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Pioneer Yosemite History Center Online Tour


Wagons and Stagecoaches

Wagons
[click to enlarge]

Shed protecting wagons and stagecoaches.
Farm equipment on right.
In 1864, the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias were granted to California as a public trust. At first, travel into these areas was only on foot or horseback. But soon, nationwide and local improvements in transportation, such as the transcontinental railroad (1869) and stage roads into Yosemite Valley (1874), made travel more practical.

The Pioneer Yosemite History Center’s collection of restored and authentic stagecoaches represents early travel to the Yosemite region. After a train-ride from San Francisco to the terminus in the small foothill town of Raymond, Yosemite was still a two-day ride by stage. The stage trip was a bruising one, and one which left passengers covered with a fine coat of dust. The stage drivers were literally the “Kings of the Road,” commanding respect from all their passengers as they navigated the rocky roads, the hair-pin curves, and dealt with the occasional bandits along the route.


Washburn mud wagon
[click to enlarge]

Washburn

Mud wagon. Mud wagons were lighter and faster than stage coaches, which were completely enclosed. Built by Henderson, Stockton, California. Used by Yosemite Stage & Turnpike Co. Gift of Yosemite Park & Curry Co.


Mahta 11-passenger wagon
[click to enlarge]

Mahta

11-passenger mud wagon. Built by McDonald, Merced, California. Used by Stoddard Stage Lines, El Portal to Yosemite. Gift of Horace Meyer.


Chuck Wagon
[click to enlarge]

Chuck Wagon

Built by Joe (Boy) Ashworth, Washburn Shops, Wawona. Used by Washburn Brothers. Gift of Yosemite Park & Curry Co.


Spring Wagon
[click to enlarge]

Spring Wagon

Spring wagons were the pickup trucks of yesterday. Light loads were transported conveniently in the box. Some models featured a slip-in rear seat for times when the cargo was extra people.

Except for the lack of a tip, this type reminds one of a modern station wagon. The term spring wagon refers to the combination of steel springs on which the box and seat are mounted. We believe this particular spring wagon was brought into Yosemite by pioneers Bob McGregor & Frank Ewing.


Farm Wagon
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Farm Wagon

Built by Louis Egling, Chinese Camp, California. Used by George Meyer, Big Meadow, Yosemite. Gift of Horace Meyer.


Mosquito Wagon
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Mosquito Wagon

Used by National Park Service.


Galen Clark Wagon
[click to enlarge]

Galen Clark Wagon

8-passenger wagon. Built by Louis Egling, Chinese Camp, California. Used by Coffman and Kenny, Kennyville, Yosemite Valley. Gift of Yosemite Park & Curry Co.

Galen Clark “brought the first wagon into Yosemite Valley. Charles Tuttle, the first white boy born in Yosemite, rehearsed the sensation created by this event: ‘I was a boy of eight or nine years when the first wagon was brought into the Valley. Galen Clark had it packed in on mule back. I had never been out of the Valley and had never seen a wagon. Everybody was interested to see it assembled. When all was in readiness three or four days were given to celebrate the event and everybody living in the Valley had a free ride; I will never forget those days! They were wonderful!’ In 1889 John Muir writes: ‘I find Old Galen Clark also. He looks well and is earning a living by carrying passengers about the Valley.’ The old wagon is an interesting and prized relic. [“Galen Clark,” Yosemite Indians and Other Sketches (1936) by Mrs. H. J. Taylor.]


Egling Mountain Wagon
[click to enlarge]

Egling

Mountain Wagon. Built by Louis Egling, Chinese Camp, California. Used by Pat Kelly, Sonora to Milton, California. Gift of Howard Egling.

Pat Kelley made many trips between the towns of Sonora and Milton in this wagon. This one was built in the Egling Shop at Chinese Camp.


McGurk Buckboard
[click to enlarge]

McGurk

Buckboard. Built by Studebaker, South Bend, Indiana. Used by Jack McGurk, Madera Co. Rancher.


Freight Wagon
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Freight Wagon

Heavy capacity wagon drawn by a mule team. Used to move heavy, slow freight long distances overland.

More information



Next: ReferencesContentsPrevious: Gray Barn

Copyright 2005 by Dan E. Anderson. All rights reserved.

CalHotels.US--online reservations now CalHotels.US Lowest Hotel Rates Guaranteed. Click Here For Yours!
Hotel photos, maps, reviews, & discount rates.

U.S. Hotels in California (Yosemite, L. A., San Francisco ), AL, AK, AR, AS, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, FM, GA, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OK, NV, MH, MP, NM, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, PR, PW, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, VI WA, WV, WI, WY

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