Historical Society, Inc.
Donner Pass Road
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INTERMODEL PASSENGER DEPOT:
original Truckee Hotel, also known as Moody's Truckee Hotel, was located
on the south side of the railroad tracks opposite and slightly east of the
present depot. During the
19th century, the hotel served as the primary passenger terminal.
downtown depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in
commemoration of the Transcontinental Railroad, which reached Truckee on
April 3, 1868.
Grant, Hayes, T. Roosevelt, Garfield and general Sherman visited Truckee
and were greeted by waiving, cheering crowds at this location.
the hotel burned to the ground on April 26, 1900, work commenced on the
ninety-five years, this building has served as the town's passenger
The building's importance to the Town of Truckee is that of a focal point for the local railroad heritage and an important passenger resource for the town's past, present and future economic base.
old two-story Southern Pacific Hotel stood to the east of the depot during
the early part of this century until 1956 when it was moved to the site of
the present downtown post office and burned to the ground in 1963.
THE LOADING DOCK
- 10115 DONNER PASS ROAD
structure was constructed in 1891 as a freight depot and is the oldest
railroad structure still standing on the Plaza.
It was retired from freight service in 1962 and remodeled to
accommodate retain shops in the 1970s.
Presently occupied by Jackass Ridge, Picture Station and Joanne’s
Stained Glass, the building once served as a loading dock and freight
station for the Southern Pacific Railroad and was later a warehouse for
many years. It also once
housed the Curran Ice Storage & Beverage business.
The original building was half the size of the present structure.
When visiting these shops, notice the hand- hewn beams in the left
side of the building in contrast with the smoothed even beams on the newer
right hand side of the building.
building contributes architecturally to the overall railroad feeling of
the Plaza and is a symbol of the town’s historic importance.
DOWN BY THE RIVER -
10128 DONNER PASS ROAD
1890 to 1898, this was the location of the “First and Last Chance
Saloon” operated by John Mazza. It
was given that name because it was the last saloon at the west end of
town, but the first saloon you came to if you were headed east.
tenants included “Cat’s Corner” and "Offshore Outlet.
This building was once Truckee's original telephone office.
Constructed in 1907, the telephone operators and employees often lived in
the apartments upstairs which were managed by Art Leitch & Charles
Cazzalio.. The buildings present owner, Hugh Knoff's sister, Georgia, once
worked as an operator at the telephone office.
brick building was erected to replace earlier wooden structures that
in Truckee's frequent fires.
1890 to 1898, this was the location of
the "Last Chance Saloon."
operated by John Mazza. It
was given that name because it was the last saloon at the west end of
the street stands the newer brick Pacific Telephone Co. switching center
that won an award for architectural excellence. (built in the 1970s)
TAHOE TRUCKEE T-SHIRTORY -
10126 Donner Pass Road
FRASER & FRASER - 10124 Donner Pass Road
1898, this was the site of John Moody's Feed and Livery stables and later
the Old Bingham Corral. A new building was constructed by the Cazzalio
brothers, which was called the O.K. Restaurant & saloon and later
became Charlie Siegel's butcher shop before it burned to the ground. .
remained an empty lot for many years and later became the site of the
Donner Theater, built by Vern Shattuck,
which served the town of Truckee but it too burned to the ground on
December 24, 1960.
the time of the fire Jack Neugebauer owned the theater. There was an
apartment above the theater where the owners lived. The Neugebauers were
living in the apartment at the time. They escaped the flames but their two
dogs were lost in the fire.
MOLLY'S CUPBOARD -
10122 Donner Pass Road
Cupboard, owned by Colleen and Larry Robertson,
features fabulous and
unique gifts from around the world.
present building was extensively damaged by the propane explosion which
built as a saloon around 1880, it has withstood many of Truckee's
tenants of this building included Roy Feather’s barbershop, the offices
of the Truckee Sanitary District, and Jerry Zunino's shoe store.
At one time this was the location of the St. Louis Saloon operated
by the Cazzalio brothers. One evening, a disgruntled customer fired a
shotgun into the ceiling. The pattern of pellets is still visible in the
ceiling near the entrance.
was also the location of George Pace Sr.'s Alpine Saloon, which was sold
to J.W. McDonald on Sept. 17, 1914 for $500 complete with furnishings,
fixtures, liquors, cigars and tobacco. Everything went with the sale
except the cash register.
the time this building was constructed, there were as many as fifteen
saloons in town. Thus, this
building's original use helped contribute to the image of Truckee as the
regional center for working men's resorts.
THE PORTER-SIMON BUILDING -
10110 - 10120 Donner Pass Road
is downtown Truckee's newest building, which replaced the three story
brick Masonic Building, which was totally destroyed in a propane explosion
on November 30, 1993 which killed a worker and seriously injured
the owner of Josephine's Restaurant and his 4 - year old daughter.
The explosion also destroyed Wong's Garden Chinese Restaurant, next
door to Josephine's.
Masonic building was constructed in 1909 and the lower spaces once housed
the 19th century, this was
the location of Sisson,
Wallace & Co., general
mercantile store that burned to the ground in 1898.
Sisson, Wallace was a firm contracted by Charles Crocker to recruit
laborers from China to build the railroad. It later became Truckee’s
first mercantile store.
new building was tastefully redesigned and constructed to resemble the old
Some of the original bricks from the old Masonic Lodge were used in
the construction of the building and the brick arch on the second floor
traces the outline of the original design.
The present owners are Truckee attorneys Jim Porter and Jim Simon.
lower level now houses Sweets Handmade Candies, the Truckee Shoe
Company and St. Nick's Christmas Shoppe. Upstairs is the Dragonfly
restaurant, which provides outdoor dining overlooking downtown Truckee.
THE SIERRA TAVERN - 10112, 10114, 10116
Donner Pass Road
The original Sierra Tavern was located on the west side of Spring Street at the present site of the Pacific Telephone building. When that building burned in 1927, the structure was built by Tim O'Hanrahan who also owned the original Sierra Tavern.
was once the location of the law office of Truckee's famous citizen, C.F.
bottom floor later housed the
Bank of America, Loynd's Drug Store and was the hotel's lobby.
In 1928, there was an Owl Drug Store and a cafe on the street
of the movie crews and actors used Truckee as a mountain location for
and stayed at the original and new Sierra Tavern.
It is rumored that Jack London and actors Charles Chaplin and John
Wayne and Baby face Nelson were once guests of the
gifts from around the world. It was once the bar and lobby for the hotel.
The Village Shoppe features fashions and finishing touches.
This was the location of Loynd's Drug Store.
The White Buffalo sells authentic Native American art,
jewelry and gifts. This was the once the site of
Bank of America, managed by CB White.
1874 this was the location of Davis & Richmond Grocers who supplied
the town with fresh vegetables, fruits and groceries.
TOURIST CLUB - 10110 Donner Pass Road
GOODS - 10108 Donner Pass Road
- 10106 Donner Pass Road
brick buildings have been on Commercial Row for over one hundred
Tourist Club is a locals pub
established by John Firpo and currently
owned by Duncan Reed . It was
once a post office and before that the location served as a saloon and
And is a popular restaurant featuring hometown atmosphere and good
service. It was once the Rufus Gregory Pool Hall.
Before that it was August Sassarini's Grocery Store.
Between 1885 and 1898 it was a dry goods and clothing store owned
by W.M. Burckhalter who sold it to H.W. Wilmouth and F.M. Rutherford.
Sporting Goods is an old-fashioned soda fountain and sporting goods
store owned by Bud Owens until his death. He operated the store for over
40 years. For many years it was owned by Don and Pat Callahan.
Previously the location was an ice cream, candy and variety store
owned by Joe and Hazel Lewis, which also served as the town's bus depot.
Before that it was a saloon.
this building there used to be a second floor which was the office of the
town's dentist, Dr. George Kelly. The entire upper floor was burned in one
of Truckee's many fires. The lower portion of the building was saved.
THE TREEHOUSE - 10104 Donner Pass Road
two-story building was constructed in 1913 following a fire, which
destroyed the previous structure. Lindy
Kramer owns The Treehouse.
The prior occupant was a restaurant and saloon called Coburn's Station. Prior to that it was Sarge Reynold's (Sarge's) Coffee Shop and bar. The bar was in the front and the coffee shop in the back. Before that, it was Tony Polyanich's Coffee Shop and Saloon. In the 1800's the location was a drug store, a post office, a dry goods store and offices.
Upstairs was once the office of Dr. J.H. Bernard who was Truckee's only Physician for many years. For many years Dr. Affeldt, a dentist, practiced in the upstairs office currently occupied by R.W.R. Architecture.
CABONA'S - 10100
Donner Pass Road
10102 Donner pass Road
in 1918, Cabona's is the oldest retail establishment on Commercial
Row. It's founder, Dave Cabona, originally sold fishing tackle, appliances
and general merchandise.
It later evolved into the current clothing store and the building
was remodeled in a Victorian style. There
was an apartment upstairs where the Cabona family lived which today serves
as an office. It is still
owned and operated by members of the Cabona family.
eastern part of the store was once the Goodfellow's Coffee Shop (the
coffee cup is still imbedded in the sidewalk).
It was owned by Joe Zorich and later sold to Reg Smart who changed
its name to the Wagon Train, which is presently located east of
this location. The
western portion of the store was the original Dave Cabona's Fishing and
tackle store ran by Slim Ellert.. In
the 1800s it was a cigar store and news depot run by George W. Harrison.
Judge Smith had an office in the back.
building still has up to three feet of soil between the upper and lower
floors. This soil was
incorporated into the plans of many buildings on Commercial Row during the
last century so that if a fire struck any one building, the blaze would be
smothered when the building collapsed.
commemorative plaque is located in front of the building on which is
engraved “The 601,” the name given to Truckee’s vigilance committee,
established in 1871 in response to the crime and number of
“undesirables” that plagued the young railroad town.
PIANETA - 10096 Donner Pass Road
THE WILD HAIR - (upstairs)
is an fine Italian restaurant with a quaint atmosphere.
During the 19th century this was the Exchange Saloon and
later the Shamrock Saloon. In
the early 1930s it was a restaurant owned by George Carter who as
nicknamed “firecracker” because
of his hot temper. He was
known to throw plates at the hired help and even at his customers.
It was also once the M & E Laundromat owned by Sarge Reynolds.
1976 the floor was dug out for expansion.
Various artifacts were found, including a Chinese opium bottle,
leading to speculation that the basement was once an opium den.
The newly remodeled interior became a book and gift store called
Extravagaria, owned by Jerry Alexander.
In 1977 it became Ernie’s Bistro and later, The Left Bank before
many years the space now occupied was Truckee's post office.
In the early 30'sit was a restaurant owned by George Carter who was
nicknamed "firecracker." Before that it was the Shamrock Saloon.
It was also once a Laundromat owned by Sarge Reynolds. During the
1800s, it was mostly occupied as a saloon with living quarters upstairs.
THE PASTIME CLUB - 10092 Donner Pass Road
- (UPSTAIRS) 10094 Donner Pass Road
Pastime Club was established in 1890 and originally called "The
Louver Bar." It was built and owned by Charles Crocker of "The
Big Four" fame. Crocker sold it to a man named "Weed" (who
later founded the town of Weed,
Calif ) and in 1925 it was purchased
by Dick Joseph who also owned the "Bucket of Blood" Saloon once
located directly behind this building. During the 1960's, the Pastime Club
was owned by the father of 49er
quarterback, John Brodie.
prohibition years, the Pastime Club along with the Capitol Saloon was the
main bar in town. It once had iron doors in front and back which were
locked whenever the "pro-hi's" were in town.
Barber's, owned by John Curtis, is a popular traditional barbershop
favored by locals. The first
barber was Dick Joseph. The
use of this building has not changed much since 1925.
TOURIST LIQUORS - 10090 Donner Pass Road
traditional liquor store provides an excellent selection of fine wine.
in the 1890s following one of Truckee's many fires, this building was once
Gilt Edge Restaurant operated by Charlie Bender.
the 1800s the location was S.B. Weller's furniture store that burned to
TRUCKEE VARIETY - 10088 Donner Pass Road
building was previously the Truckee 5 & 10 Cent Store.
Before that, a Rexall
Store and before that, J.F. Greeley & Co. Books and Mercantile Store
and commonly called "The
Post Office Building."
was here that, in the 1930's, "Machine-Gun Kelly" got caught
shop-lifting and was thrown into the town's jail by Deputy Constable Frank
Titus but was freed on bail before anyone knew who he was.
of the town's early doctors and his brother, the Curless brothers,
a drug store at this location . Dr.
William Curless would often receive patients here during the 1890s.
The drug store remained for nearly forty years before being
replaced by a saloon.
Truckee Variety Store is a wonderful old-time variety store, which helps maintain
the small town character of Truckee.
THE COOKING GALLERY - 10084 Donner Pass
Cooking Gallery, is a distinctive cookware store. It has been tastefully
decorated blending the original brick walls with modern touches.
was once the of a variety store owned by the Richardson Brothers. It later
became Rossarini's Clothing Store called "The White Front," in
1911. After that it was the Toggery, which moved to the Truckee Tiffany's
location. It then became H.G. Loehr's & R.A.S.C.O. Hardware and then
the 1800s it was once a dry goods store and later and insurance office was
in the rear and the owners had begun to iron clad the building.
during the 1890s in Truckee were clad with iron panels and iron doors
location has continued to operate as a dry goods, hardware type of store
SMART'S WAGON TRAIN - 10080 Donner Pass
Smart purchased the Goodfellow's Grotto in 1947
which was then at the east end of the Cabona's building and changed
the name to Smart's Wagon Train in 1957 before moving the business
to it's present location. The restaurant is currently owned and operated
by his son, Brian Smart. This is a popular location among locals and
tourists and features good home style cooking.
location was previously The Stage Coach Cafe and before that, Brown's Cafe
and before that it was the Truckee Cafe owned by Lawrence Owens. The
location also once housed a barbershop in one corner.
its one hundred years as a commercial building, it once served as a saloon
and lunch counter.
THOMAS KINKAID -
10076 Donner Pass Road
in 1981, this store features original art and reproductions by renowned
artist, Thomas Kinkaid.
previously occupant was Truckee Tiffany’s and before that, The Toggery
owned by Jim & Margaret Walker which moved from the Robert's location,
this building was the location of numerous business establishments.
many years it operated as a grocery store run by Anne and Bob Tonini. The
1885 Sanborn map shows that this was once the location of the town's
mortuary, which may explain the ghosts!
THE CAPITOL BUILDING - 10072 Donner Pass
Capitol is the oldest building on Commercial Row.
It was built by William H. Hurd following the fire of 1868 and has
been in continuous use since 1870.
known as "Hurd's Saloon and Opera House," it was renamed
by Mr. Hurd in the 1900's. L.P. McKelvey who also built the Cal-Vada
Casino in Stateline, Nevada later owned it.
building has survived all of Truckee's major fires with minimal damage.
The large upstairs hall with its raised stage, became the town's central
and center for all the community's social events.
was in this hall that, in 1872, Truckee's first District Court was held.
It was also
here that the infamous "601") and
"Caucasian League" held their meetings.
The upstairs hall hosted many popular entertainers of the times
such as the Templeton Theatrical Group, The Georgia Minstrels, Piper's
Opera House Troupe of Virginia City and even served as a roller-skating
rink and a funeral parlor.
bar, which was downstairs, was the scene of many gunfights, the most
famous of which was the violent shootout in 1891 between two of Truckee's
constables, Jacob Teeter and James
Reed in which Teeter was killed.
1937 Humbert J Ciardella and his wife, Julia, operated a bar and
restaurant downstairs and offered various forms of gambling including
"Truckee Rummy." During the Hobart Mills days, this was a
popular hangout for loggers and wood choppers
and railroad maintenance workers.
was during this period that well known personalities such as H.G. Wells
Steinbeck frequented the bar located in the space now occupied by The
Pharmacy. Other customers
at the Capitol Saloon while in Truckee, filming were John Wayne, Douglas
Fairbanks, Buster Keaton, Norma Talmadge and Clark Gable.
Sculptures and Rossbach Glasforms, both, presently occupy the upstairs
hall featuring beautiful and creative art sculptures.
by many to be a monument to the memory of Truckee's Founders,
Capitol building seems to hold the aura of old Truckee with memories of
more than 120 years.
I.O.O.F. BUILDING - 10068 DONNER PASS ROAD
in 1871, this is the second oldest building on Commercial Row and is one
of the few buildings that withstood Truckee's many fires.
Ponderosa Delicatessen offers a fine supply of groceries and meats,
sandwiches, beer and wine.
upstairs hall serves Donner Lodge no. 162, I.O.O.F., established in 1869
and Naomi Rebekah Lodge no. 2 established
in 1870 which was the second lodge of its type for women in California.
The hall presently serves as a meeting place both the Oddfellows and the
downstairs portion once
housed Truckee's famous Marzen's Butcher Shop
supplied most of the town's fresh meat and poultry.
At one time this space was W.J. Shinn's Drug Store. It later became
the Red and White Grocery Store owned by Gene Barton. It was sold to Eldon
Tonini the early 1930s and called "Tonini's." When Eldon sold it
after WW II it became the Pondorosa Grocery. Doyle McGwinn had a meat
market in the back. It later become
the Pondorosa Deli.
REX HOTEL BUILDING - 10064 Donner Pass Road
JOANN’S STAINED GLASS & GALLERY
historic brick building was constructed over one hundred years ago and was
converted into a hotel in 1913 to respond to the demands of the time for
tourist accommodations. The
earliest known occupant was a grocery store owned by J.N. Durney.
prohibition years, the lower floor of the building was a speakeasy called
the “Silver Mirror” which sold Truckee’s finest bootleg whiskey for
a dollar a shot. Entrance to
the Silver Mirror was gained only after passage through thick electric
doors and examination through peepholes. The Silver Mirror featured
blackjack, poker games and slot machines.
Smith, the hotel owner, also ran a barbershop downstairs next to the
hotel's lobby and rented “steam heated” rooms upstairs.
Earlier, this location was known as the Kirk Inn, operated by Ben
occupants, including George Andrich's Restaurant, called
"George's" were located in this building.
1948, Karl and Betty Kielhofer opened The Toggery, a men’s clothing
store, downstairs. It was
sold to Marge and Jim Walker who later moved the business to 10076 Donner
SQUEEZE INN - 10060 Donner pass Road
TRUCKEE REALTY - 19958
Donner Pass Road
was the location of the town’s first bank, operated by Frank Burckhalter.
In 1869 a daring bank robbery attempt was thwarted by the heroic
action of bank employees and town citizens who resisted the robbers,
resulting in their capture by officer James Robinson.
1874 C.W. Young Jewelry Store occupied Truckee Realty’s location. It
later became the Gilt Edge Saloon, owned by Charlie Hope.
1895, there was a three-story building at this location containing a
meeting lodge on the second floor. There
was an indoor roller skating rink on the upper floor and a saloon at
street level. In later years,
the two upper floors became C. Marks Lodging House.
present commercial building dates back to 1913, which was built by Dan
& Tillie Smith following one of Truckee’s disastrous fires.
When they died, Karl Kielhofer inherited the building. In the 1940s
it housed Matthew’s Furniture. Judge
Fosten Wilson had a State Farm Insurance office at this location.
Then, Brown’s Coffee Shop and Duane’s Donut Shop occupied the
lower floors until a gas explosion demolished the interior.
Karl Kielhofer remodeled the inside after which it housed Donner
Trail Real Estate on both the east and west sides.
Later tenants included Tom’s Liquor Store; Dr. Marvin Swartz
Optometry; a barber shop and Truckee River Book & Tea.
in the 1970s, The Squeeze Inn is a very popular breakfast and lunch
restaurant in town, featuring 57 types of omelets. This was once the
location of The Louvre Saloon, one of Truckee’s old time watering holes.
BOB ROBERT'S JEWELERS - 10056 Donner Pass Road
THE APPLE CRATE - 10054
Donner Pass Road
Robert's Jewelers sells fine custom made jewelry inspired by the beauty
and serenity of the High Sierras. At one time this was the location of the
Eagle Saloon and the basement below, according to Mr. Roberts, may have
been a Chinese opium den.
present building was built following a fire in 1913 and is identical in
construction to the building to the West. During the 1970s the Sierra
occupied both sections.
the 1930s and 1940s, the Robert's location was George's Cafe and then
Ernie and Mary Delisle's "M & E Club."
THE TRUCKEE RIVER LLAMA RANCH - 10052
Donner Pass Road
Truckee River Llama Ranch features fine men and women's clothing.
previous occupant of this location was Truckee Mercantile, affectionately
known to locals as "The Truckee Merc, owned and operated by Tony and
Jeanne Pace and later Dennis Burrows and finally by Bill and Diana
Stephens before it closed in 1984.
the present structure was constructed in the 1890's, the Sherritt House
sat on this location. Following
the 1891 fire, which destroyed the hotel, this building was reconstructed
with rock and brick and became a grocery store and saloon.
The saloon was located in the basement & was owned by Lyon and
Goodwin and called "Benny's Gray Mule."
At least one man was killed in this saloon during a gunfight.
The store then became Truckee Mercantile, owned by W.F. Wilkie,
which also housed a theater featuring silent films.
Wilkie sold the store to Pace in1943 and in 1969 Pace sold the
business to Dennis Burrows who also purchased the building from Jim
O B'S BOARD - 10048-10050 Donner Pass Road
in 1969, O B's features excellent dining in a pleasing atmosphere
providing a good food and service.
1907 the business at 10050 was the site of the Tahoe Bakery.
The 10048 location was part of once part of Truckee Mercantile
when, in 1943, Tony Pace cut an opening between 10050 and 10052 to
establish a hardware store. Here he sold large appliances and hardware.
Subsequently, the location was sold to Dennis Burrows who sold it to O
one time the Sherritt House Hotel occupied this location.
The Sherritt House burned on December 23, 1891.
the 1930's the location was a restaurant known as the Roma Club which was
a speakeasy during
prohibition years. In the 1940's it was, again, a bakery.
The large iron oven doors can still be seen in the rear dining room
at the east end of the restaurant.
restaurant was remodeled with old barn boards by Al O’Brien an Zena
Krakowsky in 1968 that lends an "old time" atmosphere to the
EARTHSONGS - 10044 Donner Pass Road
sells unique gifts, tapestries and art.
the early part of this century, this was a saloon owned and operated by
Frank Zunino. Before that,
the saloon was Johnny Fay's "Fireproof
Saloon" which was known for selling "Woodpecker
Cigars" and "Enterprise Beer." Before that, it was William
McDougald's "Fountain Saloon."
to that, the location was part of the Sherritt House Hotel and the bottom
floor was used as a grocery and stationary store.
PACIFIC CREST BISTRO - 10042 Donner Pass
restaurant location was previously called Theresa’s Restaurant and
before that, Grey's Toll Station. Earlier,
it was the Reception Bar & Café, which included a barbershop.
The ornate carved back bar is very old and representative of those
which existed in many downtown saloons. The Bistro is open for breakfast,
lunch and dinner and provides good food in an old-time Truckee atmosphere.
At one time
was an ice cream and candy store owned by Maggie Ashton and ran by Frank
and Isabel Carson. Later, it was Tony’s Cocktail Lounge, ran by Tony
Polyanich; later owned by the Bretthauers, who also ran a restaurant next
in the 1800's, the location was a saloon that comprised a part of the
expanded Sherritt House. Prior
to that it was the location of Frank Ashton’s Saloon, which had a
rooming house upstairs.
BAR OF AMERICA - 10040 Donner Pass Road
the name implies, this building was previously the Bank of America
building until 1968.
to that, the location was Essie Polyanch's Restaurant and before that,
California Restaurant later owned by the Bretthauers.
Before that it was the California Restaurant owned by Joseph
Filipic and Antone Mahne. It also once served at a furniture store and bus
the fire of 1891, the Sherritt Brothers built a four-story Victorian hotel
on this site, which lasted until December 18, 1913 when it too burned to
the ground. For many years,
the hotel tower was a Truckee landmark.
Bar of America is a very popular sports bar and grille which holds the aura and a throwback to Truckee’s wild-west saloons. It is popular among locals and tourists. Prior to 1891 early photos show a stove and tin-ware shop at this location.
Truckee - Donner Historical Society
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