The modern history of Webber Lake and the surrounding Lacey Meadows began in 1860 when Dr. David Gould Webber, a physician and pharmacist in Downieville, constructed a small hotel on the shores of what was then called Little Truckee Lake, now Webber Lake. At the time, the area North of today’s Donner Pass was the most densely populated area of the Sierra due to numerous gold mining camps that focused their activities on the northern end of California’s Mother Lode. Webber’s vision was to capitalize on the attractiveness and convenience of the lake to Downieville, Nevada City, Grass valley and the numerous northern mining camps to provide a recreational diversion from the hard days of gold mining. Additionally, the Henness Pass trail, only a few hundred yards from the lake, had become one of the easiest and most popular routes across the Sierra. The Truckee Turnpike Company began further development of the route in 1859. Webber Lake and Webber’s hotel, originally known as “Webber’s Station”, was in the perfect location.
The Johnson family acquired the property in 1915. Johnson and his father and grandfather used to drive 2,000+ sheep from their ranch in Roseville to Lacey Meadows every summer for grazing. Over the years, two private campgrounds were developed on the shores of the lake along with a private fishing concession. As a condition of the purchase, the lake and the immediate area around the lake are closed to the public until 2017, but the remainder of the 3,000 acres is now open to the public.