Earliest Yosemite Days

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing


 Soon after the 1864 signing of the Yosemite Grant, a group of Commissioners was appointed to oversea things. Check out some of these names: F. Law Olmsted, J. D. Whitney, William Ashburner, I. W. Raymond, E. S. Holden, Alexander Deering, George W. Coulter and Galen Clark. Many now have parts of the park named after them. Clark’s official title was Guardian of the Grove and Valley. He lived year round near Wawona.  In 1865, $2,000 was set aside to pay Clark and to begin some improvements. A lot of the Commissioner’s work was dealing with the many “squatters” who had verbal claims to tracts of land in the new “park” confines. They also set out to discourage trespassing and prevent logging. Surveys of the park began in earnest to improve the rough work done to support the movement to have the land set aside. From June to October of 1866, a team of geologists did a detailed exploration and mapping of the region near the heads of the Merced, Tuolumne and San Joaquin rivers, (the High Sierra). The final product was published in the spring of 1868 and is believed to be the first accurate map of any high mountain region ever prepared in the United States. Accompanying the geologists was photographer Carlton E. Watkins. Above is what is probably the first photo ever taken of Half Dome.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “My pappy said ‘Son you’re gonna drive me to drinkin’ if you don’t stop driving that Hot Rod Lincoln’” – Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen

*Mr Half Dome –Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com


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