The Tea House, Fannette Island, Lake Tahoe 9-10
(1 in a multiple picture album)
If you look at the top of the rock pile on Fannette Island (on Lake Tahoe) you will see a little structure. This is called the Tea House.
Fannette Island is the only island on Lake Tahoe. It lies within Emerald Bay, on the California side of the lake. Over a long period of time, it was called many different names, including Coquette, Fanette, Baranoff, Dead Man's, Hermit's, and Emerald Isle. Fannette Island is a part of Emerald Bay State Park. The island has an intriguing history.
The ruins of a small stone building stand on the island. This ruin is the "Tea House", constructed by Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight, the owner of Vikingsholm, a mansion out of view behind the island. She would float her guests out for an afternoon tea. But the previous owner was far more interesting.
Fannette Island was the home of Captain Dick "Them's my Toes" Barter from 1863 to 1873. The eccentric captain had moved from England and built his own tomb and chapel on the island. He enjoyed sailing but almost died when caught in a sudden storm rowing back to the island. He survived by tying himself to his dinghy and riding out the storm. Unfortunately he got frostbite in two toes and earned his nickname from his penchant of showing his self-amputated toes to guests. Ironically, he was never interred in the chapel (the Tea House)
he built, as he was lost in a storm off Rubicon Point in 1873.