until her death in 1945. Her first lakefront mansion was called Wychwood and was just north of Dollar Point, where the Chinquapin condominiums are today. Or Lora Josephine Knight, who created a Scandinavian-style castle along the shores of Lake Tahoe. The home is on the National Register of Historic Places. In order to preserve the natural environment of Emerald Bay, Knight insisted that local Tahoe materials be used with the exception of the leaded windows with pastel stained-glass panes imported from Sweden. The widowed heiress is Lora Josephine Knight. Bars are still open 24/7 in South Lake Tahoe. And, as a friend of Charles Lindbergh, she provided financial support for his flight across the Atlantic Ocean. In the winter, Vikingsholm is quiet. In 1922, Lora married Harry French Knight. (So next time you visit Vikingsholm for a picnic, consider bringing some Ritz Crackers or perhaps Oreos.). Lora Josephine Knight was a philanthropist who valued community and education. Inspired by 11th century Nordic churches and castles, Knight commissioned detailed wood carvings to be placed throughout the interior and exterior. As fate would have it, Lora married James and her sister Ada married William. But the story of Mrs. Knight and her Vikingsholm stand apart from the rest. The locally quarried granite boulders were ferried by barge to the island where derricks lifted them stone by stone. Soon after, Lindbergh approached the Knights to fund his groundbreaking trans-Atlantic flight. She is originally from Tahoe's West Shore. “Each day blended into the next, relaxed and unhurried,” Smith told the Press Democrat, “and began with the sound of swishing sprinklers set up by yardmen in the early morning hours to water the wildflowers that grew in the grasses on the bay side of the house.”. Then…I got sick Dislike. I've heard stories about the wealthy woman who built the teahouse on the island. Timber was hand-hewn, though Mrs. Knight specifically demanded that the footprint of her house be built around the old-growth trees on the property. There is a single-lane dirt road that connects Vikingsholm with Highway 89. Construction on the castle began in the spring of 1929 and proceeded quickly as 200 workmen and artisans, housed in temporary barracks, quarried nearby stone and cut lumber. Palme and Knight traveled to Scandinavia that summer to research the design features that would be incorporated into her Tahoe castle. I often visit Emerald Bay to go hiking. Emerald Bay also reminded her of a Norwegian fjord with it steep surrounding slopes and deep blue water. Posted on July 12, 2010 by The Morena. Search for: Browse by Date Open in the summer months only, this 38 room fortress was built in the 1920s by Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight on her property encompassing the head of Emerald Bay and Fannette Island. Dinner was at 6:30 p.m. “On most evenings after dinner, Mrs. Knight and her guests were driven by limousine to the top of the road at Highway 89,” Smith said. Rocks in Water – California’s Gold (803) We’re talking about rocks in the water! Architect Palme estimated the project’s total cost at $500,000. Then there’s Dario Sattui, a fourth generation Californian who built medieval-style Castello di Amorosa to house one of his wineries in Napa Valley. “From there they strolled back down to Vikingsholm.”. The property passed through two more landowners before California State Parks bought 177 acres, including the island and the structures, in 1953 for $150,000. But his health continued to worsen. Vikingsholm is administered by the California Park System. Sometimes government officials did not allow these native heirlooms removed from the country, so Knight had craftsmen reproduce them in exact detail, including the aging of the wood and even mimicking scratches on the originals. For a birthday present, his father wrote him a check for $100,000. The horse stable housed 60 thoroughbreds. As soon as the snow melted in spring 1929, some 200 craftsmen arrived to build Vikingsholm. After Lora's father passed, the brothers took over the law firm and together, they became incredibly wealthy businessmen based in Chicago. First, Huell . Vikingsholm was built by Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight as a summer home. After Edward Small’s death, William and James took over the firm and formed the Moore Brothers partnership. Eight years before her marriage to Harry Knight, Mrs. Josephine Moore purchased the land at Chinquapin from descendants of Lake Tahoe timber baron Duane L. Bliss. Lennart Palme said: “The problem of placing Vikingsholm without disturbing the trees was perhaps the trickiest I have had to solve either abroad or in these United States.”. She was born Lora Josephine Small in Galena, Illinois, in 1864 - one of a family of four daughters and one son. During construction of the main house Lora turned her attention to Fannette Island in the middle of Emerald Bay. Von Schmidt chose a site 300 feet above Lake Tahoe on the Chinquapin point, renaming it Observatory Point in anticipation. Knight spent 15 summers at Vikingsholm. The Vikingsholm castle greets visitors to Emerald Bay. Lora’s marriage to Harry Knight didn’t last for more than a couple of years before they divorced. Most of the building was made from local materials. The legacy of Lora Knight — and why Vikingsholm is one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in North America. After a short marriage to Henry Knight, yet keeping his last name, Lora Knight went to work on creating the castle of her dreams to blend in with the bay. Our mission is to provide readers with a deeper understanding of the Lake Tahoe and Truckee region. It was built in 1928 and is now one of the treasured historic landmarks of Northern California. The only island on Lake Tahoe, Fannette island hosts a small stone structure that was once the tea house of Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight, the owner of Vikingsholm. Her father was a corporate lawyer who partnered with two brothers, William Henry Moore and James Hobart Moore. Vikingsholm was originally built to be the summer residence of Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight, a native of Illinois. Her father, Edward Small, was a corporate lawyer who took on two brothers as partners in his law practice — William Henry Moore and James Hobart Moore. Breakfast was at 8 a.m. sharp, but afterwards, time was for the taking to read, hike up to the waterfalls or go fishing off the dock, Smith said. Nathaniel later married Helen Fargo, of Wells Fargo Bank. Nearly all of the materials were sourced on site or nearby. There was a boathouse for Knights’ largest boat, a beautiful mahogany cabin cruiser named the Valkyrie. Her reporting focuses on the environment, public lands, recreation, and mountain communities. Carved dragon heads are common as both interior and exterior decorations, as they were used in old Viking castles to divide the main room between the chieftain and his most honored guests from the women and children. Mrs. Knight had it graded in 1929 for $10,000 so that she and her guests could arrive by automobile. She built Vikingsholm after the divorce and spent most of her summers here. A fortune, a widow and a castle in Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay, Bay Area software engineer charged with murders of wife, daughter. In 1928, Mrs. Knight had her mind firmly set on Emerald Bay to build her “castle of the sky.” She gave the … For weekly updates, interviews and profiles from a Tahoe insider, sign up for our Tahoe newsletter here. Did shutting down outdoor dining fuel Calif.'s COVID-19 surge? Knight had become acquaintances with the Armstrong’s through church affiliations and after the purchase she would build her majestic Vikingsholm the following year. - A fortune, a widow and a castle in Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay. She then commissioned Lennart Palme, a Swedish architect to whom she was related by marriage, to design Vikingsholm. Its manicured gardens offer panoramic views of the Pacific. Did shutting down outdoor dining contribute to California's COVID-19 surge? Impressed by her architect nephew Lennart Palme’s Nordic-inspired home in New York, Mrs. Knight traveled to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland to research ideas for her Lake Tahoe house. The secrets behind the sad little windmill on Telegraph Ave, Yet another tech company is leaving the Bay Area, Here's everything we know about Ella Emhoff, Outrage after Trump pardons USC dad in college scandal, Costco will sell MyPillow after pro-Trump CEO wanted martial law, Motley crew of far-right Californians accused in Capitol siege, San Francisco announces goal: Vaccinate all residents by June 30, 'First non-weird White House Press Secretary in four years', Disneyland canceling annual passes is just the beginning, Bay Area software engineer turned himself in after killing wife and 11-year-old daughter, police say. They traveled across Scandinavia for research and inspiration before laying the foundation in the late summer of 1928 for Vikingsholm. Inside, Knight decorated and furnished with antiques she purchased and shipped from Scandinavia. Mrs. Knight’s Emerald Bay castle, called Vikingsholm, is an homage to Scandinavian architecture. She purchased the property encompassing the head of Emerald Bay in 1928 for $250,000. Well, we had a great birthday, … Now part of Emerald Bay State Park, Vikingsholm was once the summer home for Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight. Although their marriage was short-lived, Lora and Harry Knight were among the small group of St. Louis, Missouri, businessmen who were the principal financial backers of Charles Lindbergh’s famed 1927 flight across the Atlantic from New York to Paris. She and her friends would take a motor boat from her mansion on the shore out to the island in the afternoon. After a short marriage to Henry Knight, yet keeping his last name, Lora Knight went to work on creating the castle of her dreams to blend in with the bay. Knight had derived design ideas from 11th century wooden churches in Norway and carvings from these ancient church entrances were incorporated into many Vikingsholm door entries. Emerald Bay State Park is one of the most popular destinations in Lake Tahoe. In 1928, Mrs. Knight had her mind firmly set on Emerald Bay to build her “castle of the sky.” She gave the family who owned the land an offer they couldn’t refuse. Obscure Oakland: The secrets of the sad little windmill on Telegraph Avenue, In mass tech exodus, yet another firm is leaving the Bay Area for Texas, Magary: I tested the dumbest PPE of all time — the Rich Guy COVID Helmet, Everything we know about Ella Emhoff, who waggled her eyebrows at the inauguration, Fingerpointing, outrage after Trump pardons USC father in college admission scandal. Before starting construction, Mrs. Knight and her architect traveled to Scandinavia to gather ideas for the house. Read More. It is located along the shores of Lake Tahoe and each year sees thousands of visitors who come to take in its history and beauty. He was a stockbroker in St. Louis, Missouri, and an aspiring pilot. She also clearly had an eye for real estate. From FAG contributor Ross Adam Wood Sr. Unfortunately, they were not happy together and divorced after just a couple of years. James Lick, a Pennsylvania Dutchman, first struck it rich in the California Gold Rush and then parlayed his luck into a fortune by investing in San Francisco’s booming real estate market. She exhibited Indian baskets, including some by the noted Washoe weaver Dat-So-La-Lee, also known as Louisa Keyser. Nathan Moore apparently knew how to have a good time, dying at the age of 25 of “natural causes” after spending the previous night at Chicago’s most famous and expensive house of prostitution.
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