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Dana C. Morgenson (photo by Brian Grogan)
Dana C. Morgenson was born January 14, 1909 in the midwest, but moved with his family to the San Joaquin Valley, California, shortly after he was born. Morgenson graduated 1929 from Stanford University in English. He worked initially at a bank where he met his future wife. In 1944 he took a job in Yosemite Valley working as a office manager for Yosemite Park and Curry Company. During his off-hours he would learn about wildflowers and photography. Eventually he worked up to Reservations Manager and, in 1968, as tour guide giving popular camera walks in Yosemite Valley. Morgenson became a sought-after celebrity in Yosemite Valley. For this reason he delayed his retirement to 1979, as he felt he owed it to the public. When he retired in 1979 he moved to a home he was building in Sedona, Arizona.
Dana Morgenson died at Olympic National Park September 21, 1980. He was visiting there with his wife after a trip to Alaska.
His wife Esther was editor of the Curry Company Yosemite Sentinel in the 1960s. She was born June 3, 1909 and died April 1993 in Sedona, Arizona. They had a son, Randy, who worked as a backcountry ranger (and who’s untimely 1996 death is chronicled in The Last Season).
From Dana Morgenson’s obituary ( “Dana C. Morgenson, 1906-1980” Yosemite 47(10):1-2):
Dana had served on the Yosemite Natural History Association Board of Trustees since 1946 and had been its Chairman since 1973. Dana’s career with the Yosemite Park and Curry Co. included a number of jobs in accounting, hotel reservations and hotel management. . . . But when he commenced his camera walks, he hit his stride—doing what he enjoyed most, and perhaps best, within clear view of the surroundings, photographing and sharing his feelings about them with his followers.
How many visitors went with Dana on his walks no one knows—many thousands, we suppose—the number isn’t important. However, each one of them must have come away with a feeling of respect for Yosemite. For we think that among Dana’s responses to the Park, reverence for its beauty, for its creation, and his insistence on its preservation may have been the strongest. These indeed are worth emulating. . . .
Dana Clark Morgenson (1906-1980), Yosemite Wildflower Trails (Yosemite Natural History Association, 1975). Based on notes by Mary Curry Tresidder. No valid copyright notice and no copyright registration. LCCN 76364906. 88 pages. Illustrated. 22 cm. Perfect bound with paper wrappers, illustrated with a color photograph. Library of Congress call number QK149.M65.
This book was also bound in beige cloth boards, as a presentation copy, but the content is the same.
Converted to HTML by Dan Anderson, November 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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