Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Mysterious Conflagration!

Samuel Langhorne Clemens
Lake Valley’s majestic Conifers took a terrible beating during the 1860s.  Much of Tahoe’s previously virgin forests fell to the ax as the railroad’s voracious appetite for timber continued, and Nevada’s Comstock Lode poured incalculable board footage toward shoring up the labyrinth of tunnels which honeycombed the mineral rich deposits beneath Virginia City. Numerous logging camps gnawed hungrily at Tahoe’s ancient groves, and, encouraged by lucrative government contracts, numerous get-rich-quick enthusiasts tried their own hand at cashing in on the area’s plentiful woodlands.  Forest fires became increasingly a concern.  One such blaze began at water’s edge, and blackened considerable acreage before eventually burning itself out.  Although arson was at first suspected, the actual cause of the mysterious conflagration remained unknown for some time.  It was eventually learned that the destructive blaze was began quite accidentally by the poorly supervised campfire of an itinerant newspaper correspondent by the name of Sam Clemens.  Mr. Clemens’s notoriety would only proliferate as his own fame was fanned. OBIE’S QUEST    

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