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Yosemite: the Park and its Resources (1987) by Linda W. Greene


Chronologies

Yosemite Valley xxxv
Cascades/Arch Rock xlvix
El Portal li
Carlon, Hodgdon Meadow, Foresta/Big Meadows, Aspen Valley, Crane Flat, Gin Flat, and Tamarack Flat liii
Hetch Hetchy and Lake Eleanor lix
White Wolf lxiii
Tuolumne Meadows lxv
Chinquapin, Badger Pass, and Glacier Point lxxi
Wawona, South entrance, and Mariposa Grove lxxv

The following chronologies for various areas of Yosemite National Park are presented as an aid to understanding the complex history of the area. Occasionally they go beyond the report’s 1960 ending date in order to provide information of interest. Robert C. Pavlik compiled the original information, to which the author added additional data. A variety of books, government records, and park reports served as source documents unless otherwise stated.

Yosemite Valley

1833:

Joseph Walker party crosses the Sierra Nevada from east to west, along the divide of the Tuolumne and Merced River drainages, and may have been the first whites to see Yosemite Valley.
[Editor’s note: today historians generally believe the Walker party looked down The Cascades, which are just west of Yosemite Valley, instead of Yosemite Valley itself.—dea]

1848:

James Marshall discovers gold on the American River, and the subsequent gold rush to California in 1849 and 1850 precipitated the skirmishes between whites and Indians that eventually led to the discovery and entry of Yosemite Valley by whites.

1849:

William Penn Abrams and U. N. Reamer gaze into Yosemite Valley while lost on a hunting expedition from their camp on the South Fork of the Merced River.

1851:

Major James D. Savage leads the Mariposa Battallion into Yosemite Valley, in search of renegade Indians. Bunnell, the battallion surgeon, suggests the name “Yosemite” for the area after the name of a group of Indians living there (the Uzemati, or Grizzly Bear clan).
[Editor’s note: Bunnell was not the battalion surgeon and received a M. D. degree from a sham medical school several years later. For the correct origin of the word Yosemite see “Origin of the Word Yosemite.”dea.]

Second entry to Yosemite Valley by Capt. John Boling’s company; captured Indians at Tenaya Lake.

1852:

Skirmishes continue between Indians and miners, with two prospectors killed in Yosemite Valley. Lt. Tredwell Moore enters valley with detachment. The Yosemites flee the valley to take refuge with the Mono Lake Paiutes east of the Sierra.

1853:

The Yosemites return to Yosemite Valley. A horse-stealing incident precipitates a fight between the Paiutes and Yosemites, with six of the latter, including Chief Tenaya, killed.

1854:

James Capen “Grizzly” Adams visits Yosemite to hunt and trap grizzlies to train for entertainment purposes.

1855:

James M. Hutchings, publisher of California Magazine, leads the first tourist party into Yosemite. Artist Thomas Ayres is included in the party and renders the first illustrations of Yosemite’s natural features.

1856:

Mann brothers’ toll trail from Clark’s Station (Wawona) to Yosemite Valley completed.

Coulterville Free Trail blazed from Bull Creek through Deer Flat, Hazel Green, Crane Flat, Tamarack Flat, and Gentry’s to the valley floor. First permanent structure, the Lower Hotel, built in Yosemite Valley.

1857:

Bearsley and Hite erect the Upper Hotel, later Cedar Cottage.

1859:

James Lamon arrives in Yosemite Valley, establishes the first permanent, year-round occupancy, and develops the first homestead.

Charles L. Weed produces the first photographs of Yosemite Valley.
[Editor’s note: Charles Leander Weed’s first photograph, taken June 18, 1859 was of Yosemite Falls—dea.]

1863:

Artist Albert Bierstadt visits Yosemite Valley.

1864:

J. M. Hutchings takes over control of the Upper Hotel, changing the name to “Hutchings House.”

Florence Hutchings becomes the first white child born in Yosemite Valley.

Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia deeded to the state from the federal government as a grant to be held for the public “in perpetuity.” Grant consists of 48.6 square miles. A Board of Commissioners established with Frederick Law Olmsted as the first chairman.

1866:

Galen Clark appointed Guardian of Yosemite Grant. Yosemite commissioners disallow private claims on Yosemite lands.

1868:

John Muir makes his first trip to Yosemite Valley.

1869:

George F. Leidig builds hotel near the Lower Hotel.

Lower Hotel removed; A. G. Black builds Black’s Hotel on its site.

Central Pacific Railroad completed from Sacramento to Stockton.

1870:

Albert Snow builds La Casa Nevada after construction of horse trail to the area between Nevada and Vernal falls. Copperopolis branch of Central Pacific Railroad built. J. C. Smith builds Cosmopolitan Bathhouse and Saloon.

1871:

John Conway builds a trail from La Casa Nevada to Little Yosemite Valley. Conway also begins work on the Four-Mile

Central Pacific Railroad built to Berenda.

1872:

Conway builds a stage road on the north side of the Merced River in Yosemite Valley.

James McCauley begins the firefall from Glacier Point. Central Pacific Railroad built to Merced.

1873:

Conway builds Eagle Peak Trail to the base of the upper Yosemite Fall.

1874:

Coulterville Road reaches floor of Yosemite Valley in June; Big Oak Flat Road is completed in July.

Hutchings has a wooden boardwalk/roadway built from Hutchings House up the valley floor (to the east); Hutchings also has a horse trail built up Indian Canyon, but it quickly falls into disrepair because of the difficulty of maintaining the trail.

Private claims in valley purchased by state. Thereafter commissioners control business concessions.

1875:

Wawona Road completed to Yosemite Valley.

George Anderson successfully completes the first ascent of Half Dome.

School provided for Yosemite Valley.

1876:

Sentinel Hotel built by George W. Coulter and A. J. Murphy.

1877:

J. K. Barnard takes over Sentinel Hotel, also known as Yosemite Falls Hotel.

1878:

A. Harris establishes first public campgrounds in Yosemite Valley.

1879:

Yosemite Chapel constructed with funds raised by the Sunday School Union.

1880:

California state legislature creates new Board of Yosemite Commissioners.

J. M. Hutchings appointed Guardian of Yosemite Grant.

1882:

State legislature appropriates money to purchase and maintain trails and roads within the grant constructed and operated by private parties. The Four-Mile Trail to Glacier Point is the first acquisition.

Anderson Trail from Happy Isles to bridge below Vernal Fall built.

1884:

John Degnans establish a bakery and store. Hutchings removed as Guardian and replaced by W. E. Dennison.

George Fiske opens photographic studio.

1885:

State legislature appropriates $40,000 to build the Stoneman House, in honor of the California governor.

Echo Wall Trail from Nevada Fall to Glacier Point built.

1886:

All private trails and roads within the grant purchased by 1886 and made available to the public at no cost.

1887:

Mark L. McCord becomes Guardian of the grant.

Stoneman House completed.

1888:

Black’s and Leidig’s hotels removed by order of the state commissioners.

1889:

Galen Clark reappointed Guardian of the grant. Dam constructed at the outflow of Mirror Lake to raise its water level. This strategy repeated numerous times, along with dredging, to maintain lake’s reflective qualities and to acquire sand for the roads in winter.

1890:

Yosemite National Park (reserved forest lands) created, 1 October.

D. J. Foley establishes print shop and studio.

1891:

U. S. Army cavalry unit arrives in park, headquartered at Wawona. The army is empowered to patrol and protect the park from poachers, stockmen, sheepherders, fires, mining, and other threats. Capt. A. E. Wood is first acting superintendent.

1892:

Sierra Club formed, with John Muir as president.

1893:

Sierra Forest Reserve established 15 February.

1894:

Capt. H. Gale made acting superintendent.

1895:

Capt. Alexander Rodgers becomes acting superintendent.

1896:

Stoneman House, located near present-day Curry garage burns.

Lt. Col. S. B. M. Young becomes acting superintendent. First effort made to keep firearms out of park.

1897:

Rock stairway replaces wooden ladders on Vernal Fall Mist Trail.

Abandoned stage office converted to schoolhouse.

David Curry continues McCauley’s tradition of the firefall. Miles Wallace becomes Guardian of grant. Rodgers continues as acting superintendent.

La Casa Nevada destroyed by fire.

1898:

Archie Leonard appointed first civilian park ranger.

1899:

W. Zevely and Capt. J. E. Caine function as acting superintendents. Curry Camping Company established.

Artist Chris Jorgensen maintains a studio in Yosemite Valley from 1899 to 1918.

Lt. William Forse and Capt. E. F. Willcox are acting superintendents.

1900:

First auto enters Yosemite.

Maj. L. J. Rucker becomes acting superintendent.

J. T. Boysen establishes studio.

1901:

Camp Yosemite (Camp Lost Arrow) established near foot of Yosemite Fall. Geology professor Joseph LeConte dies in his tent at Camp Curry, 6 July.

Maj. L. A. Craig is acting superintendent.

1902:

Happy Isles power plant built by state.

Hutchings killed in accident on the Big Oak Flat Road. Harry Best opens studio.

Maj. O. L. Hein serves as acting superintendent.

1903:

Hallet-Taylor Company builds photographic studio. LeConte Memorial Lodge built by the Sierra Club.

President Theodore Roosevelt visits Yosemite.

Lt. Col. Jos. Garrard serves as acting superintendent.

1904:

Maj. John Bigelow serves as acting superintendent.

USGS and Yosemite Valley commissioners begin water gauging activities on Merced River.

1905:

Boundary adjustment of Yosemite National Park, reducing its size by 430 square miles.

Capt. Harry C. Benson serves as acting superintendent.

1906:

Congress accepts recession of Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove, which become part of Yosemite National Park. Camp A. E. Wood, army administrative headquarters, moves from Wawona to the valley and becomes Camp Yosemite.

Maj. Harry Benson continues as acting superintendent.

1907:

Yosemite Valley Railroad begins operations.

Arthur C. Pillsbury purchases interests of Hallett-Taylor Co.

1908:

Camp Ahwahnee built at foot of Sentinel Rock by W. M. Sell.

Old stage office/schoolhouse moved to north side of Merced River, near present “ranger Y” and the foundation of the Grizzly Hotel.

Supervisor Gabriel Sovulewski serves as acting superintendent from October 1908 to April 1909.

1909:

Maj. W. W. Forsyth serves as acting superintendent. President William H. Taft visits Yosemite.

1910:

Galen Clark dies.

1911:

Galen Clark Memorial Bench constructed.

1912:

Hospital built by U. S. Army at Camp Yosemite.

1913:

Automobiles permitted to enter Yosemite National Park over Coulterville Road.

Last year that army responsible for administration of the park.

Assistant Secretary of the Interior Adolph Miller cancels the firefall.

Maj. William T. Littebrant serves as acting superintendent.

1914:

First year that park managed and patrolled by civilian rangers.

Mark Daniels appointed first civilian superintendent. John Muir dies.

Wawona and Big Oak Flat roads open to auto traffic.

1915:

Stephen T. Mather becomes assistant to Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane. He and Horace Albright take charge of national parks and monuments.

R. B. Marshall becomes superintendent of national parks.

D. J. Desmond Company receives permit to operate hotel and camp (Camp Yosemite).

Joe Desmond buys the old army camp and converts it to concession (later to be known as Yosemite Falls Camp and Yosemite Lodge).

Beginnings of park museum in government building in Old Village.

Camp Yosemite (Camp Lost Arrow) discontinued. Yosemite horse-drawn stages replaced by motor stages.

Temporary water gauges established on Merced River above Illilouette Creek and at its mouth.

1916:

National Park Service Act passes 25 August; Stephen Mather appointed first director of the NPS; W. B. Lewis made superintendent of Yosemite National Park.

Desmond Company granted twenty-year concession to build and operate visitor facilities. Desmond begins work on foundation of Grizzly Hotel.

Automatic water stage recorders set up on Merced River at Happy Isles and Pohono Bridge.

Warehouse, storage, and other buildings constructed in valley maintenance area.

1917:

Glacier Point firefall reinstated. Parts of park opened to grazing.

Desmond Park Service Company becomes Yosemite National Park Company.

David A. Curry dies.

1918:

New schoolhouse replaces old stage office/schoolhouse. That building converted to residence and used until 1956, when razed.

Cascade power plant completed at cost of $215,000.

Ledge Trail to Glacier Point built. This trail may have first been blazed by Hutchings, who led parties of tourists up the steep incline to Glacier Point prior to construction of Four-Mile Trail.

George Fiske dies.

1919:

Sierra Club members replace worn ropes and eyebolts on Half Dome with first set of cables.

LeConte Memorial Lectures instituted.

First airplane lands in valley.

Happy Isles powerhouse removed.

1920:

Rangers’ Clubhouse constructed.

Yosemite National Park Company reorganized.

Yosemite Nature Guide Service begins.

1921:

Tule elk placed in paddock in Yosemite Valley in hopes they will multiply and eventually be released in park. Checking station constructed at Gentry’s on Big Oak Flat Road.

Water system developed in Yosemite Valley. Prior to this time people depended on spring box at Happy Isles or drew their water directly from Merced River.

First Yosemite museum installations made.

1922:

Visitation to park passes 100,000 mark for the year. In 1919 visitation only reached 50,000 mark. Yosemite Educational Department created. Yosemite Nature Notes published.

1923:

Final plans for new Yosemite Village completed. Yosemite Museum Association organized. Educational Department for all national parks created.

1924:

New park administration building completed in November. Development of new Administrative Center and village begins. Laura Spellman Rockefeller Memorial Foundation makes grant for construction of Yosemite Museum.

1925:

Building constructed by NPS as post office for leasing to U. S. Postal Service opens. Pillsbury, Best, Boysen, and Foley studios constructed in New Village area. Government Center completed. Plaque unveiled commemorating John Muir cabin site, 30 May. Yosemite Park and Curry Company formed through consolidation of Curry Camping Company and Yosemite National Park Company. Yosemite School of Field Natural History organized.

1926:

All-Year Highway dedicated 31 July. Dedication of fish hatchery site at Happy Isles. Yosemite Museum opens 29 May. Construction begins on new Yosemite hotel.

1927:

Ahwahnee Hotel opens. Happy Isles fish hatchery opened by California State Fish and Game Commission. Pillsbury’s theatre burns.

1928:

Board of Expert Advisors appointed to assist in study of Yosemite’s problems.

E. P. Leavitt designated acting superintendent.

Five stone-faced concrete arch bridges built.

1929:

Rock barriers placed and ditches dug along roads to prevent driving of autos onto meadows.

Hospital opens in 1929, later named in honor of W. B. Lewis. Charles Goff Thomson becomes superintendent.

Camp Curry’s new cafeteria and dining room open. Stephen Mather resigns as director of NPS, succeeded by Horace Albright.

1930:

Stephen T. Mather dies 22 January.

W. B. Lewis dies 28 August.

Interpretive signing program begins in Yosemite Valley and sequoia groves.

“Live Indian Exhibit” established on grounds of Yosemite Museum.

1931:

Indian Village constructed during 1931 and 1932 west of present Sunnyside campground.

Living exhibit of native flowers established behind Yosemite Museum.

1932:

Cosmopolitan Saloon destroyed by fire, 8 December.

1933:

Tule elk removed from Yosemite Valley to Owens Valley. Ruins of Cosmopolitan Saloon razed. Wawona Road and tunnel dedicated 10 June.

ECW programs begin; five CCC camps established in Yosemite National Park.

Arno B. Cammerer becomes NPS director after Albright resigns.

CCC, CWA, and PWA advance construction and resource management projects in park.

1934:

CCC crews replace and upgrade cables on backside of Half Dome.

1936:

Use of diamond blazes by NPS personnel for marking trails discontinued.

Harry Best dies. Daughter Virginia and husband Ansel Adams continue business.

1937:

Yosemite Valley structures, roads, and bridges sustain tremendous damage during flood of 9-12 December.

Lawrence C. Merriam becomes superintendent, succeeding Thomson (deceased).

1938:

Sentinel Hotel, River Cottage, and Ivy Cottage torn down in December.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt visits park.

Gabriel Sovulewski dies.

1940:

Cedar Cottage (also known as Upper Hotel, Hutchings House) and Oak Cottage razed.

Newton B. Drury appointed NPS director.

Mrs. John Degnan dies.

1941:

Bear-feeding programs discontinued.

Frank A. Kittredge becomes superintendent.

1942:

CCC discontinued in July. Yosemite School of Field Natural History abandoned for duration of war.

1943:

Ahwahnee Hotel converted to hospital by U. S. Navy 23 June. Yosemite Park and Curry Company acquires Boysen Studio. John Degnan dies.

1945:

U. S. Naval Special Hospital decommissioned 15 December.

Consideration given to removal of some of physical developments in Yosemite Valley and establishment of new centers of operation in other locatities.

Yosemite Valley Railroad abandoned 27 August.

1947:

Meadow and vista restoration program begun.

Carl P. Russell becomes superintendent.

1948:

Donald B. Tresidder, president, Yosemite Park and Curry Company, dies.

Mrs. David A. Curry dies.

Yosemite Field School for naturalist training resumes.

1950:

Floods of 19 November, 3 December, and 8 December cause $454,000 damage to roads, buildings, utilities, and trails.

1951:

Yosemite Centennial observance held.

Arthur E. Demaray appointed NPS director.

Conrad L. Wirth succeeds Demaray.

1952:

John C. Preston becomes superintendent.

1953:

Indian Village discontinued in accordance with Indian Housing Policy of NPS.

Yosemite Field School suspended by NPS director.

1955:

Flood of 23 December causes $767,000 damage to park facilities.

MISSION 66 prospectus for park prepared.

1956:

New Yosemite Lodge completed and old one razed.

1957:

Happy Isles fish hatchery donated to park by California Department of Fish and Game; hatchery converted to nature center.

1959:

Old Village store, Degnan’s old restaurant, Yosemite Park and Curry Company maintenance warehouse razed.

Curry Company’s new store and restaurant dedicated 9 May. Happy Isles residence destroyed by fire.

1962:

President John F. Kennedy visits park.

1963:

Flood in valley 29 January to 1 February.

1964:

Flood in valley 23-24 December.

1966:

Old Yosemite Museum closes.

Construction begins on new valley visitor center.

1968:

Glacier Point firefall discontinued as being contrary to NPS standards and because of traffic congestion on roads.

1969:

Remaining structures in Indian Village razed.

1970:

Free shuttle bus service begins operation. Stoneman Meadow, riot 3-4 July. One-way road system established with roads to Happy Isles and Mirror Lake closed to use by private vehicles.

Mirror Lake dredging operations discontinued.

1971:

First bank in Yosemite Valley opens.

Yosemite Institute created.

1972:

Yosemite Village parking plaza converted to nonvehicular mall. NPS stables, outbuildings, and horses destroyed by fire, 31 July.

1973:

Fire destroys cafeteria and kitchen at Camp Curry.

Roundhouse constructed in Indian Village behind the visitor center.

Music Corporation of America (MCA, Inc.) acquires control of Yosemite Park and Curry Company.

Cascades/Arch Rock

1833:

Joseph R. Walker crosses the Sierra Nevada through present-day Yosemite National Park.

1851:

Lafayette Bunnell gives the name “Cascades” to the waterfall in that area of the Merced River canyon.

1864:

The Cascades area lies just outside (west of) the state grant providing protection of the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove.

1874:

The Coulterville Road into Yosemite Valley is completed in June, running from the town of Coulterville through Hazel Green, Big Meadow (Foresta), down the canyon wall to the Merced River, and through the Cascades area into Yosemite Valley.

1890:

Yosemite National Park created, encompassing Cascades valley.

1906:

Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove re-ceded to federal government by the state of California.

1907:

The Yosemite Valley Railroad completed and operational to El Portal. A wagon road from El Portal to the Coulterville Road junction used to transport visitors to the valley from the railhead.

1913:

Automobiles allowed to enter the national park, replacing horse-drawn wagons.

1916:

National Park Service is created.

Construction begins on the diversion dam, penstock, and powerhouse in the Merced River canyon.

1917:

Three residences completed at Cascades for powerhouse employees.

1918:

Diversion dam, penstock, and powerhouse completed at cost of $215,000.

1920:

Construction begins on All-Year Highway from Merced.

1926:

All-Year Highway completed to Yosemite Valley, up Merced canyon, and through Arch Rock and Cascades. Entrance stations and ranger residence constructed in Arch Rock area.

1933:

CCC camp established at Cascades for all-year occupation.

1937:

Flooding occurs in Yosemite Valley, Wawona, Cascades, Arch Rock, El Portal. CCC camp at Cascades destroyed as are roadbed and bridges. At Arch Rock, ranger residence and duplex washed off foundation.

1940:

Between the end of 1937 and 1939, extensive repairs and building projects take place at The Cascades, powerhouse, and Arch Rock.

1950:

Floods of 19 November, 3 December, and 8 December wash out road bridges at Cascades.

El Portal

1849-50:

James Savage establishes trading post at the confluence of the South Fork and main fork of the Merced River. Post attacked by Indians in 1850, and Savage follows his attackers up the river canyon, probably entering into the area of present-day El Portal before turning back.

1861:

Hite’s Cove Mine discovered, named for John R. Hite.

1873:

James Hennessy establishes farm on the Merced River, now the site of the El Portal trailer park. Hennessy’s trail to the valley crossed the Merced to the south side of the river and climbed the canyon wall to intersect with the Mann brothers’ trail from Wawona to Yosemite Valley. Hennessy raised fruits and vegetables for the mines on the east side of the Sierra, as far away as Bodie.

1860s-1870s:

Horse and foot trail follows the Merced River upstream to Yosemite Valley.

1887:

John R. Hite acquires Hennessy Ranch; later sold to A. H Ward.

1884-85:

Leonidas Whorton acquires eighty acres in El Portal west of Crane Creek. This area encompassed a large portion of present “old El Portal.”

1879:

Whorton listed as locator of Potosi Mine on north side of Merced River and in 1887 as locator of Southside Mine, on south side of Merced. They were described as “quartz veins.” However, the descriptions and locations indicate that they may have been barite deposits.

1887:

Whorton shot by Abel Mann during family quarrel.

1897:

John B. Lembert murdered in his cabin below El Portal near Rancheria Flat.

Early 1900s:

A. H. Ward acquires properties of Whorton and Hennessy.

1902:

Yosemite Valley Railroad incorporated.

1905:

Survey work begins for construction of Yosemite Valley Railroad.

1907:

Yosemite Valley Railroad begins operation. It ran from Merced to its terminus at El Portal, where a wagon road led up the Merced Canyon to intersect with the Coulterville Road. D. K. Stoddard held the contract to transport passengers via stage from El Portal to Yosemite Valley.

First hotel to serve tourists in El Portal consists of tent structure.

1908-1909:

Bob Halstead and Bill Grenfels begin mining barium in El Portal area, possibly Whorton’s former claims on the Southside.

Hotel Del Portal constructed.

1912:

Incline for Yosemite Lumber Company constructed on south side of Merced River.

1913:

Road from Foresta to El Portal completed.

First year autos allowed to enter Yosemite National Park.

1917-18:

Hotel Del Portal destroyed by fire 27 October 1917. Another, smaller hotel—the El Portal lnn—constructed.

1920:

Construction begins on All-Year Highway from Merced to Yosemite Valley via Merced River canyon.

1923-24:

Yosemite Lumber Company relocates incline to north side of Merced.

1925:

Portland Cement Company of Emory begins operations.

1926:

All-Year Highway dedicated 31 July.

1929:

National Lead Company takes over barium mines in El Portal. A mine superintendent’s residence and houses for mine workers constructed.

1932:

Fire of July 1932 destroys third El Portal hotel. Managers Ben and Dolly Gardner rebuild hotel on new location near highway.

1937:

Flood of 11 December wreaks havoc in El Portal, washing away bridges, portions of the highway, and thirty miles of Yosemite Valley Railroad track.

1944:

Portland Cement Company disbands.

1945:

Last run of Yosemite Valley Railroad, 24 August. Operations abandoned.

1950:

November flood.

1951:

Barium mines close.

1955:

Flood.

1958:

NPS acquires 2,000+ acres in El Portal as administrative site.

Carlon, Hodgdon Meadow/ Foresta/Big Meadow/ Aspen Valley, Crane Flat, Gin Flat, and Tamarack Flat

Prehistory -

Native peoples living in Yosemite region followed animal paths as a means of traveling through the Sierra. The Mono Trail comprised one such footpath that evolved as a major trade route from Big Meadow through Gin and Tamarack flats, past Tenaya Lake, through Tuolumne Meadows, and down Bloody anyon to the Mono Lake country.

1833:

The Joseph Walker party may have followed the Mono Trail in their east-west crossing of the Sierra on their way to the San Joaquin Valley. They are believed to have been the first white men to see Yosemite Valley and the giant sequoias.

1856:

George W. Coulter, Lafayette Bunnell, and a small party of men from Coulterville pass through Crane Flat, naming the area for the sandhill cranes that were abundant at that time. Tamarack Flat was also named on that excursion to blaze a route—the “Coulterville Free Trail”—to Yosemite Valley.

1865:

Hodgdon Meadow originally known as Bronson Meadows; Jeremiah Hodgdon established a homestead there in May 1865. He built his cabins and barns at Hodgdon Meadow and later a two-story cabin at Aspen Valley in 1879.

1868:

J. D. Whitney, state geologist, writes of a deserted cabin in the Crane Flat area, believed to have belonged to shepherd Hugh Mundy. Mundy tended flocks during the summer at Crane and Gin flats. Earliest non-Indian habitation.

1869:

Builders of Big Oak Flat Road granted exclusive franchise to construct a road into Yosemite Valley from north side of Merced River.

Yosemite Turnpike Road Company incorporated 15 April.

1870:

Alva Hamilton credited with being first white settler at Tamarack Flat, operating stage stop called Tamarack House. In mid-1870s Tamarack House burned and was rebuilt by David Woods, who also built a barn, store, and saloon at Tamarack Flat. The Woods family abandoned Tamarack Flat in 1891.

1870s:

Louis D. Gobin and son “Ed” ran sheep and cattle in Crane Flat area during the summer months. They supplied travelers to Yosemite Valley with room and board, soon expanding their business into a comfortable stage station. Gobin’s place burned in 1886 and rebuilt in 1888. According to Paden and Schlichtmann, Gobin’s stopping place stood about one hundred feet east of present buildings at Crane Flat (blister rust camp). Immediately across the road stood Billy Hurst’s saloon. Hurst was also a proprietor at Crane Flat, operating a saloon for stockmen, shepherds, and Indians. Hurst was marooned at Crane Flat in winter of 1889-90 and after his rescue died as a result of the ordeal.

1870s:

Gentry’s settled by Colonel E. S. Gentry, who established a hotel for travelers to Yosemite Valley making the trip on horseback, prior to the completion of the Big Oak Flat Road. The road that Gentry championed actually led to his failure, enabling tourists traveling by coach to continue on into Yosemite Valley or toward Crane Flat.

George Meyer takes over brother Henry’s homestead in Big Meadow. Ranch becomes stage stop on Coulterville Road.

1870:

Big Oak Flat Road reaches Crane Flat. Coulterville and Yosemite Turnpike Company incorporated.

1871:

Builders of Big Oak Flat Road incorporate as Yosemite Turnpike Road Company.

1872:

Due to difficulties encountered by Yosemite Turnpike Road Company, builders of the Big Oak Flat Road, the company forfeited their exclusive franchise to construct a road into Yosemite Valley from the north side. The Yosemite Valley commissioners then granted the exclusive franchise to builders of the Coulterville Road in July 1872. The builders of the Big Oak Flat Road once again appealed to the commissioners for the right to finish their road, but were denied because of possible conflict with the Coulterville Road builders. However, Galen Clark, Guardian of the grant and one of the Yosemite commissioners, granted the Big Oak Flat Road builders permission to complete an improved saddle trail from the road terminus at Gentry’s to the floor of Yosemite Valley. In February 1874 the state legislature granted, permission to the Big Oak Flat Road builders to complete the road, on the basis that the Yosemite commissioners had no right to issue an exclusive franchise. The two companies of road builders worked feverishly to completion.

During construction of the Coulterville Road, the surveying crew discovered the Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias. The route for the Coulterville Road was redesigned to pass through the grove, bypassing Crane Flat and the Big Oak Flat Road on its way to Yosemite Valley. Instead, the road wound past Big Meadow and down to the Merced canyon, where it followed the river into Yosemite Valley. Six miles of road were abandoned between Hazel Green and Crane Flat for the new route and many more miles of road constructed.

1874:

Coulterville Road completed in June; Big Oak Flat Road in July. The Big Oak Flat Road originally ran through what is now the blister rust camp at Crane Flat; it was rerouted in 1940 to meet with the new sections of the Tioga and Big Oak Flat roads.

1876:

George Anderson builds cabin near Big Meadow.

1878:

David and James Lumsden cut a tunnel through the Dead Giant Tree in the Tuolumne Grove.

Title to Yosemite Turnpike Road Company road conveyed to J. M. Hutchings 16 May.

1879:

Big Oak Flat and Yosemite Turnpike Road Company incorporates to purchase Big Oak Flat Road. On 19 November Hutchings conveys road to new company.

Jeremiah Hodgdon builds two-story log cabin in Aspen Valley.

1882:

John B. Curtin, California state senator, files for government patent on land at Gin Flat.

Gin Flat named, as story goes, from barrel of gin that fell off a wagon. Some laborers working in the area spied the errant keg and proceeded to attempt draining the container of its contents. When the work party failed to return a day or so later, a search party was organized to either rescue the victims or bury them. The laborers were discovered alive, albeit intoxicated.

1883:

James McCauley purchases land for ranch in Foresta area.

1885:

Joseph Hutchins claims Gentry’s abandoned homestead and erects sawmill where he mills lumber for the Stoneman House, constructed in Yosemite Valley by the state in 1886-87.

1890:

Yosemite National Park created 1 October.

1891:

U. S. Army cavalry unit arrives in Yosemite National Park for the purpose of protecting it from stockmen, sheepherders, poachers, fires, and other threats to the environment. In order to impress upon stockmen the seriousness of the situation, stock was not allowed to graze on lands (even patented lands) within the park boundary. The cavalry threatened to drive cattle through the park to Mono Pass, then down Bloody Canyon into the Mono Lake country, which they did with some limited success.

1897:

James McCauley becomes year-round resident of ranch in Foresta area.

1905:

Drastic boundary changes occur, reducing size of Yosemite National Park by 430 square miles.

Big Meadow placed within Yosemite National Park.

The problem of grazing on patented lands within the park boundary becomes more volatile with the appointment of Capt. Harry C. Benson as acting park superintendent in 1905. His zeal for protecting park lands leads to court battle with Senator J. B. Curtin, who was denied the right to graze his cattle on his own property or to use public roadways for access, the property and roads being within the park boundary. The Supreme Court of the United States found in Curtin’s favor in 1911.

1906:

Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove re-ceded to federal government to become a part of the national park.

1911:

James McCauley dies in accident on Coulterville Road.

1912:

Foresta Land Company incorporated.

1913:

The U. S. Army cavalry patrols the park for the last year. The first automobile enters Yosemite National Park 16 August via Coulterville Road.

Fred McCauley sells 200 acres of McCauley ranch to C. P. Snell. Wagon road built from Foresta to El Portal.

1914:

Automobiles allowed to enter the park via Big Oak Flat Road.

Tamarack House moved from Tamarack Flat to Gin Flat and placed next to Curtin’s cabin, where it proceeds to fall into ruin.

Civilian rangers assume responsibility for patrol and protection of park.

1915:

Three ranger/patrol cabins built in Yosemite:one at the Merced Grove on Coulterville Road, one at Crane Flat on Big Oak Flat Road, one at Hog Ranch (Mather). Merced Grove cabin replaced 1934; Hog Ranch cabin replaced by Mather ranger station/residence in 1935.

In July Tuolumne County buys Big Oak Flat Road for $10,000 and donates it to state of California, which begins improvements. Shortly thereafter the national park became responsible for all roads within its boundary.

1916:

Carl Inn erected by Dan and Donna Carlon. Burned 1920; rebuilt and again burned (date unknown).

1917:

George Meyer dies in San Francisco.

1918:

Fire destroys structures at Foresta.

1922:

Robert Bright begins erecting structures at Aspen Valley.

1923:

Fred McCauley sells remainder of McCauley ranch to Horace Meyer.

1930:

7,000 acres of land in South Fork of Tuolomne River watershed, including land at Crane Flat, Gin Flat, Sugar Pine Pass, and Carlon added to park. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., donates $1.7 million matched by congressional funds to purchase private lands in Crane Flat area. The Yosemite Lumber Company actively logging in this area when stopped in August 1929 with passage of Albright-Fleming agreement. Final paperwork signed May 1930. Dr. Don Tresidder of Yosemite Park and Curry Company donates $10,500 to be matched by congressional funds to buy 520 acres of private inholdings at Crane Flat and Gin Flat. Total property added to park in 1930 equaled 8,681.19 acres.

1931:

First fire lookout constructed in park at Crane Flat.

1933:

CCC camps established in Yosemite National Park for reforestation efforts, including clearing of fire roads and of giant sequoia groves of debris; control of bark beetle and blister rust; and fire-fighting duties. Two camps established in Crane Flat area in 1933, with one there from 1934 to 1942, when the CCC was discontinued.

1940:

Official dedication of the Big Oak Flat Road from Crane Flat to El Portal road (Highway 140) and of new section of Tioga Road from Crane Flat to McSwain Meadows (at intersection of White Wolf road and present Yosemite Creek campground road) on 23 June. A ranger duplex and checking kiosk at Crane Flat also erected. The old Big Oak Flat Road converted to one-way (downhill) scenic route into the valley. Closed permanently by rockslide in 1943.

1942-45:

Ribes eradication continues at reduced manpower, employing mostly high school students.

1946:

With decommissioning of U. S. Naval Special Hospital and transfer of buildings from DOD to DOI, the buildings constructed on the grounds of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley were dismantled and reconstructed at Crane Flat and Carl Inn for use as blister rust camps.

1951:

In the winter of 1951 there were twenty-four feet of snow at Crane Flat; only the peaks of the buildings showed through. NPS acquired private inholdings at Gentry.

1952:

Acquisition of private land in Aspen Valley.

1955:

Accelerated land acquisition at Foresta.

1960:

Crane Flat ranger cabin moved to Pioneer Yosemite History Center at Wawona. Building occupied until early 1950s, then stood empty and in terrible state of repair. The building was dismantled, the floor cut into pieces, and transported to the new site. The chimney was dismantled and reconstructed using the original building materials, with new mortar. According to Mike Adams, the mason that was reconstructing the chimney built it in too “neat” a fashion and had to tear it down and rebuild it in a more rustic fashion. Reconstruction completed in 1961 at cost of $81,054.65.

1961:

The Pioneer Yosemite History Center opens to the public, with a formal dedication 11 September. Jeremiah Hodgdon’s two-story cabin is also at the history center.

1965:

Crane Flat campground opens with 160 sites. Crane Flat checking station razed.

1966:

Residence area at Hodgdon Meadow constructed.

Section of new Big Oak Flat Road from Crane Flat to Hodgdon Meadow completed. New employee housing, entrance station, and utility building also finished.

1973:

Yosemite Institute acquires special-use permit for Crane Flat blister rust camp.

1974:

Coulterville and Big Oak Flat roads celebrate centennials. NPS acquires McCauley ranch in Foresta/Big Meadow area.

1982:

The Leaning Giant, a sequoia in the Tuolomne Grove, topples during snowstorm.

Hetch Hetchy and Lake Eleanor

1850:

Joseph (Nathan?) Screech discovers Hetch Hetchy Valley.

1858:

San Francisco’s first water supply system put into use by San Francisco Water Works.

1860:

Spring Valley Water Works begins operation; later consolidates with San Francisco Water Works.

1871:

First investigations with view to municipal control of water supply.

1900:

New city charter in effect, 8 January.

1901:

Appropriation made on water at Hetch Hetchy and Lake Eleanor by Jas. D. Phelan, recorded 6 August.

City engineer recommends upper Tuolumne River as source of future water supply for San Francisco. Filing of same at Stockton land office 16 October.

1903:

Phelan’s applications denied by Secretary of the Interior Hitchcock, 20 January. Petition for rehearing by Franklin K. Lane, city attorney, in February. Filings assigned to city 20 February. Application again denied by Secretary of the Interior on 22 December.

1908:

Original applications approved by Secretary of the Interior Garfield on 11 May. Gives city rights of development of Eleanor and Hetch Hetchy.

Special election authorized construction of Tuolumne System and issuance of $600,000 in bonds to buy lands and water rights, 12 November.

1910:

Bond election, $45,000,000 in bonds authorized by vote of 20 to 1, 14 January.

Secretary of the Interior Ballinger orders city to show cause why Garfield permit should not be revoked, 25 February. Board of Army Engineers appointed to act as advisory board.

1912:

“Freeman Plan” (John R. Freeman) of Hetch Hetchy development published and submitted to army board in July. M. M. O’Shaughnessy appointed city engineer 1 September. Hearings before Secretary of the Interior Fisher, attended by mayor, city engineer, city attorney, and consulting engineers, 25 to 30 November.

1913:

Army board report upholds selection of Tuolumne River as $20,000,000 cheaper than any other system and having greatest power possibilities, 9 February.

Hearings by committee on Public Lands, House of Representatives, 25 June to 7 July. Hetch Hetchy Grant, or “Raker Act,” signed by President Wilson 19 December.

1914:

Report of Consulting Engineers, W. F. Durand, J. D. Galloway and F. G. Baum received in July. Bids received by Board of Public Works for Contract No. 1, for constructing road from Hog Ranch (now Mather) to Hetch Hetchy, 8 July. Contract awarded to Utah Construction Company.

1915:

Begin manufacture of lumber at Canyon Ranch 21 July. Begin construction of camp buildings at Hetch Hetchy, clearing of Hetch Hetchy reservoir site, and construction of diversion tunnel in September.

Bids received for construction of Hetch Hetchy Railroad 24 November. Contract for Hetch Hetchy Railroad awarded 6 December.

1916:

Bids received for “Drifting Tunnels, Lower Cherry Aqueduct,” already begun by day labor, 9 August.

1917:

Hetchy Hetchy Railroad operation begins in October.

1918:

Lower Cherry power house begins operations (Early Intake plant) 6 May. Begin commercial sale of power from Cherry power house 21 September.

1919:

Contract awarded for construction of Hetch Hetchy dam to Utah Construction Company 1 August.

1920:

Contract awarded for construction of aqueduct tunnels in mountain division 3 May, this work having been carried on to this point by day labor.

1921:

Pouring of concrete on Hetch Hetchy dam commences in August.

Work begins on Priest dam in fall.

Work begins on Moccasin power house in fall.

1922:

Contract awarded for construction of Pulgas tunnel 23 June.

1923:

Contract awarded for construction of Bay Crossing pipe line 18 May. O’Shaughnessy Dam dedicated 7 July.

1924:

Special election $10,000,000 in bonds authorized to construct foothill tunnels and begin Coast Range tunnels, 7 October, vote 20 to 1.

1925:

Delivery of power begins 14 August from Moccasin power plant.

1926:

Bay Crossing aqueduct begins full operation 21 May.

Contracts awarded for driving portion of foothill tunnels 20 September. Remainder done by day labor.

1927:

Coast Range tunnel construction begins at Mocho shaft in April. Sinking begins in May.

1928:

Bond election, $24,000,000, to construct Coast Range tunnel and San Joaquin pipe, and $41,000,000 to purchase Spring Valley Water Company system.

Tunnel driving begins at Tesla portal of Coast Range tunnel 6 September.

Foothill tunnel-driving completed 6 December. Frog Creek trout egg-taking operations begin.

1930:

San Francisco Water Department takes over operation of system bought from Spring Valley Water Company on 3 March.

1931:

Tunnel 4.4 miles long “holed through” from Tesla portal to Thomas shaft in Coast Range.

Contract awarded for construction of San Joaquin pipe line 22 May.

Tunnel 3.4 miles long “holed through” from Alameda Creek to Irvington portal.

1932:

New charter in effect. Public Utilities Commission takes over management of Hetch Hetchy and San Francisco Water Department from Board of Public Works on 8 January.

Bond issue of $6,500,000 for completion of Hetch Hetchy aqueduct authorized on 3 May.

Water brought to Tesla portal of Coast Range tunnel in September.

1933:

Bond issue of $3,500,000 for enlargement of O’Shaughnessy Dam authorized 7 November by vote of 3 to 1.

Fish trap built at Frog Creek.

1934:

Last section of Coast Range tunnel “holed through” from Mocho shaft to Mitchell shaft. Hetch Hetchy water brought to Crystal Springs reservoir 28 October.

1936:

Cabin built at Frog Creek.

1937:

Flora severely damages Frog Creek egg-taking facilities.

1938:

O’Shaughnessy Dam raised to increase storage capacity.

1949:

Frog Creek trout egg-taking operations resume at Lake Eleanor.

1956:

Frog Creek trout egg-taking operations close along with Yosemite Valley fish hatchery.

Sources:

City and County of San Francisco, “O’Shaughnessy Dam Dedication Number,” Municipal Record 16, no. 29 (19 July 1923): 229-35.

__________, Public Utilities Commission, San Francisco Water and Power, September 1967, in Box 85 (Hetch Hetchy), Yosemite Research Library and Records Center, Yosemite National Park, California.

White Wolf

1850s:

Deidrich, Heinrich, and John Meyer leave Germany for California goldfields. Instead of mining, they take up cattle ranching in Tuolumne County.

1870s:

Indians steal some of the Meyers’ horses, and John Meyer goes in pursuit. He never recovers the horses, but discovers an alpine meadow at 8,000 feet elevation that he names for a headman of the Indians, “White Wolf.”

1882:

Survey work begins on Great Sierra Wagon Road through White Wolf on its way to Tioga Mining District.

1883:

Mining road completed on 4 September.

1884:

On 6 November John D. Meyer acquires 120 acres of land, including White Wolf meadow, for $200 in gold from Johnson Ridley, a stage driver on construction crew of mining road.

1890:

Yosemite National Park created, encompassing many private parcels of land within its boundary, including White Wolf.

1915:

Stephen T. Mather, with the assistance of interested friends, buys Great Sierra Wagon Road for $15,500 and donates it to federal government.

1926:

Gabriel Sovulewski completes rehabilitation of Tioga Road.

1927:

John D. Meyer, Jr., and wife, Alice Wilson Meyer, convert their modest home at White Wolf into lodge consisting of dining room, sitting room, and kitchen. Two cabins and twelve tent cabins erected. Across road from lodge is gas pump and soda fountain. That building still stands today behind lodge and used as storage.

The National Park Service maintains a small campground north of White Wolf Lodge, on Tioga Road, adjacent to Middle Fork of Tuolumne River.

1931:

NPS survey concludes that Meyer family willing sellers of their property in Yosemite; unfortunately, the government does not have funds at this time to purchase the land.

1930s:

Cabins 5 and 6 added to lodge area.

1937:

Realignment of Tioga Road begins, from Crane Flat to McSwain Meadows. The Meyers enjoy the increased business from road construction crews.

1940:

23 June dedication of new sections of Big Oak Flat Road and Tioga Road. Old section of Tioga Road from park line to White Wolf closed.

John D. Meyer dies.

1941:

With advent of World War II, Alice W. Meyer no longer able to cook for guests, but continues to rent cabins to long-time patrons, who supply their own meals.

1945:

Alice W. Meyer dies 1 July.

1951:

Henry Wilson “Bill” Meyer, son of John D. Meyer, Jr., and Alice W. Meyer, sells White Wolf property to federal government for $26,500, with assurance that structures will be maintained as lodge.

1952:

Yosemite Park and Curry Company acquires concession rights to White Wolf Lodge and opens it as unit of High Sierra camps in 1953.

1961:

NPS upgrades its campground facilities at White Wolf.

Curry Company begins improvements at White Wolf, including consolidation of cabins 5 and 6 into a duplex as well as improved restroom and shower facilities.

1968-69:

Heavy winter snows destroy the lodge and cabins 5 and 6.

1969:

Repairs to lodge include rebuilding of the fireplace and chimney and replacing walls and roof. Cabins 5 and 6 are removed.

Tuolumne Meadows

3,500 B. P. -

Evidence in excavations in El Portal reveal that trans-Sierran trade may have occurred as early as 3500 to 4000 years before present.

1833:

Joseph R. Walker crosses Sierra, through present Yosemite National Park. Party follows divide between the drainages of the Tuolumne and Merced rivers but does not cross through Tuolumne Meadows.

1851:

James Savage and Mariposa Battalion enter Yosemite Valley in pursuit of Indians.

Capt. John Boling’s company enters Yosemite for the second time, 9 May, and captures Yosemite Indians at Tenaya Lake 22 May. Indians escorted to Fresno Reservation but later to return to Yosemite. Lafayette Bunnell christens Tenaya Lake.

1852:

A party of eight prospectors enters Yosemite Valley and Indians kill two. Lt. Tredwell Moore and unit of troops dispatched in June to punish the Indians and return them to the reservation. Five Indians are killed in Yosemite Valley and the remaining band flees over the Mono Trail, through Tuolumne Meadows and Mono Pass, down Bloody Canyon to the Mono Lake country, to take refuge with the Paiutes. While Moore’s infantrymen are exploring the east side of the Sierra, they discover some promising mineral deposits and return to Mariposa without the Indians but with ore samples.

Leroy Vining leads group of prospectors through Tuolumne Meadows and down Bloody Canyon to explore the country that Lieutenant Moore described. 16 August James D. Savage murdered by Walter H. Harvey at King’s River Reservation.

1853:

A skirmish between the Mono Lake Paiutes and the Yosemite Indians results in the death of six of the Yosemites, including Chief Tenaya. Later remnants of Tenaya’s band return to Yosemite Valley.

1857:

Tom McGee clears and blazes the western part of the Mono Trail, following very closely the original Indian route. Miners flock to the east side of the Sierra near Mono Lake.

1860:

California State Geological Survey established, headed by Josiah Whitney. “The Sheepherder” Mine located.

1863:

California State Geological Survey begins work in Yosemite area and continues through 1867.

1865:

J. D. Whitney publishes description of the headwaters of the Tuolumne River and describes Tioga Pass (he referred to it as “MacLane’s”) as a better route of trans-Sierran travel than Mono Pass, at that time the route of travel and 600 feet higher in elevation.

1869:

John Muir’s first summer in the Sierra and in Tuolumne Meadows with a band of sheep.

1874:

William Brusky discovers the Sheepherder claim staked in 1860 by George W. “Doc” Chase (later Tioga Mine).

1878:

Nine claims established and Tioga Mining District organized.

1 August John L. Murphy homesteads the meadows on the south end of Tenaya Lake, plants trout, and establishes a hospice for visitors to the high country as well as construction workers on the Great Sierra Wagon Road.

1879:

Golden Crown Mine site established by Orlando Fuller.

1880:

Dana City granted a post office.

1881:

Mining operations begin at Great Sierra Mine.

Silver discovered on Mt. Hoffmann and Mt. Hoffmann Mining District established. No further activity mentioned.

Sierra Telegraph Company builds line from Lundy to Yosemite Valley via Bennettville.

1882:

Great Sierra Consolidated Silver Mining Company incorporated.

Construction on Tioga Road begins.

13 March, post office established at Bennettville. 16,000 tons of mining equipment sledded from Lundy to Great Sierra Mine, a distance of nine miles.

1883:

Tioga Road completed at cost of $62,000.

1884:

Tioga Mine closes and Great Sierra Consolidated Silver Mining Company folds, after an expenditure of $300,000 and no production.

1885:

John B. Lembert homesteads Soda Springs area of Tuolumne Meadows where he raises Angora goats.

1886:

John L. Murphy preempts 160 acres at Tenaya Lake.

1890:

Professor George Davidson of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey occupies summit of Mt. Conness and erects small (8'x8') wooden observatory on concrete piers for completing survey work.

1 October, Yosemite National Park created.

Lembert loses his Angora goats in snowstorm; begins collecting natural history specimens for scientific collections.

1892:

Sierra Club formed.

1896:

John Lembert murdered in his cabin below El Portal.

1898:

McCauley brothers buy Lembert’s Soda Springs property.

1901:

First of Sierra Club’s Annual Outings based in Tuolumne Meadows.

1902:

McCauleys construct cabin on their Soda Springs property.

1911:

Tenaya Lake Trail from Yosemite Valley completed.

1912:

Sierra Club purchases Soda Springs property.

1915:

January, Stephen T. Mather accepts post of assistant to the Secretary of the Interior. Mather enlists assistance of friends and, using his own money along with their donations, purchases the Tioga Road for $15,500 and donates it to the federal government. First appropriation for construction of the John Muir Trail approved by California Governor Hiram Johnson.

Sierra Cub constructs Parsons Memorial Lodge on their property at Soda Springs in Tuolumne Meadows.

1916:

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge and Tenaya Lake and Merced Lake camps opened by Desmond Park Service Company.

National Park Service Organic Act passed 25 August, and Mather becomes first director.

1918:

World War I and bankruptcy of the Desmond Company force closure of High Sierra camps opened in 1916.

Entrance stations established on Tioga Road at Aspen Valley and Tuolumne Meadows.

1922:

Merced Lake camp opens as sports-oriented boys’ camp.

1923:

Through encouragement of the NPS, the Hikers’ Camps reopen (Tuolumne Meadows, Tenaya Lake), and in September Naturalist Carl P. Russell chooses five additional sites for camps, of which three are chosen by the Yosemite National Park Company in 1924 for operation as High Sierra camps.

1924:

Glen Aulin and Boothe Lake (later known as Vogelsang) High Sierra camps established.

Building constructed as a ranger station, visitor contact station, and entrance station for the east entrance over Tioga Pass via the Tioga Road through Tuolumne Meadows. Its use later superceded by construction of Tioga Pass ranger station in 1931 and realignment of road through the meadows in the early 1930s, but the building continues to serve as a ranger residence and office.

1925:

Yosemite Park and Curry Company formed.

1930:

California Cooperative Snow Survey Program begins in Yosemite.

1931:

Work begins on Tioga Pass ranger station.

Early 1930s:

With realignment and improvement of Tioga Road from Tioga Pass to Tuolumne Meadows area, several rustic buildings removed and new structures built to replace them along the realigned route of the road.

1932:

Preliminary field survey made of proposed rerouting of Tioga Road.

Contracts awarded for new Tioga Road section from Cathedral Creek to Tioga Pass.

Tioga Pass ranger station completed. First stone building of rustic architectural style built by NPS in Tuolumne Meadows/Tioga Pass area.

1933:

NPS restricts camping in Tuolumne Meadows region in order to protect the water quality within watershed of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, whose waters due to arrive in San Francisco in 1934.

1934:

Mess hall and kitchen, bunk houses, toilet and shower room constructed at Tuolumne Meadows by Civilian Conservation Corps.

Three comfort stations constructed in Tuolumne Meadows campground area.

Comfort station and entrance gates constructed at Tioga Pass.

1936:

Visitor contact station erected at entrance of Tuolumne Meadows campground.

Tuolumne Meadows campground of 300 sites opens.

1937:

Section of road realignment from Cathedral Creek to Tioga Pass completed.

1938:

Section of old Tioga Road from McSwain Meadows to Cathedral Creek oiled for first time in its history. This twenty-one-mile section would later be bypassed.

Tenaya Lake High Sierra camp removed and replaced by one at May Lake.

Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center built by CCC.

1940:

23 June, dedication of new section of Tioga Road from Crane Flat to McSwain Meadows and of new Big Oak Flat Road from Highway 140 to Crane Flat. The old section of the Tioga Road from the west park line to White Wolf through Aspen Valley was closed.

Entrance station kiosk erected at Tioga Pass.

Vogelsang High Sierra camp moves from its second location to its present location on Fletcher Creek.

1942:

CCC is discontinued.

1947:

Infestation of lodgepole needleminer moth approaches epidemic stage in Tenaya Lake and Tuolumne Meadows region.

1952:

Yosemite Park and Curry Company acquires concession rights to White Wolf Lodge and opens it as unit of High Sierra camps in 1953.

1953:

First large-scale control effort against lodgepole pine needleminer epidemic involves airplane spraying of 11,000 acres of the 45,000 acres of infested area with DDT.

1957:

Construction begins on final twenty-one-mile section of Tioga Road, from McSwain Meadows to Cathedral Creek, including controversial section around Olmsted Point.

1958:

Ansel Adams brings road realignment to a temporary halt to investigate the threat to the domes at Tenaya Lake and Olmsted Point. Work resumes.

1961:

24 June, the last twenty-one-mile section of Tioga Road officially dedicated and opened to public. High Sierra camp established at Sunrise Lake.

1963:

Caltrans begins work on Tioga Road from Tioga Pass to Lee Vining.

1964:

Tioga Pass Road from Tioga Pass to Lee Vining opens.

1973:

National Park Service purchases Sierra Club property at Soda Springs.

1974:

NPS closes Sierra Club walk-in campground at Soda Springs.

1980:

Old visitor center at Tuolumne Meadows closes and new one established in CCC mess hall.

Chinquapin, Badger Pass, and Glacier Point

1851:

Mariposa Battalion enters Yosemite Valley following approximately present route of Wawona Road.

1855:

Mann brothers begin construction of toll trail to Yosemite Valley, following established Indian trails. According to Carl Russell, the present-day Alder Creek and Pohono trails follow the Mann brothers’ original tourist route completed in 1856.

1869:

Charles Peregoy’s Mountain View House constructed as hotel for visitors traveling the Wawona-to-Yosemite Valley trail. It operated until 1878, although bypassed by the Wawona wagon road completed in 1875.

1870:

The Mariposa-to-Wawona stage road (Chowchilla Mountain Road) completed.

1871:

John Conway, working for James McCauley, begins work on the Four-Mile Trail to Glacier Point, finishing in 1872.

1872:

McCauley begins the practice of the firefall from Glacier Point.

1874:

Washburn, Chapman, Coffman and Company of Mariposa petition the Yosemite Valley commissioners to extend their stage road from Wawona to Yosemite Valley, thus completing the Mariposa route.

1875:

22 July, road completed from Wawona to Yosemite Valley via Chinquapin.

1878:

James McCauley builds Glacier Point Mountain House.

1882:

State legislature appropriates funds to buy trails in Yosemite Grant; the Four-Mile Trail is first to be purchased.

Conway builds original Glacier Point Road from Chinquapin Station.

1886:

Section of the Wawona-to-Yosemite Valley road from Ft. Monroe (on boundary of the grant) to valley floor purchased by state.

1890:

Yosemite National Park created 1 October.

1895:

Cabin and property sold to Jack McGurk by Hugh Davanay. McGurk lost the property in 1897 when evicted by the U. S. Army over a title dispute. Cabin stabilized in 1958 and still stands by the meadow bearing McGurk’s name.

1897:

David Curry continues McCauley’s tradition of the firefall.

1905:

Boundaries of park redrawn, with net loss of 430 square miles.

1912:

Act of Congress of 9 April 1912: land exchange between Yosemite National Park and Sierra and Stanislaus national forests involving land owned in Yosemite National Park by the Yosemite Lumber Company.

1913:

Adolph Miller, Assistant Secretary of the Interior, discontinues firefall as a method of punishing David Curry for his effrontery in dealing with the national park administration.

1913-23:

Yosemite Lumber Company logs approximately 6,000 acres of privately owned land in the national park. However, a land exchange between the park and neighboring national forests, along with an agreement with the lumber company, ensures that a corridor of virgin timber will remain along the Wawona Road (including the proposed new road) so that tourists will be spared the view of cutover lands enroute to Yosemite Valley or Wawona.

1917:

Desmond Park Service Company completes Glacier Point Hotel.

Glacier Point firefall reinstituted.

1918:

Ledge Trail to Glacier Point constructed.

1925:

Geology exhibit at Glacier Point constructed as a branch of Yosemite Museum.

1929:

Work begins on new road from Wawona to Yosemite Valley.

1930:

Comfort station at Glacier Point campground constructed; converted into quarters, 1979

1931:

Ranger residence and naturalist’s residence constructed at Glacier Point. Old buildings of Yosemite Lumber Company at Deer Camp renovated for use in snow surveys.

1932:

Comfort station at Glacier Point constructed. Fire destroys structures at Chinquapin.

1933:

Wawona Road and tunnel dedicated 10 June. Ranger station/residence and comfort station constructed at Chinquapin.

1934:

Henness Ridge fire lookout constructed.

Realignment of Glacier Point Road.

1935:

Yosemite Park and Curry Company constructs ski lodge and lift at Monroe Meadows, in operation by 15 December. Eight-Mile Insect Control lab constructed at Eight-Mile on Wawona Road.

1936:

New Glacier Point Road finished.

1940:

Ostrander ski hut constructed at Ostrander Lake.

1942:

U. S. Army Signal Corps units utilize Park Service facilities at Wawona and Badger Pass as special summer training schools.

1946:

Blister rust camp established one-half mile south of Chinquapin ranger station/residence on old Wawona Road.

1958:

Campground at Bridalveil improved; parking lots at Badger Pass, Washburn Point, and Glacier Point enlarged.

1968:

Firefall discontinued.

1969:

9 August, Glacier Point Hotel, Mountain House, and comfort station destroyed by fire.

Wawona, South Entrance; and Mariposa Grove

1851:

Major James D. Savage and the Mariposa Battalion of volunteer Indian fighters camp on South Fork of the Merced River enroute to their discovery of Yosemite Valley.

1852:

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias discovered by a party of prospectors.

1855:

Mann brothers begin construction of a toll trail to Yosemite Valley, completed in 1856.

1856:

Galen Clark settles in the area of Wawona, homesteads 160 acres, and calls place “Clark’s Crossing” or “Clark’s Station.”

1857:

Clark builds bridge over the South Fork of the Merced River.

Clark and Milton Mann explore and publicize Mariposa Grove.

1864:

Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove deeded to state of California to be held in trust for the people in perpetuity. Total size of the grant is 48.6 square miles. Galen Clark later appointed Guardian of the grant and builds crude, one-room cabin in the grove.

1869:

Edwin Moore acquires half-interest in Clark’s Station, renaming it “Clark and Moore’s”.

1870:

Road from Mariposa to Wawona completed; work begins on road from Wawona to Yosemite Valley.

1874-75:

Washburn brothers purchase Clark and Moore’s and name it “Wawona,” the word used by the Miwoks to describe the giant sequoias. They derived the word from the sound of the great horned owl, deity and protector of the great trees.

1875:

Washburn brothers complete the road between Wawona and Yosemite Valley.

1878:

Wagon road constructed into Mariposa Grove. Clark’s original hotel burns and is replaced.

1879:

Present Wawona Hotel building constructed.

1881:

Wawona Tunnel Tree cut. State of California replaces “Galen’s Hospice,” the cabin in the Mariposa Grove with another one-room structure.

1884:

Clark Cottage constructed, as is the building used today as the manager’s cottage.

1886:

Thomas Hill establishes a summer studio adjacent to the Wawona Hotel, where he paints and displays his works until his death in 1908.

Seven-mile section of Wawona Road within boundaries of Yosemite Grant purchased by state.

1890:

Yosemite National Park created.

1891:

Yosemite’s first acting superintendent, Captain A. E. Wood, arrives in Yosemite with a contingent of troops and establishes headquarters on the South Fork of the Merced River at Wawona.

1892:

First plant of trout (rainbow) made in Yosemite by California Fish and Game Commission.

1895:

Fish hatchery at Wawona constructed, and operated by the state.

1896:

Moore Cottage (Small Brown) constructed as part of the Wawona Hotel complex.

1900:

Washburn Cottage (Long Brown) constructed as part of the Wawona Hotel complex.

1902:

State adds an additional room to the Mariposa Grove cabin to serve as an office for the Guardian.

1904:

Arboretum established at Wawona.

1905:

Boundaries of Yosemite National Park redrawn.

1906:

Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove re-ceded to federal government from the state, to become a part of the national park.

Camp A. E. Wood moves from Wawona to Yosemite Valley.

1913:

Automobiles legally enter Yosemite National Park for the first time.

This is also the last year that U. S. Army cavalry units took responsibility for the patrol and protection of the national park.

1914:

Civilian rangers replace U. S. Army units in Yosemite. Wawona and Big Oak Flat roads open to auto traffic.

1915:

Motor stages replace horse-drawn stages used in transporting tourists from Wawona to Glacier Point, the Yosemite Valley, and the Mariposa Grove.

1916:

National Park Service Act passed 25 August; Stephen Mather becomes first director. W. B. Lewis appointed first superintendent of Yosemite.

1917:

Wawona Hotel Company constructs Annex.

Balance of Wawona Road and Glacier Point branch turned over to National Park Service.

Chinese laundry building, later the plumbing shop and today the carriage shop, constructed.

1920:

Wawona Hotel Company constructs Sequoia Hotel. Wawona wagon shop constructed.

Big Trees Lodge built at Mariposa Grove by Desmond Park Service Company.

1929:

Work begins on new Wawona Road to Yosemite Valley.

1930:

Old log cabin in Mariposa Grove replaced with new structure, standing today as the Mariposa Grove Museum.

1931:

Mariposa Grove comfort station constructed.

1932:

Big Trees Lodge constructed at Sunset Point in Mariposa Grove, replacing the tent cabins built earlier. Washburns sell Wawona interests to Park Service and facilities leased to Yosemite Park and Curry Company.

Wawona Basin acquired through donated funds of $180,300, matched by congressional appropriation. Presidential proclamation of 13 August adds 8,785 acres to national park.

Barn constructed at Wawona to replace one removed for a road right-of-way prior to the acquisition.

1933:

Work on Wawona Road and tunnel completed, and structures dedicated 10 June.

Five CCC camps established in park, two at Wawona.

1934:

South Entrance construction: ranger residence-duplex, restroom, and office.

Residence #4000 at Wawona constructed and major construction at CCC camp.

New road completed in Mariposa Grove.

1935:

South entrance garage constructed.

1936:

Wawona residence #4003 originally constructed as mess hall; altered in 1940 to living quarters.

1937:

School and teacherage constructed at Wawona.

1938:

Residence #4001 constructed at Wawona.

1942:

CCC activities discontinued in Yosemite in July. U. S. Army Signal Corps units utilize Park Service facilities at Wawona and Badger Pass as special summer training schools.

1951:

Continued acquisition of lands in Wawona Basin.

1954:

First scientific study conducted to assess human impact on giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove.

1955:

Flood.

1958:

Wawona covered bridge restored following flood damage of late 1955. Campground at Wawona enlarged and improved, including new facilities.

Plans developed for Yosemite Pioneer History Center at Wawona, a part of the MISSION 66 plan to reduce crowding and congestion in Yosemite Valley by establishing other centers of interest in outlying areas of the park.

1961:

Yosemite Pioneer History Center dedicated 11 September and opened to public.

1969:

During a record year for precipitation, the Wawona Tunnel Tree in the Mariposa Grove falls.

1970:

Mariposa Grove road closed to private cars and tram system instituted.

1983:

California Conservation Corps workers tear down Big Trees Lodge, unoccupied since the early 1970s and only used since that time by trail and maintenance crews.



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