George’s Gateway Club at Lake Tahoe

This has always been one of my favorite photos of George’s Gateway Club because it sets the time in casino history so well. The cars show their age, and the simple fact that you could park right next to the building is significant to me. The early ’50s presented a simpler way of life – and gaming too. Inside the club, there was one bar, one restaurant, one craps game, one roulette table, five 21 tables, and less than 100 slot machines.

You can probably also see that the building itself is actually a converted Quonset hut. Strangely enough, George Sam Canon, who owned a bar and dance hall in Colfax, California called …(drum roll please) the Quonset Club, decided during the winter of 1948 to dismantle the hut piece by piece, pack it up, and haul it to South Shore Lake Tahoe on a couple flatbed trucks.

He and his partners rebuilt the club with those huge signs proclaiming the casino to be George’s, but he actually only held a 50% interest. Nonetheless, George was certainly the boss. By 1950 the club had 60 employees, including several family members like George’s wife Anna and their daughter, Barbara Anne, who according to friend Steve Passalacqua, actually stripped the bark off the wooden log beams used in the rustic dining room with a draw knife. Although under 21, she also made change for slot players, paid jackpots, worked in the cage, and became a dealer when she did turn 21.

Selling the Gateway

The Gateway was a summer business, but George Canon tried hard to make Lake Tahoe a year-round resort. When he sold the Gateway to Bill Harrah in 1955, he and his partners started the Heavenly Valley ski resort. After selling his share of the business in 1960, George operated George and Tex’s Gateway club in Jackpot, Nevada until it burned. Afterward, it was rebuilt as Diamond Jim’s.

Back at the lake, Bill Harrah also rebuilt, first turning the Gateway into Harrah’s Lake Club before switching sides of the highway with Harvey Gross (Harvey’s Casino) and opening Harrah’s Lake Tahoe – eventually building the high rise hotel in 1973. Lake Tahoe had some of the greatest casinos in Nevada – and they are still going strong!

Thanks for reading – Al W Moe

9 thoughts on “George’s Gateway Club at Lake Tahoe

Add yours

  1. George Canon and his partner in the Gateway (and at Heavenly Valley), Curly Musso, both had gambling operations on lower Georgia St. in Vallejo prior to moving to Tahoe. Their joints in Vallejo faced each other across Georgia St.


  2. George and Anna Canon were my grandparents. Barbara was my mother. Carol, not mentioned, is my aunt. My mother’s sister. George was part of building the Tahoe airport, Anna was involved in the community. I still have photos of George cutting down the first tree for Heavenly Valley Ski Resort. George and Anna are buried in Lake Tahoe with other family members.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for mentioning your family. That’ great to hear about! You probably have lots of great photos and stories. Any time you want to share, I’d be happy to add to this historical collection I present.


  3. I live in the house in Al Tahoe that was built by George Canon iin the mid-late 1940s, and “Canons Live Here” is inscribed in the cement porch by my my back entry. The identical paneling in the old section of the Sage Room is in the formal dining room of my house. According to the historian for Harvey’s,, the paneling for the Sage room as specially milled in England. It is thought that there was leftover paneling that Canon used for the homes dining room.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

Arizona Beauty World

Beauty Tips - Trends - Jobs - Schools

An Author's Journey

The World of Author Al W Moe

Joynell Schultz, Author

A Touch of Magic and a Dash of Romance

"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples" -Mother Teresa

Francis H Powell author

Flight of Destiny book

Yellow, Green, and Read All Over

(A Girl and Her Room Full of BOOKS!)


Fiction reviews, Bookblogger, Fiction book reviews, books, crime fiction, author interviews, mystery series, cover, love, bookish thoughts...


A lovers review of everything books. Come for the reviews, stay for the pictures!

Where Working Authors Learn to Earn

Good Books . Writing . Marketing

%d bloggers like this: