Cathey’s Valley

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

cathey ps

When driving to Yosemite via Merced and Highway 140, you will pass a wisp of a “place” called Cathey’s Valley. I had seen this place name in my readings of the ancient scrolls about the formation of the Park. I decided to pull over and take a look. It’s just a collection of a few buildings, but I was curious. Located maybe 10 miles south of Mariposa, it offers a nice little park with restrooms, an old school house and a blacksmith’s shack.  During the 1851 “Indian Wars” that lead to the White’s discovery of the Valley, the Mariposa Battalion hung out here awaiting orders. There were 12 gold quartz veins found in the valley so it had high miner traffic. It also supplied fruits and grains to the teams.  The name came from Andrew Cathey, an early settler from Ireland. The old schoolhouse was built in 1879 on land donated by Cathay. It’s worth a 15-minute stop on your trip to Half Dome.

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Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear. And it shows them pearly white. Just a jackknife has old MacHeath, babe. And he keeps it … ah … out of sight.” – Mack the Knife, Bobby Darin

*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch –


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