Emerald Bay island
Captain Richard "Dick" Barter found his way to Lake Tahoe in the 1860s. Barter spent the long winters in Emerald Bay as the sole caretake of a summer villa owned by Ben Holladay, Jr. Originally an English sailor, Barter was known to row all the way to Tahoe City to visit the saloons. One such trip in 1870 nearly killed him. While rowing home, his small dinghy capsized in a sudden winter storm. The 65-year-old sailor tied himself to the dinghy and rode out the storm. AFterward, Barter is said to have amputated two of his frostbitten toes with his carving knife and saved the toes to show visitors. The near death experience prompted Barter to select Fannette Island as his final resting place. He excavated a tomb on the island's summit and erected a small chapel over it. Despite his preparations, Barter never made it to the tomb. While rowing home one night in 1873, his dinghy was caught in a wild storm. This time, his dinghy flipped and his body was never recovered.