Thunderbird Lake Tahoe
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Incline Village Begins

George Whittell and his lionGeorge Whittell seized an opportunity to purchase the land that later became Incline Village in 1935 from the lumber companies. This extensive landholding included 40,000 acres of land on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe and 27 miles of shoreline. It began at the California Nevada border and extended all the way to Zephyr Cove on the South shore of the lake.

On his property on the north end of the lake in Washoe County, George Whittell frequently sold parcels of land to private owners for commercial and residential development. These transactions included sales of parcels from only a fraction of an acre to nine thousand acres. The culmination of this activity was the sale of a parcel for the construction of a new town at Incline Village.

Beginning in 1938, Whittell began selling small parcels of property along the northern shoreline of the lake. Continuing until 1959, Whittell made over sixty transactions selling lakefront lots along the former route of Highway 28, the current route of Lakeshore Boulevard. Most of the buyers were individuals who built lakeside homes, but a few corporations were among the buyers and had lots located between the residential lots.

Incline BeachIn response to the growing trend of large-scale commercial and residential development in the basin starting in the mid-1950’s, George Whittell sold nine thousand acres for $5 million to an investment company in 1959. This group of investors from Oklahoma, Kansas, and Hawaii sold the land to the Crystal Bay Development Company the next year for a 500 percent profit. The land was developed as the new town of Incline Village, located near the Incline tramline that had operated in the area during the Bonanza-mining days of the Comstock Lode.

In 1960, the developers subdivided the parcel into 1700 lots. By 1968, over three thousand homes had been built in Incline Village. The Incline Village sale, more than any other transaction made by Whittell, directly contributed to the development boom that occurred at the lake after 1955.