Sierra Nevada Vade Phillips (Clark, Bryson)
Sierra Nevada Phillips was the daughter of Joseph W. D. Phillips. He established and operated
Phillips Station on the Johnson Pass road at about 6,800 feet above sea level, between Placerville and Virginia City (via Tahoe, now
US HWY. 50. In the 19th century and early 20th century Phillips Station, built about 16 miles southeast of Rubicon Springs was a stopping,
resting, and refreshment station for people, horses, stagecoaches, freight wagons, and early automobiles on their way to Lake Tahoe
and Virginia City, Nevada,. The historic location of Phillips Station, where Sierra Nevada Phillips Clark most likely grew up learning
the tourist business, is now on U.S. Highway 50, near the turn-off for the Sierra At Tahoe Ski Resort.
Sierra Nevada “Vade” Clark bought
the 40 acres of Rubicon Springs on December 8, 1888 from George Hunsucker for $5,500 in gold coins. The sale included the buildings
constructed by the brothers over the years and the spring water production. She most likely began planning the construction of the
hotel immediately. Clark added to her holdings on the Rubicon River in June of 1890, by buying the 80 acres of Clark Potter’s Spring
for $900 from Sarah Jackson of Georgetown. Potter’s Spring and Rubicon Springs were still separated by 160 acres of land owned by
the Central Pacific Railroad. By the tourist season of 1891 the two and a half story “Rubicon Springs Hotel,” with 16 sleeping rooms,
was in full operation.
At the end February 1895, Sierra Nevada Clark sold the 40 acres of Rubicon Springs back to George Hunsucker
for $3,800 in gold coins. This would include the hotel and all improvements after six seasons of operation. In April of the same year,
Clark sold the 80 acres of Potter’s Springs to Ralph Colwell, along with other lots in the Lake Valley (South Lake Tahoe, California)
for $1,000 in gold coins. In July 1901, Sierra Nevada Clark, now known after a marriage as Mrs. Vade Bryson advertised in the San
Francisco Chronicle newspaper, as the new manager of the Tahoe Inn on Lake Tahoe.
For the 1904 summer tourist season, Rubicon Springs
advertised in the San Francisco Chronicle that it was to be opened under the new management of Mrs. Vade Bryson. The hotel and spring
continued to be owned by Daniel Abbott, who bought the property from George Hunsucker in 1898. Vada Bryson appears to have managed
the Rubicon Springs Hotel through the summer season of 1907. For the 1908 summer season, in the San Francisco Chronicle Summer Camp
section, Vade is listed as the manager of a “tent city” at Meeks Bay after “Having severed all connection with Rubicon Springs. .
. .” In the 1920s, Vada Bryson is found as a boarding house manager in Sparks, Nevada, a small town 44 miles northeast of Rubicon
Springs established by the Central Pacific Railroad to support its maintenance station.