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


Table of Contents

Volume 1: Historical Narrative

Location Map iii
Preface v
Chronologies xxxiii

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

Chapter I: Early Habitation and Explorations in the Yosemite region 1

A. The First Inhabitants 1
B. The Joseph Walker Party Skirts Yosemite Valley 13
C. Gold Discoveries Generate Indian-White Conflicts 15
1. Effects of Euro-American Settlement on the northern California Indians 15
2. Formation of the Mariposa Battalion 17
3. Captain John Boling Enters Yosemite Valley 24
4. Lieutenant Tredwell Moore Enters Yosemite Valley 25
D. Decline in Strength of the Yosemites 26
E. Historical Indian Occupation of Yosemite Valley 26
F. Historical Indian Occupation of El Portal 29
G. Remains of Indian Occupation in Yosemite National Park 29
H. Remains of White Exploration in Yosemite Valley 31
I. Tourism to Yosemite Valley Begins 32
1. A Three-Year Lull 32
2. James M. Hutchings inspects Yosemite Valley 32
3. Publicity on Yosemite Valley Reaches the East Coast 33
4. Publicity Encourages Visitation 35
a) Trails and Tourist Facilities on the Way to Yosemite Valley 35
b) Early Hotels in Yosemite Valley 44
5. Discovery of Giant Sequoia Groves 46
a) Tuolumne Grove 46
b) Mariposa Grove 47
c) Merced Grove 49

Chapter II: Yosemite Valley as a State Grant and Establishment of Yosemite National Park, 1864-1890 51

A. Interest Mounts Toward Preserving the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove 51
1. Yosemite Act of 1864 51
a. Steps Leading to the Preservation of Yosemite Valley 51
b) Frederick Olmsted‘s Treatise on Parks 55
c) Significance of the Yosemite Grant 59
B. State Management of the Yosemite Grant 65
1. Land Surveys 65
2. Immediate Problems Facing the State 66
3. Settlers‘ Claims 69
4. Trails 77
a) Early Survey Work 77
b) Routes To and Around Yosemite Valley 78
c) Tourist Trails in the Valley 79
(1) Four-Mile Trail to Glacier Point 80
(2) Indian Canyon Trail 82
(3) Yosemite Fall and Eagle Peak Trail 83
(4) Rim Trail, Pohono Trail 83
(5) Clouds Rest and Half (South) Dome Trails 84
(6) Vernal Fall and Mist Trails 85
(7) Snow Trail 87
(8) Anderson Trail 88
(9) Panorama Trail 88
(10) Ledge Trail 89
5. Improvement of Trails 89
a) Hardships Attending Travel to Yosemite Valley 89
b) Yosemite Commissioners Encourage Road Construction 91
c) Work Begins on the Big Oak Flat and Coulterville Roads 92
d) Improved Roads and Railroad Service increase Visitation 94
e) The Coulterville Road Reaches the Valley floor 95
1) A New Transportation Era Begins 95
2) Later History 99
f) The Big Oak Flat Road Reaches the Valley Floor 100
g) Antagonism Between Road Companies increases 103
h) The Wawona Road Reaches the Valley floor 106
i) Roads with in the Reservation boundary 110
6. Development of Concession Operations 114
a) Hotels and Recreational Establishments 114
(1) Upper Hotel 115
(2) Lower Hotel/Black‘s Hotel 122
(3) Leidig‘s Hotel 122
(4) Mountain View House 123
(5) Wawona Hotel 126
(6) La Casa Nevada 133
(7) Cosmopolitan Bathhouse and Saloon 135
(8) Mountain House 138
(9) Stoneman House 139
b) Stores, Studios, and Other Services 145
(1) Harris Campground 145
(2) Degnan Bakery 146
(3) Fiske Studio 147
(4) Bolton and Westfall Butcher shop 147
(5) Flores Laundry 148
(6) Cavagnaro Store 148 (7) Stables 148
(8) Sinning Woodworking shop 148
(9) Stegman Seed Store 149
(10) Reilly Picture Gallery 149
(11) Wells Fargo office 150
(12) Folsom bridge and Ferry 151
(13) Chapel 151
c) Transportation in the Valley 154
d) Staging and Hauling to Yosemite Valley 155
7. Schools 159
8. Private Lands 164
a) Bronson Meadows (Hodgdon Meadow) area 167
(1) Crocker station 167
(2) Hodgdon ranch 167
b) Ackerson Meadow 171
c) Carlon or Carl Inn 171
d) Hazel Green 171
e) Crane Flat 174
f) Gin Flat 175
g) Tamarack Flat 176
h) Foresta/Big Meadow 177
(1) McCauley barn 180
(2) Meyer barn No. 1 (Saltbox) 181
(3) Meyer barn No. 2 (Cribwork interior) 181
(4) Big Meadow Cemetery 181
i) Gentry station 188
j) Aspen Valley 189
(1) Hodgdon cabin 189
(2) East Meadow Cache 192
k) Hetch Hetchy Valley/Lake Eleanor area 192
(1) Miguel Meadow cabin 193
(2) Kibbe cabin 196
(3) Elwell cabins 196
(4) Tiltill Mountain 197
(5) Lake Vernon cabin 197
(6) Rancheria Mountain cabin 197
(7) Smith Meadow cabin 198
l) White Wolf 198
m) Soda Springs and Tuolumne Meadows 199
(1) Lembert cabin 201
(2) Tuolumne Meadows cabin 206
(3) Murphy cabin 206
(4) Snow Flat cabin 207
n) Tioga pass 207
(1) Dana fork cabin 207
(2) Mono pass cabins 210
o) Little Yosemite Valley 210
(1) Washburn/Leonard cabin 210
p) Yosemite Valley 211
(1) Pioneer Cemetery 211
(a) White Graves 212
(b) Indian Graves 218
(2) Lamon cabin 222
(3) Hutchings cabin 222
(4) Muir cabin 224
(5) Leidig cabin and barn 225
(6) Howard cabin 226
(7) Happy Isles cabin 227
(8) Clark cabin 227
(9) Four-Mile Trail cabin 228
(10) Mail Carrier Shelter cabins 228
(11) Stegman cabin 228
(12) Hamilton cabin 228
(13) Shepperd cabin 229
(14) Manette cabin 229
(15) Whorton cabin 229
(16) Boston cabin 229
q) Glacier Point 232
(1) McGurk cabin 232
(2) Mono Meadow cabin 233
(3) Ostrander cabin 233
(4) Westfall Meadows cabin 234
r) Wawona 234
(1) Pioneer Cemetery 234
(2) Crescent Meadows cabin 235
(3) Turner Meadow cabin 235
(4) Buck Camp 235
(5) Mariposa Grove cabins 236
(6) Chilnualna Fall 237
(7) Galen Clark Homestead Historic site 237
(8) Cunningham cabin 240
(9) West Woods (Eleven-Mile station) 240
(10) Other Homesteaders 241
s) El Portal area 242
(1) Hennessey ranch 242
(2) Rutherford Mine 243
9. The Tioga Mine and Great Sierra Wagon Road 243
a) Early activity in the Tuolumne Meadows area 243
b) Formation of the Tioga Mining district 244
c) The Great Sierra Consolidated Silver Company Commences Operations 246
d) Construction of the Great Sierra Wagon Road 250
e) The Tioga Mine Plays Out 256
10. Management of the Grant by the Yosemite Commissioners 258
a) Replacement of the Board of Commissioners, 1880 258
b) Report of the State Engineer, 1881 259
(1) Protecting Yosemite Valley from Defacement 260
(a) Preservation of the Water shed 260
(b) Regulation of Use of the Valley Floor 261
(c) Treatment of the Valley Streams 262
(2) Promoting Tourism 262
(a) Improving Approaches to the Valley 263
(b) Improvements to Travel In and About Yosemite Valley 263
(c) Trails 264
(d) Footpaths 264
(e) Bridges 265
(f) Drainage and Guard Walls 265
(g) Hotels, Stores, Houses 266
(3) Lands caping 266
(4) Agricultural Development 267
(5) River overflow 267
c) Remarks on Hall‘s Report 268
(1) Yosemite Valley River Drainage and Erosion Control 269
(2) Yosemite Valley Vegetative Changes 273
(a) Fire Suppression 273
(b) Drainage of Meadows 276
(c) Introduction of Exotics 277
(3) Mariposa Grove Management Problems 277
d) Report of the Commissioners, 1885-86 279
e) Report of the Commissioners, 1887-88 282
f) Report of the Commissioners, 1889-90 288
11. Establishment of Yosemite National Park 289
a) Accusations of Mismanagement of the State Grant 289
b) Arrival of John Muir in California 296
c) John Muir and Robert Underwood Johnson Join forces 298
d) Response of the Commissioners to Charges of Mismanagement 300
e) Comments on the Controversy 301
f) The Yosemite National Park Bill Passes Congress 304
g) Comments on the Preservation Movement and Establishment of Yosemite National Park 305

Chapter III: Administration of the Yosemite Grant and Yosemite National Park, 1890-1905 311

A. The U. S. Army Enters Yosemite 311
1. The U. S. Army Becomes the Regulatory force in the New California Parks 311
2. Aspects of Military Management 312
3. Contributions of the U. S. Army to the Present National Park System 318
B. Trails, bridges, and Roads 320
1. Trails and bridges 320
a) Pre-Army Trail System 320
b) Blazes 321
c) Army Troops Begin Improving routes 325
2. Toll Roads 341
C. Construction and Development 349
1. State of California 349
a) Pavilion 349
b) Powerhouse 349
2. Concession Operations 349
a) Wawona Hotel 349
b) Cosmopolitan Bathhouse and Saloon 350
c) Camp Curry 351
d) Degnan Bakery 352
e) Fiske Studio 352
f) Foley Studio 352
g) Jorgensen Studio 353
h) Boysen Studio 353
i) Best Studio 354
j) Studio of the Three Arrows 354
3. Sierra Club 354
a) Creation of Club 354
b) LeConte Lodge 357
4. U. S. Army 359
a) New Camp buildings 359
b) Arboretum 360
D. Natural Resource Management 365
1. Continuing Charges of Spoliation of Yosemite Valley 365
2. The Sheep Problem 368
a) The Sheep industry in the 1890s 368
b) Army Measures to Combat Trespassing 370
3. Grazing on Park Lands 372
4. Poaching 373
5. Fish Planting 374
6. Forest Management 377
7. Stream Flow Measurements in Yosemite Valley 377
8. Origins of a Major Conservation Battle 380
a) Initiation of the Hetch Hetchy Project 380
b) The Secretary of the interior Denies Mayor Phelan‘s Applications 385
E. A New Transportation Era Begins 388
1. Railroad Lines to Yosemite 388
a) Yosemite Short Line Railway Company 388
b) Yosemite Valley Railroad 389
F. Private Lands and boundary Changes 391
G. Recession of the Yosemite Grant 402
H. Refocus of Park Administration 412

Chapter IV: Administration of Yosemite National Park, 1906-1915 413

A. The Army Moves Its Headquarters to Yosemite Valley 413
B. Trails, bridges, and Roads 414
1. Trails and bridges 414
a) General Trail and bridge Work 414
b) John Muir Trail 419
2. Roads 425
a) El Portal Road 425
b) Status of Roads in 1913 430
c) Road and Trail Construction Required of the City of San Francisco 431
d) Initiation of Auto Travel in Yosemite 433
e) Effects of Auto Travel in the Park 437
f) The Federal Government Acquires the Tioga Road. 439
g) The Big Oak Flat Road Becomes Toll Free 443
C. Buildings and Construction 443
1. Army Camp 443
2. Yosemite Village 446
3. Park General 451
a) Schools 451
b) Powerhouse 456
c) Miscellaneous 456
d) Wood-Splitting plant 457
e) Fire Lookouts and Patrol cabins 457
D. Campgrounds 458
E. Visitor Service Operations Expand 461
1. The U. S. Army Becomes involved in Business Concessions 461
2. Concession Permits in Operation During That Time 462
3. Camp Curry Continues to Grow 470
4. The Camp Idea Expands to Other areas 472
5. The Washburn interests 472
6. The Yosemite Transportation Company 477
7. The Yosemite Valley Railroad Company 478
8. The Shaffer and Lounsbury garage 479
9. The Desmond Park Service Company 479
F. Patented Lands Again Pose a Problem 481
1. Timberlands 481
a) Lumber interests Eye Park Timber Stands 481
b) Congress Authorizes Land Exchanges 483
c) The Yosemite Lumber Company 484
d) The Madera Sugar Pine Company 488
2. Private Properties 488
a) Foresta 488
b) McCauley ranch 489
c) The Cascades (Gentry Tract) 490
d) Tuolumne Meadows (Soda Springs) 490
G. Insect and Blister Rust Control 494
1. Beetle Depredations 494
2. White Pine Blister Rust 495
H. The Hetch Hetchy Water Project Plan Proceeds 496
1. The Garfield Permit 496
2. Antagonism to the Project Continues 497
3. The City of San Francisco Begins Acquiring Land 498
4. A New Secretary of the Interior Questions His Predecessor‘s Actions 500
5. The Raker Act 501
6. Construction Begins 505
7. General Character of the System 506
8. Elements of the Hetchy Hetchy System 507
a) Hetch Hetchy Railroad 507
b) Sawmills 509
c) Lake Eleanor Dam 512
d) Hetch Hetchy Dam 512
I. Completion of the Yosemite Valley Railroad 513
J. Growth of El Portal 516
K. Growth of interest in National Parks and Need for Better Organization Leads to Establishment of National Park Service 518
1. Change in Administration of the Parks 518
2. Proposal for a Bureau of National Parks and Resorts 519
3. Establishment of the National Park Service 521

Volume 2: Historical Narrative (Continued)

Chapter V: National Park Service Administration of Yosemite National Park, 1916-1930: the Mather Years 523

A. Overview 523
B. Roads, Trails, and bridges 531
1. Season of 1916 531
a) Existing Roads and Trails 531
(1) Government-Owned Roads 532
(2) Non-Government-Owned Roads 533
(3) Government-Owned Trails 533
b) Anticipated Visitation Requires New Construction 537
c) John Muir Trail 541
2. Season of 1917 542
3. Seasons of 1918-19 547
4. The 1920s Period 548
a) Improvement of Roads and Trails Continues 548
b) Hetch Hetchy area 550
c) Auxiliary Valley Roads 551
d) The Park Service Initiates a Road-building Program 552
e) Improvement of Wawona Road and Relocation of Big Oak Flat Road Contemplated 554
f) Reconstruction of Wawona Road Begins 555
g) Valley Stone bridges Constructed 560
h) Trail Work Continues 560
5. Some Valley Naturalization Begins 565
C. Construction and Development 568
1. The Park Service Slowly Builds Needed structures 568
2. A New Village site is Considered 577
3. The 1920s Period involves a Variety of Construction Jobs 581
4. The New Hospital and Superintendent‘s residence 585
5. The Indian Village in Yosemite Valley 590
6. More Construction and Removal of Some older structures 591
D. Educational and interpretive Programs 595
1. Nature Guide Service 595
2. LeConte Lectures 597
3. Yosemite Museum Association 597
4. Zoo 603
5. Indian Field Days 605
6. Interpretive Publications 606
7. Yosemite School of Field Natural History 606
8. Research Preserves 607
9. Development and Importance of Educational Work at Yosemite 607
E. Concession Operations 612
1. The Desmond Park Service Company (Yosemite National Park Company) 612
a) The Desmond Company Receives a Concession Permit 612
b) Desmond Constructs forerunners of High Sierra Camps 615
c) Yosemite National Park Company formed 618
d) Bear Feeding Expands 624
e) High Sierra Camps Reestablished 626
f) Yosemite National Park Company Holdings, 1924 630
2. The Curry Camping Company 652
a) The Company Continues to Grow 652
b) Mrs. Curry Has the LeConte Lodge Moved 652
c) New Construction activity 653
d) Yosemite Park and Curry Company formed 658
e) The Company initiates a Winter Sports Program 663
f) Concession Atmosphere Changes with Increased Tourism 671
3. The Wawona Hotel Company 671
4. Best Studio 675
5. Pillsbury Studio 676
6. Fiske Studio 676
7. Baxter Studio 676
F. Patented Lands 677
1. Yosemite Lumber Company 677
2. Foresta Subdivision 684
3. Big Meadow 687
4. Aspen Valley Homesites 687
5. Cascade Tract 688
6. Gin Flat and Crane Flat 688
7. The Cascades (Gentry Tract) 688
8. Hazel Green 688
9. White Wolf Lodge 689
G. Hetch Hetchy 695
H. El Portal Mining 699
I. Yosemite Valley Railroad 713
J. Natural Resource Management 715
1. Stream Control 715
2. Meadows 717
3. Fire Control 718
4. grazing 720
K. Fish Hatcheries 721
L. Stream Flow Measurements 723
M. Snow Survey 728
N. Establishment of Yosemite Advisory Board 729

Chapter VI: National Park Service Administration, 1931 to Ca. 1960 731

A. Overview 731
1. Stephen Mather Steps Down 731
2. Public Works Programs Aid Completion of Park Projects 732
3. The Dissolution of Emergency Relief Projects Severely Impacts Park Conditions 750
4. MISSION 66 Revives Park Development 752
B. Roads, Trails, and bridges 758
1. Trail Construction in the early 1930s Results in Completion of John Muir Trail 758
2. Reconstruction of Park Roads Begins in early 1930s 762
a) Paving and Tunnel and bridge building Commence 762
b) Tioga Road 762
c) Wawona Road and Tunnel 763
d) Yosemite Valley bridges 769
e) Glacier Point Road 769
f) Big Oak Flat Road 771
g) Trail and Road Signs 771
h) Bridge Work Precedes Flood of 1937 778
i) North Valley Road Realignment Considered 784
j) Completion of New Big Oak Flat Road 785
k) Bridge Work Continues in the 1940s 785
I) Flood of 1950 795
m) Completion of the Tioga Road 796
n) Flood Reconstruction Work Continues 797
o) MISSION 66 Provides Impetus for New Big Oak Flat Entrance Road 802
C. Construction and Development 802
1. Season of 1931 803
2. Season of 1932 811
3. Season of 1933 815
4. Season of 1934 824
5. Season of 1935 839
6. Season of 1936 850
7. Season of 1937 851
a) General Construction 851
b) Flood Damage 852
c) New CCC Cascades Camp Constructed 853
8. Season of 1938 855
9. Seasons of 1939-40 859
10. Period of the Late 1940s 871
11. The 1950s Period Encompasses Many Changes 872
D. Concession Operations 884
1. The National Park Service Acquires Wawona Basing 884
2. Big Trees Lodge 894
3. Chronology of Later Yosemite Park and Curry Company Development 895
a) Company Facilities Need Improvement 895
b) Winter Sports Move to Badger Pass 901
c) Limited Construction Occurs 902
d) High Sierra Camps Continue 903
e) the U. S. Navy Takes over the Ahwahnee Hotel 904
f) The Curry Company Begins a New Building Program 905
E. Patented Lands 917
1. Remaining in 1931 917
2. Yosemite Lumber Company 922
3. Section 35, Wawona 923
4. Camp Hoyle 931
5. Hazel Green 931
6. Carl Inn 932
7. Foresta 932
8. Big Meadow 937
9. White Wolf 938
10. Soda Springs 939
11. Tioga Mine 944
a) Renewal of activity 944
b) Mine ruins 946
12. MISSION 66 Provides Impetus for Land Acquisition 947
F. Hetch Hetchy 948
1. O’Shaughnessy Dam Raised 948
2. Hetch Hetchy Railroad Revived 949
3. Construction and Security, 1930s-1950s 961
G. Yosemite Valley Railway 961
H. Research and Park Management 966
I. Natural Resource Management 967
1. River and Stream Control 967
2. Fire Control 974
3. Grazing 975
4. Insect Control 977
5. Blister Rust Control 979
J. Fish and Game 981
K. Water Monitoring 985
L. Snow Survey 985
M. El Portal 987
N. Summary 994

Volume 3: Discussion of Historical Resources, Appendixes, Historical Base Maps, Bibliography

Chapter VII: Historical Resources of Yosemite National Park 1013

Chapter VIII: Additional Notes on Certain Sites 1021

A. In the Backcountry 1021
B. Hetch Hetchy and Lake Eleanor Dams 1023
C. Foresta Subdivision and McCauley-Meyer Sawmill 1025
1. Foresta 1025
2. McCauley-Meyer Sawmill 1025
D. Emergency Relief Projects 1026
E. Yosemite Valley 1027
1. Hydroelectric Power Plant 1027
2. Ahwahnee Row Houses 1028
3. Yosemite Village Historic District 1030
4. Camp Curry Historic District 1032
5. Yosemite Lodge 1033
6. Yosemite Village Garage 1034
7. Yosemite Village Gas Station 1034
F. Wawona 1034
1. Pioneer Yosemite History Center 1034
2. Section 35 1036
G. El Portal 1037
1. Hotel and Market 1038
2. Other Resources 1038

Chapter IX: Recommendations for Interpretation, Cultural Resources Management, and Further Research 1041

A. Interpretation and Cultural Resources Management 1041
B. Further Research 1042

Chapter X: Significant Historical Properties in Yosemite National Park 1045

A. The National Register of Historic Places 1045
1. Properties Listed in the National Register 1046
2. Properties Determined Eligible for Listing in the National Register 1048
3. Properties Nominated to the National Register, Status Uncertain 1048
4. Properties Nominated to the National Register by the National Park Service, Concurred in by State Historic Preservation officer, Returned by National Register for Additional Data or Revisions Potential National Register Properties 1049
5. Properties to be Nominated to the National Register, 1987 1049
a) Architecture 1050
b) Transportation and Landscape Architecture 1051
c) Conservation/Commerce 1052
d) Conservation/Parks and Recreation 1052
B. The Historic American Buildings Survey 1054
C. The National Historic Landmarks Program 1055
D. The List of Classified structures for Yosemite National Park as of 12 December 1984 1057

Appendixes 1061
A: C. Hart Merriam, “Indian Village and Camp Sites in Yosemite Valley,” Sierra Club Bulletin 10, No. 2 (January 1917) 1063
B: Chronological Overview of Archeological Investigation in Yosemite National Park 1069
C: Rules and Regulations for the Government of the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Big Tree Grove 1075
D: Legislation Pertaining to Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Big Tree Grove 1081
E: Administrators of the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Big Tree Grove, 1866-1960 1087
F: Historical Components of Concession Operations, June-July 1923 1089
G: building Inventory, Yosemite National Park 1105

Historical Base Maps 1149
Historical Maps of Yosemite National Park and Yosemite Valley, 1850 to 1915, by William and Mary Hood, ca. 1964 1150
Historical Base Map No. 1. Early Trails, Yosemite National Park, DSC, 1987 1192
    No. 2. Early Roads in Yosemite National Park (5 sheets), DSC, 1987 1201
    No. 3. Old Yosemite Village area, Development from 1859 to 1959, DSC, 1987 1212
    No. 4. Yosemite National Park, showing roads, structures, sites, and archeological and historic districts, DSC, 1987 1214
    No. 5. National Register sites and potential nominations, Yosemite Valley 1216

Bibliography 1219



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