In 1926 wealthy San Francisco real estate developer Robert Sherman convinced his business partners Spencer Grant and Harry Comstock to buy up all the land they could on the Nevada side of the North Lake Tahoe Stateline while land was selling between $1 and $5 an acre.
By the end of that year the first Cal Neva cabin was built, a log-cabin structure designed to resemble a lodge in a Broadway play and 1925 silent film called “Lightnin’.”
Once gambling came to the Cal Neva in 1928 the property’s state-line status became a benefit for gambling. If county sheriffs were to raid the lake from either the California or Nevada side, guests would simply move to whichever side of the room was safe.
The original Cal Neva Lodge burned to the ground on May 17, 1937 and was rebuilt in just over thirty days by Norman Biltz and Adler Larson, both early Tahoe pioneers and developers. Over 500 men were employed to work around the clock to finish the new building which is seen today in the Indian Room, Circle Bar and main Casino area.
The Cal Neva Resort. Spa & Casino earned the nickname "Lady of the Lake," weathering heavy snowfalls and the remodeling of a succession of owners including serious gamblers with names like "Pretty Boy," "Bones," and "Baby Face" during the 1940's and 1950's. During the Frank Sinatra ownership years of 1960 to 1963, along with his associates "Wingy" and "Skinny,"
|Monroe and Sinatra together at the Cal-Neva in happier days|
There are beneath the guest lodges now disused tunnels where Monroe and Sinatra could move around freely without drawing interest from the Press.
It is also rumoured that the site occupies a former native American burial ground, and perhaps because of that the complex is riddled with ghost stories.
Marilyn Monroe officially died at her home in Helena Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles from a drugs overdose on 5th August 1962, and the previous weekend she had stayed at her cabin in Cal Neva.
It is rumoured that she had actually taken the fatal drug overdose there and was secretly spirited away to her home by aides using the underground tunnels and then flying her from a private airfield nearby whereupon she later passed away at her Brentwood home.
The reason suggested for this secrecy was to avoid the negative publicity the resort would have endured if her death was recorded there - let alone the alleged abuse of drugs.
It was also suggested thar the late President John F Kennedy may have met her there for secret trysts whilst in office, but this and the other stories are just that, as they cannot be verified.
But regardless they add to the mystique and tragedy that has always trailed behind this
repeatedly changed ownership resort.
Today it is alleged that both Sinatra and Monroe haunt the Cal Neva and that both have been seen walking the lakeside together.
It is also rumoured that Monroe has been heard singing, and that she has been repeatedly seen swimming in the private pool too.
Here is a video uploaded by a group called `Seaside Paranormal` who had carried out an investigation there and had uploaded an interesting video of a weird experience late last year.
I`ve seen some of their videos previously, and believe them to be honest in their work.
In fact I`ve shared some of them on this blog.
Although I accept I wasn`t there, I personally believe this video to be an honest capture of a lady singing in an underground tunnel that previously connected to Monroe`s cabin. But whether that is Monroe is another issue entirely.
The team are oblivious to the voice as you can see and hear below.
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