18 Jul 2016
The neighborhood of Pineland sits three miles south of Tahoe City on the west shore. It began when Bert Anderson purchased 135 acres of land along Ward Creek from Fred Kilner in the early 1940s. Anderson then built six homes in 1946 and called them Wonder Homes. They were constructed of pecky cedar, one of the few building materials he could find right after WWII, and he made the roof shingles himself. Anderson would prefabricate parts of the houses in the winter so he could put them together in just a few weeks in the summer.
Although he never made it past eighth grade, Bert Anderson was his own architect, engineer, excavator, road builder, mason and carpenter according to his son Gary Anderson, who still lives at Lake Tahoe. Bert was also a believer in putting kids to work at an early age. Gary started driving when he was 8, and by the age of 12, he was big enough to start driving a tractor, a dump truck and cement mixer and was sent to work building the roads for the development.
Bert built what he called the Pineland Bowl at the edge of the subdivision in the early 1950s, designed to be a place for folks in the neighborhood to get together. It had log benches, a firepit, and a small building enclosing a piano, used by Bert’s sister to give regular concerts in the bowl. Bert also organized a Labor Day extravaganza with singing, card games, and a competition to see who could use magnets to fish out the most tin cans from Fanny Bridge.
Pineland contains dozens of his pecky cedar homes now known affectionately by many as “Bert Anderson’s.” They were designed just for summer use, as back then most folks were not interested in being here in the winter. Most have since been converted to year round homes, and many have undergone major renovations and expansion.
While developing Pineland, Anderson set aside several public walkways to Ward Creek so anyone could fish and walk along the creek. These still exist and provide access to all to enjoy the peaceful sound of the water. A parcel of land that Kilner didn’t sell to Anderson later became Kilner Park, which has tennis and pickleball courts, basketball court, restrooms and a playground. Just across the creek from Pineland is Ward Creek State Park, which has an easy network of trails near the creek and through a meadow. Just down the road is Sunnyside, with three restaurants, the West Shore Market and the William Kent public beach.
For more information about Bert and Gary Anderson read this article I wrote for Moonshine Ink.