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Self-guiding Auto Tour of Yosemite National Park (1956) by Richard P. Ditton and Donald E. McHenry

Cover, Self-guiding Auto Tour of Yosemite National Park
Cover
Warning: Road markers have been renumbered since this guide was written in 1956. Also some roads described are now closed to automobiles (including roads in Mariposa Grove and Tuolumne Grove and roads in far eastern Yosemite Valley to Mirror Lake and Happy Isles.)

About the Authors

Richard P. Ditton worked for the Yosemite Park and Curry Company and lived in the Yosemite area for 14 years when this book was written in 1956.

Donald E. McHenry

Donald E. McHenry was born August 28, 1895 in rural Pennsylvania. He started out as an episcopal minister, but found it too political. He studied biology at University of Wyoming and in 1927 guided visitors at Rocky Mountain National Park in a tour bus. He received a masters in botony from University of Colorado and taught at Oklahoma A&M. In 1932 he joined the National Park Service and would guide with tour bus or, with a megaphone, guide a auto caravan. McHenry even tried guiding from above in a plane with a megaphone, but that was short-lived as the motor drowned out the talk. He then worked at several other parks. At the National Capital Parks he started an popular urban campfire program.

According to Bingaman’s Guardians of the Yosemite (1961):

Donald was appointed Park Naturalist of Yosemite National Park, January 9, 1947. Prior to this appointment he had been at the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona and in the Washington office of the Naturalist Division. He entered the Government Service in 1919. Mr. McHenry, an accomplished musician, contributed freely of his time and talent to all musical programs. He retired from the Park Service March 31, 1956.

After transferring to Yosemite in 1947, McHenry tried to get the Yosemite Field School going again. The park superintendent, Carl Russell, was opposed because of budget and because he felt it didn't contribute much. McHenry then modified the revived program to require student participation in interpretation and write an article for Yosemite Nature Notes. Several students in the school became Ranger Naturalists.

Shirley Sargent Protecting Paradise (1998) adds:

Don headed the naturalist division for 11 years before retiring early. In 1950 his wife, Bona Mae, became the first kindergarten teacher at the Yosemite school. They had two sons, Bruce and Keith; the latter died as a teenager in 1955 from a severe sunburn received while skiing shirtless.

McHenry died December 28, 1969 in Santa Clara County, California.


Bibliographical Information

Richard P. Ditton (b. before 1942) and Donald E. McHenry (1895-1969), Self-guiding Auto Tour of Yosemite National Park (Yosemite: Yosemite Natural History Association, 1956). 78 pp. Illustrated. 24 cm. Saddle stitched in paper wrappers. Published as Yosemite Nature Notes 35(6):61-112 (June 1956).

Digitized by Dan Anderson, January 2007, from a personal copy. These files may be used for any non-commercial purpose, provided this notice is left intact.
    —Dan Anderson, www.yosemite.ca.us

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