Historic Sites and Points of Interest in Douglas County

Snowshoe Thompson Gravesite in Genoa 2 March 2016
(Click Photo to Zoom)
Snowshoe Thompson Gravesite
2432 Jacks Valley Road
Born 1827
Died 1878

Snowshoe Thompson is commemorated by three markers on his gravesite. The oldest dates back to the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, California.

As a tribute to a great compatriot from Telemark, this plaque was presented by the Norwegian Olympic Ski Team competing at Squaw Valley in February 1960

Dedicated to John A. "Snow-Shoe" Thom(p)son

Born April 30, 1827, in Tinn (Atra), Telemark, Norway. Died May 15, 1878 near Woodfords, Calif. A man made immortal for his unbelievable treks through the most severe storms of the Sierra to bring the mail to pioneers of western Nevada. He was never paid for this hazardous service.

Oct. 26, 1963
E Clampus Vitus
Re-dedicated on September 18, 1976 at the chartering of the Snow-Shoe Thomson Chapter No. 1827 & the Centennial of his untimely death. An officially sanctioned Bi-Centennial event.

We Salute John "Snowshoe" Thompson

On his homemade snowshoes John carried the mail and supplies over the snowy Sierras for 20 winters. As he traveled, he saved the lives of seven people who were snowbound in mountain cabins. In 1866, after this tall Norwegian became an American citizen, he homesteaded a 160 acre ranch in Diamond Valley. Respected by all who knew him, John was elected to the Alpine County Board of Supervisors.

A Tribute from Three Lutheran Churches

ATRAA Lutheran Church in Telemark, Norway, -- where John was baptised, and the two Wisconsin churches where John worshipped with his family: historic Old Muskego Lutheran Church and Springdale Lutheran Church in Mt. Horeb. Then Snowshoe joined the rush to California. Though he found no gold, Snowshoe Thompson became famous as the "mailman of the Sierras who brought skiing to the West."

From Fellow Lutherans of America and Scandinavia

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