Remembering James Lakeshore Resort, circa ’60s


We extended our visit to Lake Tahoe, even though we’d agreed to rent our cabin to guests and return home. Blame it on being cooped up too long from the pandemic.

We also wanted to give our son and his best friend/girlfriend some time alone at our house in Nevada City. Both are students at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. We’d all been together at the lake since the week before, having a grand time.

Shannon and I checked into Mourelatos, long known as James Lakeshore Resort. It is on a prime beachfront location on the North Shore.

Our stay brought back wonderful childhood memories. Most summers we used to pack up our Chevy station wagon and head to the lake from Southern California.

We stayed in a beachfront unit at James with a dead-on view on the lake. Mr. and Mrs. James were gracious hosts. Our room was on the end, with a full kitchen and a black-and-white television for watching baseball games. We also rented kayaks there.

I liked to swim and play catch with dad on the sand. I was a Little Leaguer and we’d bring our gloves and a ball.

I also fished for crawdads off the pier with a strip of bacon tied onto a drop line.

We’d eat dinner while looking out at the lake, or we’d eat out at a local restaurant (AKA “dinner house”). This included Bacchi’s for Italian food or the Christmas Tree for steaks grilled on a charcoal fire.

The Christmas Tree on Mt. Rose Highway had an unusual attraction – a lion. It slept in a cage outdoors, having retired from Hollywood movies. I don’t think this ”attraction” would be considered acceptable now.

Our vacation ended too soon, but we had to be home for Labor Day weekend to prepare for school.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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