Withers Log House
Aka Withers Log Cabin
Washoe County, NV
The Withers Log Home, built c. 1931, was originally a rustic vacation home that now serves as a year-round residence in the North Lake Tahoe community of Crystal Bay, Nevada. It is situated on a steep hillside overlooking Lake Tahoe. The house is constructed of logs, with wood shingles cladding the framed gable ends, and unpeeled (bark-covered) half logs shirting covering the post and beam footing. The logs are slightly squared and do not cross in a conventional manner; instead, where alternate layers cross the space is filled with a log that butts up to the crossing log. The roof is clad in composition shingles, cut to a semi-octagonal decorative pattern. The window fenestration is typically grouped six-light wood casement. The original windows have been replaced with new windows that are accurate reproductions of the originals.
The house is set in a highly natural setting, surrounded by mature first- and second-growth pine and fir trees, and large granite boulders. Landscaping is minimal, comprised mainly of small landscaped terraces above the house; a small watercourse splashes diminutive waterfalls down the slope above the house in summer months.
The Withers home is both architecturally and historically significant. It is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under criterion C as an excellent example of the rustic tradition at Lake Tahoe. The house is a modest, but well-designed and beautifully detailed log vacation home. It is also eligible under criterion A, as one of the first such homes in the Crystal Bay Corporation's subdivision, a key factor in the growth of tourism on Lake Tahoe's north shore.
The Withers Home retains its integrity of location, setting, design, workmanship, materials, feeling, and association. Sited in one of the few areas in the Crystal Bay/Incline areas of North Lake Tahoe that was not clear-cut to feed the mining and building needs of the Comstock, the house is still surrounded by first and second-growth native timber and granite rocks. Both the exterior and the interior retain the original design details mat make the home architecturally unique and significant. Neither an estate home nor a cabin of humble proportions, the house is a modest but well-designed and beautifully detailed log vacation home, and reflects the growing practice of the period that saw wealthy urbanites seek refuge in scenic recreational areas in their own homes rather than resort hotels. The Withers Home also appears eligible under criterion A as one of the first such homes in the Crystal Bay Corporation's subdivision, a key factor-together with its developer, Norman Biltz in the growth of tourism in Nevada on Lake Tahoe's north shore.