High Mountain Gardening

When gardening is an addiction, no expanse of perfectly-manicured green lawn is ever large enough. Yet another reason for expanding the greenbelt:  fresh edges for new flower beds.

The organized gardener’s dream.

As you can see, projects like this call for certain must-have gardening equipment. A mini-tiller to make short work of digging trenches. A handy roll-around metal tool tray to keep those sprinkler parts organized and at waist height (no bending over). A quad, of course (doesn’t every high mountain garden need one?) with its own dump-style trailer to haul away the rocks.

How many tools does it take to add a sprinkler run?

Soon we will have yet another beautiful swath of emerald-green lawn, edged in glorious flowers.

Thank heavens for the ride-on lawnmower.

Silver Lake Hotel

Chronicle, June 16, 1866

The ad announcing the opening of the Silver Lake Hotel in June, 1866 spared no adjectives. The air was “pure,” the scenery “delightful,” the lake itself “bottomless” and “abounding with delicious trout.” And if “sweltering mortals” from Sacramento and San Joaquin needed further inducement to travel the Amador Road for a visit, the proprietors urged them to escape in “these Cholera times!”

The Hotel’s proprietors, Hampton P. Wade and Samuel W. Evans, promised “strict attention to the wants and comfort of guests.” Nightly dancing parties were planned, with lessons given during the day for those desiring to brush up on the “latest styles of dancing.” Music would be provided by Messrs. Church, Jones and Busan, engaged for the entire season. Other amusements included hunting for petrified wood and shells (never mind that shells were probably not very abundant). And on the dinner table for every meal: fresh trout.

Visitors who planned to camp out were cautioned, however, to “bring tents with them,” as the earlier practice of cutting brush or perhaps felling a few trees to build a camping shelter would now be strictly prohibited.

Vacationing at Silver Lake was still going strong a decade later. In July, 1876 one party of happy fishermen made the news for reportedly pulling 1,400 fish from Silver Lake in less than 12 hours.

As for the hotel itself, photos show it survived into the early 1900s, although slightly the worse for wear.

Silver Lake Hotel, circa 1875. Courtesy of Amador Co. Archives.
Silver Lake Hotel in 1901. Courtesy of Amador Co. Archives.