The Historical Haunted Tour is an entertaining fundraising event that celebrates town history with a fun and spooky twist. During the walking tour, residents and visitors are guided to interesting sites where they hear engaging tales performed by talented singers and performers. The tour, scripted by the event beneficiaries Trails and Vistas and the Truckee Donner Historical Society skillfully weaves together previously untold stories from the past with dramatic and funny twists.
“The Historical Haunted Walking Tour has been successful in bringing together two organizations with completely different missions and molding their goals and philosophies into a wonderfully entertaining program that brings Truckee’s sensational historical headlines
together with arts and culture to create an event that has people coming back year-after-year,” explains Chelsea Walterscheid, President of the Truckee Donner Historical Society. She adds, “The money raised helps with our on-going preservation efforts.”
Trails and Vistas founder Nancy Tieken Lopez echoes Walterscheid’s sentiment, “The tour offers a creative peek into Truckee’s rich historical past. Proceeds support our mission to create the region’s only art-hike, an exquisite experience that takes places in nature
The Historical Haunted Tour began as a three-year experiment by Sunshine Tahoe to build support for the two nonprofit organizations as well as provide an economic boost to historic Truckee. In 2009, 70 tickets were available. The tour sold out three weeks in advance. One
hundred and forty tickets were offered the next year, and once again the tour sold out weeks in advance. In 2011, all hands were on deck, every resource was stretched to the max, and more than 290 tickets were sold and there was a 60 person waitlist. More than $6,000 in
donated raffle items from The Richardson House, River Street Inn, Squeeze
In, KidZone Museum, The Pour House, Mark McLaughlin – The Storm King, Scraps Truckee, Dorinda’s Cafe and Johnstone Studios significantly contributed to the 2011 fundraising effort and provided exposure for local businesses.
Stefanie Olivieri, owner of Cabona’s, the oldest retail store in historic downtown Truckee, said, “It was a great experience personally and a good opportunity for our business. Lots of people came in after the tour and told us how much they enjoyed learning the history of our
business.” Olivieri confirmed that the event brought shoppers to her business. Additional sites included Tourist Club, International Order of Odd Fellows and Masonic Hall, Train Depot and Art Obsessions at Truckee Mercantile.
Over 60 community volunteers make the tour possible. “Even our most gracious thanks would not be enough to show them our appreciation to help promote the dying art of oral history to help promote historic preservation, local arts, dance and land stewardship,” explained
Event organizer Christina Stoever-Young of Sunshine Tahoe attributes much of the tour’s success to the collaborating nonprofit organizations and incredible talent and dedication offered by all of the volunteers including performers and tour leaders. “We captivate a
crowd and tell them stories in a way they can hardly forget,” she says.
Attendee Mary Taitano, a Reno resident, shares, “I’ve never thought of Truckee as a historical exclamation point. However, the tour was enlightening, engaging and entertaining. Who knew Truckee had as sordid a past as the rest of us!? This quaint little town harbors
stories and family histories that would widen even the most unenthused eyes.”
Volunteers, donors and attendees are encouraged to save the dates for the next tour: Thursday, October 18 and Friday, 19, 2012. Tickets will go on sale in August.