About Gatekeepers Museum:
The Gatekeeper’s Museum is a reconstruction of the original Gatekeeper’s Cabin – home of the water master who controlled the flow of water out of Lake Tahoe. It now showcases Tahoe history, from its Native inhabitants through the logging era and the establishment of the tourism industry at Lake Tahoe. Exhibits include Native American baskets, resort memorabilia, historical photographs, clothing, oral histories, maps, archival documents, newspapers and artifacts.
About Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum:
The Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum was added to the Gatekeeper’s Museum in 1992, after the collection was donated to NLTHS. Marion Steinbach pursued a wide variety of interests throughout her lifetime, and loved anything that had to do with nature—the study of which inspired her collections.
Throughout Marion’s lifetime, she amassed a world-class collection of over 800 utilitarian and fine baskets from 85 tribes throughout California and western North America. In addition to collecting baskets, Marion also collected Native clothing, jewelry, tools and pottery. Pottery from Maria Martinez is featured in the collection.
Desire for knowledge about the art of basket weaving sent Marion looking for the few Indian women who were weaving fine baskets using traditional methods. Trips to remote areas frequently led to an afternoon sitting under a big shady oak tree, visiting with a weaver. Marion cultivated relationships with these women, and would sit with her notebook and pencil, taking meticulous notes, trying to learn as much as she could about this art. Her fear was that one day, these older women of great skill would be gone and fine basket making would become a lost art. Sharing her knowledge by teaching basket weaving classes, talking with others and showing her baskets gave Marion much pleasure.
Along with her collection were extensive notes about basketry techniques and records of where, when and how much she originally paid for each basket. The collection was her treasure that she wanted to share with others. Her wish was that the baskets remain together as a single collection, and that all of them would be on display at the same time. After her passing, the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society received the collection from Marion’s family, and helped to realize Marion’s dream with the construction of the Steinbach Indian Basket Museum to house her collection.