Because of the hike down to the lake many tourists do not tour this beautiful historic 48 room castle. It is located on the very westerly end of Emerald Bay and almost totally out of sight from the highway. The castle is considered one of the best examples of Scandinavian architecture in the western hemisphere. Lora Josephine Knight, from Chicago, purchased the 239 acres in 1929 for $250,000.00 and it included Fannette Island which became the location of her 250 square foot rock tea house. It is believed that the previous owner of the property drown in the lake in 1873, his body was never found. She made a trip to Scandinavia, and decided to reproduce a Norse fortress from 800 A.D. in full detail. The materials and design of the construction are all from Scandinavia except for those items not allowed to leave the country. Towers with turrets and hand carved timbers were all used to recreate the fortress. The sod roof with its living grass is like those found in Scandinavia. Mrs. Knight spared no expense making this home as authentic as possible. She spent her summers in this castle until her death in 1945, at the age of 82. The estate was bought by Harvey West, a Placerville lumberman, who ended up selling the estate to the State of California in 1953.

There is not doubt this lady owned one of the most beautiful pieces of real estate in America. Can you imagine the number of trips across Lake Tahoe that were required to get all this material to the site of the home before roads existed? There are sunken barges still in Emerald Bay today that may have been used to transport the material used to build Vikingsholm.