Snowshoe Thompson Hope Valley Conference topic

Snowshoe Thompson will be the subject of a history conference on Saturday.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — “Mailman of the Sierra” Snowshoe Thompson is the subject of a living history presentation in Hope Valley on Sunday.

“Thompson hauled mail through the winter snows of the Sierra Nevada for 20 years,” said historian David Woodruff. “He would cover the 180 miles round trip in just five days on his hand-built snow skates (skis) with nothing more than a jacket, some jerky, matches and his 80-pound courier bag. “

Thompson is credited with carrying the type for territorial enterprise when first published in Genoa.

His death on May 16, 1876 at age 49 was reported in the May 19, 1876 edition of The Carson Valley News.

“His great physical power, speed, endurance, and punctuality in this style of travel long made his name renowned, and his nickname, ‘Snow-shoe Thompson had become as familiar to the inhabitants of the coast as a household word” , The News reported.

A large procession of friends in carriages and on horseback accompanied the arrival of his remains from his Diamond Valley Ranch in Alpine County.

“Many of our fellow citizens went up the valley and met the procession.”

A statue of Snowshoe Thompson stands in Mormon Station State Historic Park in Genoa.

Woodruff’s presentation will take place Sunday noon inside the heated tent at the Wylder Hotel Hope Valley.

The program is free and open to the public. Call Woodruff at 760-920-8061 for more information.

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