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The Old Stagedriver’s Yosemite Yarns (1962) by Laurence Degnan and Douglass Hubbard


GALEN DUG HIS GRAVE

Top: Galen and The Grizzly Giant. Center: Clark (l) at Clark’s Station, 1866. Bottom: Yosemite children at Galen's Grave
[click to enlarge]

GALEN CLARK, one of the beloved men of Yosemite, was 42 when he came to Yosemite to die. He had been in the goldfields when the doctors told him that he hadn’t long to live— some sort of trouble with his lungs. But Galen was the kind of feller that had to keep busy so while waitin’ to meet his maker he got a lot accomplished. He dug his grave (the old timers say it was lined with broken bottles). He carved his name on a granite headstone, then planted some nice young sequoia trees around it. Galen loved trees. He was one of the first to explore the Mariposa Grove, and he built a cozy little cabin in the midst of those great trees.

“After President Lincoln set the Yosemite apart back in 1864, Galen was appointed the first guardian, and he was one of the best guides we ever had. Everyone liked him. He built the original hotel at Wawona, right where the present hotel sits—called it ‘Clark’s Station’. And he started the old covered bridge which you can see out at Wawona today—not many of those left.

“Yosemite’s climate must have agreed with Galen Clark—he was 96 when he passed away in 1910. They laid him to rest right where he wanted to be, in the cemetery in Yosemite Valley. You can see the headstone he carved, and his sequoia trees are doin’ fine too.”

TOP: GALEN AND THE GRIZZLY GIANT
CENTER: CLARK (L) AT CLARK’S STATION, 1866
BOTTOM: YOSEMITE CHILDREN AT GALEN’S GRAVE

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

http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/yosemite_yarns/galens_grave.html