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Wawona’s Yesterdays (1961) by Shirley Sargent


THE CEMETERY

Wawona’s Boot Hill lies on the low hill a tenth of a mile north of the Pioneer Center, behind and above the stables. There are two parts to this rude, unremembered graveyard, both surrounded by neat, brown fences. Their are no memories or markers for the smaller plot, just pine-needled ground and the mysterious fence.

When ranger-naturalist Jack F. Fry began putting frustrating weeks interviewing old-timers and searching Mariposa County records, he couldn’t “find enough people to fill the graves that were obviously there.” After checking “various accounts of who is buried there, I have too many people for the graves!” 56

Three of the graves have wooden markers. Nathan B. Phillips (see Pike), H. R. Sargent and John L. Yates are so remembered. Reportedly, Sargent was either a carpenter or a stage driver who died in 1878 or 1879. 42 Yates was an Army private, stationed at Camp A. E. Wood, who drowned August 2, 1905, in the Merced River trying to save Mary Garrigan who drowned too. 57

Presumably, Bush-head Tom (see Indians) is buried in one of the unmarked graves, as are two suicide victims and possibly John Hammond and Homer or Jim Snedecker. 42

It is hoped that some of the confusion and mystery that mark this graveyard’s history may be cleared up by readers of this brief account so that the occupants may rest in remembered peace.


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Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

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