History of Marla Bay

In the spring of 1864 a native Englishman named John Marley pre-empted 160 acres surrounding the bay where he built a log cabin. On a small spread of land to the west he raised timothy hay, scythe-cut his crop and baled it with a crude hand press. Marley also planted potatoes and other vegetables and sold them to travelers passing through. Marley bore the dubious distinction of being listed on the first tax rolls of Douglas County, with a personal property valuation of $25. On November 19, 1870, Captain Augustus W. Pray of Glenbrook bought Marley’s ranch for $407.10 in back taxes. Although an account of this pioneer’s life after he left the bay is lost to history, John Marley’s name remains on the cove and was shortened over the years to Marla. Pray cleared the choice timber and then sold the land to William McFaul who moved his family from Zephyr Cove in 1884. In 1890, Joe Short of Carson City took over the McFaul Ranch until 1893 when the McFaul’s returned to partake in wood brokering and ranching. In 1912, McFaul died and the ranch was purchased by the Cogel family. In 1922, builder of the Devaux automobile, Norman DeVaux , bought the quarter section of land surrounding Marla Bay. He built a private lodge on the north slope of Round Mound. After the 1929 depression, Arthur K. Bourne took over DeVaux’s property and by 1935 had doubled his holdings of Tahoe property. The lodge was utilized as a commercial summer resort known as Round Hill Resort. Bourne built other lakefront homes north of the resort in Marla Bay.

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