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


HOW THE LOCUST TREES CAME

Locust Tree in Yosemite Valley
[click to enlarge]

EVER BEEN in Yosemite Valley in autumn? It’s one of the prettiest seasons of all.” The old stagedriver reminisced, “If you have you’ve probably noticed that one of the first trees to turn golden yellow is the locust. Well, you can thank old Jack Anderson, ’cause in a way he paid for them with his life.

“Jack was a stagedriver who had the misfortune of being kicked in the head and killed by one of his horses. Old timers say that he was buried over near the foot of the Four Mile Trail, where the first Old Village used to be. They stuck his whip in the ground to mark his grave. It must have been a fresh switch of locust he had cut on the way up, and it took root.

“Anderson’s body was moved later to the cemetery, but you’ll find locust trees growin’ in many parts of Yosemite Valley. Most of them though are around where his whip was stuck, —where he was first buried.”



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