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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
November 20, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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November 20, 1997

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Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, November 20, 1997 17 , i Gazette on the street... Describe your most memorable Thanksgiving. Pahrump Pahrump Pahrump Pahrump I 0 I I I I I I I i i I OIS GODSMAN -- APRIL ROBERTSON - Prep TODD ARMS--Unemployed- LEROY CHITTY - Retired ddad ........ Homemaker -- "When a[l the cook- 'The year my gran Justspendmgltwlthmyfamily. slot technician .- "It was totally family was together in New York came out from Pahrump to Texas uneventful.Wedon'thaveturkey, years ago. About 15 kids and 20 andbarbequedthemrkey." wehavelasagnabecausemywife at my house amt Mom came from adults. We had a full basement , is Italian. Our family is se.attered, the nursing home for the day," and so we set up everything there." so we don't get together. Compiled by PVG staff photo'aphers I I J i ! i, i Nevae a-then alt,cl now Bill Boyle: Lake Tahoe fishing legend by Phillip 1. Earl Nevada Historical Society ust off the Pacific Rim Trail north of Tahoe City, J California, stands a large white cross marking the final resting place of Bill Boyle, Lake Tahoe fishing legend. Like many Westem- ers a century ago, he talked little about his past and his friends asked no questions. He once spoke of his old home in Georgia, however, and his accent and courtly manner reflected his south- ern origins. He also talked of his early years as a merchant seaman and of visiting many foreign ports over the years, but little else. About 1896, Boyle showed up in Wadsworth, Nevada, where he took a position as a maintenance carpenter for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Two years later, he moved on to Tahoe City where he established a boat shop and built a small cabin near the Truckee River outlet. Over the next several years, he built and repaired boats, took visitors on fish- ing excursions and himself, fished the lake. He preferred fighting game fish- rainbow trout, steelheads, golden eastern brook trout and Lochieven - and opposed the introduction of the sluggish Mackinaw, often referring to them as "Lake Michigan Sharks." His favorite spot was Rubicon Point off the west shore, and he often abandoned his boat business when the fishing was good. An intelligent, scholarly sort, although self-educated, he I II III I Bill Boyle's grave overlooking Tahoe City and Lake Tahoe photo courtesy of PhiUip L Earl loved literature, particularly sea stories, and tried putting pen to paper himself from time to time. He also became fast friends with the youngsters of Tahoe City, introducing them to the joys of angling, and got to know the Washoe Indians during their seasonal visits. His dry sense of humor and his fondness for the bottle endeared him to other locals who hung out at the Customs House wharf, but a bout of pneu- monia in the spring of 1911 kept him confined to his cabin for several months. Two friends, Sarah and Bob Watson, nursed him back to health, but he never felt entirely well there- after, complaining of stomach trouble. He had taken to hiking up the mountain north of town where he would sit for hours watching the boat traffic off Tahoe City. When he was fi- nally induced to submit to a medical examination, he was diagnosed with terminal stom- ach cancer. Toward the last, he told his friends that he would like to be buried on the crest of the mountain so his spirit could watch the schools ofnativetrout which came up the Truckee each summer. He departed this realm on February 3,1912. The next morning, seventeen of his friends met at the Customs House to remember him and have a few drinks. Several hours later, they placed his coffin on a large toboggan sled and dragged it five hundred feet up the mountain. Digging through six feet of snow, they hacked a grave in the frozen earth and laid him away. In August 1913, Bob Montgomery and his sons cut a native cedar III I III and fashioned it into a cross. With a flatbed wagon pulled by a team of horses, they hauled it up Beartrap Road to the grave-site, placing it at the head of the grave where citizens of Tahee City could view it. A few weeks later, Bert Watson whitewashed it. For many years, Tahoe City children made Easter pilgrimages to place flowers on Bill Boyle's grave, but the tradition has gone the way of many and the cross today appears to entirely abandoned. Bill Boyle has not been forgotten, however, and Ethel Joslin Vernon celebrated his life in verse a few years ago: "The White Cross on the Hill" The great trees crest the ridge pine-green; The lake lies wide and blue below, And on the brush-clad slope between White, fragrant lilies grow. Tall, snow-white lilies stand and look To where the cross gleams white and still; They mark the toilsome way they took Who bore him up the hill. Unknown to wealth, unknown to fame Was he they laid to quiet rest; They hewed a cross without a name Above his lifeless breast, But it is said he loved to roam The winding trails, the hilltop ways And river woods that hid his home Through all his lonely days. And when at last death whispered near, And black shades gathered grim and still, He breathed the wish long treasured dear, To sleep upon the hill. Thus, through the snow one wintry .day They bore aloft His box of pine, And where it rested on the way White, fragrant lilies shine. I