Tahoe Maritime Museum and Tahoe Tree Company announce purchase agreement

Plans for a Tahoe Maritime Museum campus, encompassing exhibition galleries, offices and collection storage, are on the way to becoming a reality with the joint announcement by the Museum’s Board of Directors and Tahoe Tree Company owners, John and Leslie Hyche, of the purchase of the nursery company’s 10-acre property at 401 West Lake Blvd., Tahoe City.

With the real estate closing slated for early fall, the Museum will move in October from its Homewood facility to Tahoe Tree’s two-story log structure at the corner of Hwy. 89 and Granlibakken Rd. For this summer, it will be “business as usual” for Tahoe Tree Company which will be operating at full capacity and for the Museum which will open its 2015 exhibit, “Racing Tahoe: Post World War II Powerboats,” on Friday, June 5, at the present Homewood facility.

This move marks an exciting new phase for Tahoe Maritime Museum, which was founded in 1987 and began as a small seasonal display in Sugar Pine Point State Park in the late 1990s. Now the 501(c)(3) non-profit envisions the establishment of a museum campus including historical and art exhibition galleries, classroom and community meeting spaces, a boat restoration building, and collection storage facility with a small library.

“Years ago this would have seemed impossible,” stated Dave Olson, Tahoe Maritime Museum board president. “We never thought we’d have the opportunity to acquire such a beautiful property and build a museum campus. We are excited for both the Museum and the North Lake Tahoe community.”

The grounds will also provide space for outdoor classes, events, and facility rentals. The North Lake Tahoe community already has a history of holding community events at Tahoe Tree Company, such as concerts for the Lake Tahoe Music Festival, and the hope is that those types of events will continue and grow when it becomes the Museum, according to Olson.

The move and subsequent building project will ultimately allow Tahoe Maritime Museum to have its entire organization on one site. Facilities are now split with the Museum offices and gallery in Homewood and a leased warehouse in Reno that stores all of the Museum’s artifacts, including more than 30 vessels in the collection. Meanwhile, the Museum will continue to operate out of the Tahoe Tree building which is similar in size and layout to the 5,500 sq, ft. Homewood building while completing the strategic site plan and launching the campaign for the new capital project.

The Museum has also worked out an agreement with Tahoe Tree Company to keep the nursery business on site, utilizing a smaller portion of the property. Owners John and Leslie Hyche have wanted to downsize, but still keep a vibrant and viable nursery. “A smaller nursery will be fun and challenging, but we are confident its own unique charm and personality will come through,” said John.

Tahoe Tree Company was founded by Leslie’s father, Dave McBride, in 1954 and is one of the older family-run businesses in the area. “We know the Tahoe Maritime Museum will provide an incredible facility and operation. What thrills us the most is knowing the Museum will provide a wonderful stewardship for this property.”

– Tahoe Maritime Museum

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