Some forty-four years later, an architect member of St Nicholas enlarged the building on the north side to increasing the seating capacity to one hundred-twenty persons. Clergy to have permanently served St Nicholas’ Episcopal Church and The Chapel of the Transfiguration:
In the early days, the organization of Sunday Schools in the Episcopal Church meant a gathering of interested people of all ages (not limited to children), meeting for the purpose of Christian fellowship and study. Sometimes this group was referred to as an Unorganized Mission, that is, the interested people have not yet committed their time and talents to the long term investment of maintaining a facility. The appointment of officers was de rigeur. If they were fortunate, supply clergy came on an irregular basis to preach and offer the sacraments. Once a congregation made the necessary commitments, the congregation petitioned the bishop of the Diocese for admittance into the union of Episcopal churches at the following convention.
The organized Episcopal Church in California began in 1854 with the arrival of Bishop William Ingraham Kip to the shores of San Francisco. By 1874 the work in the Diocese of California became too extensive, a new diocese was carved out of the northern half of the state. The reason for this specific geographical separation was the gold mining industry and the railroads, which to the eastern people of the General Convention of 1874 assured wealth and success of the missionary efforts. Under the leadership of the scholarly Bishop John Henry Ducachet Wingfield, the new diocese – the Missionary Jusisdiction [sic] of Northern California which comprised the twenty-four counties of the northern third of the state, expanded into the Sacramento Valley, the Foothills, and into the Mother Lode.
The General Convention of 1898 enlarged the diocese to also include western Nevada. And in 1899, William Halle Moreland began his episcopacy in the Missionary District of Sacramento. (General Convention established a separate diocese for Nevada in 1907.) A more energetic and politically conscious man, the new bishop travelled throughout the diocese establishing churches in the Napa Valley and the northwestern mountain and coastal areas of California. To be a self-supporting diocese without aid from the National Church was an important goal for him upon his consecration as bishop. By means of concentrated efforts he raised the necessary money, and in 1910 it became the Diocese of Sacramento.
How the Tahoe City congregation became named St Stephen’s is not known, but Bishop Moreland listed this group as an Unorganized Mission in the early diocesan journals. Nothing more has been uncovered about this group following 1903.
Moreland described the Chapel of the Transfiguration as “situated in a forest of pines half a mile south of Tahoe Tavern. A trail and road through the woods leads to it and the narrow-gauge railway passes rustic style, with massive rubble walls, the stones being dug out of the mountain sides; long [sic] framework for the roof and covering of shakes. The congregation is seated under the canopy of heaven, the seats bing [sic] placed in a grove of pins [sic] facing the broad opening of the chancel.”
Indeed, many clergy and their families, including subsequent bishops, as well as many hundreds of girls and boys of the Diocesan Camp Noel Porter enjoyed the beach and the facilities of this property.