Yosemite Gazette Yosemite, California October–December, 2012 Complimentary Mariposa county courthouse Oldest continuously operated court house west of Missouri by Leroy Radanovich The California legislature developed California’s governmental structure before it became a state of the Union on September 9, 1850. Mariposa County assumed the territory the Mexicans had designated at the Department of the San Joaquin with boundaries from the Stanislaus County on the north, to the ridge of the Coast Range Mountains on the west, to the extent of the Sierra on the south, to the line marking the Utah/Nevada territory on the east. This huge county covered onefifth of the state and eventually all or part of eleven counties would be carved from this vastness. To govern this huge territory, the mining camp of Agua Fria was chosen. In 1849-50 placer mining was the major draw to this lively village on the banks of Agua Frio Creek. Located about three miles west of present day Mariposa, very little evidence of it remains today. Settlers built a courthouse with logs and the sheriff’s office/ house/holding cells nearby. The arrangement made it possible for the sheriff’s wife to cook meals for both the prisoners and the officials, with both sitting at the same table. Things were casual and everyone knew everyone else. A terrible flood occurred in Agua Fria in 1851, and a fire finished off the structures not destroyed by the flood. Mariposa County had no seat of government. Courthouse, continued on page 8 Half Dome cables and trail added to National Register of Historic Places by Rick Deutsch Historians have now placed the famous cables on Half Dome and the trail up Sub Dome to the cables on the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of the nation’s historic places that are deemed to be worthy of preservation. Half Dome is the 8,842 foot high signature landmark of Yosemite National Park. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect America’s historic and archeological resources. The Half Dome Cables and Trail are a historic climbing route and modern day trail corridor that takes visitors up the eastern flank of Half Dome. George Anderson’s first ascent was on October 12, 1875. The Sierra Club erected the cables in 1919. They were replaced in 1934 and 1984. The popular hike is a must-do “bucket list” item for many outdoor enthusiasts. It is a hard goal but a pleasant journey. photo by Rebecca Harvey Bicycles race past the 150-year-old Mariposa county courthouse. The Sierra Nevada and the Panama Canal All things are connected by Rick Deutsch John Muir said “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” Looking at the story title again, you may wonder just how the Sierra Nevada Mountains are connected to the eventual building of the Panama Canal. Bear with me and you shall see. First, we need to go back four centuries. Twenty-one years after Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the New World, Vasco Núñez de Balboa landed in what is now called the Isthmus of Panama. With the help of natives, he became the first European to transit the jungle trails and see the Mar del Sur (Pacific Ocean). Later, the Spanish built a crude road to connect the Caribbean and the Pacific. They actually carried their ships over the 40-mile road to the Pacific; Juan Pizarro used those ships to conquer Peru in 1533. For the next three hundred years, men explored ways to build a route through the teaming jungle to shorten the voyage around Cape Horn. Huge problems included navigating the roaring Chagres River, alligators, swamps, mosquitoes, dense foliage growth and a Canal, continued on page 9
Yosemite Gazette Yosemite, California  October   December, 2012  Complimentary  Mariposa county courthouse Oldest continuo...
Page Two Yosemite Gazette Gambling at the Gold Coin Card tables remained at the Gold Coin even when other businesses lost their slot machines, cards or punch cards by Leroy Radanovich I am sure there was gambling during the gold rush, but I didn’t come across any direct evidence of such in Mariposa County history, although reference to Ferro dealers accompanying Palmer Cook and Co. to Mariposa is mentioned in research done for a thesis by C. Gregory Crampton on the history of the Fremont Grant. Charles Greenamyer and Don Turner rented the Fremont Adobe from John Trabucco in the late l920s after Highway 140 was built, and members of the family told me that there was gambling at Bridgeport on the Old Highway, when they relocated there from Southern California. The building behind the Fremont Adobe was a hotel before it was reorganized into a card room at the 5th Street level. A dining room was added to the second floor, known as the Gold Coin level, about 1935. Support for the gambling came from the miners who worked at the Pine Tree mine during the middle to late 1930s. The Greenamyers were no longer running the Gold Coin when a fire in l950 burned the dining room and card room. Gambling in Mariposa County during the Depression consisted of cards, slot machines and punch cards. These activities continued until the end of World War II. After Sheriff John Castagneto’s death, the appointed sheriff, O. M. Whitley, was directed by the state to stop the gambling that was going on. Whitley politely requested operators to cease whatever they were doing, but he was considered a friend of most of the operators, and little changed at first. Sheriff Whitley knew he had to get tough. Sheriff Whitley told Ed Sackett to move the slot machines from the Magnolia Room and he did— around a wall and out of sight. When Whitley returned he told Ed that he meant to remove them completely and said he would send a truck to pick them up to go to the dump. Ed didn’t like that idea so legend has it that he buried the machines in his wife Violet’s rose garden, covered with a cap of cement. Whitley didn’t go any further. The slot machines were gone. Other slot machines in small numbers were taken to the dump and destroyed. The punch cards disappeared. My father had some cards at the drug store when he bought the business in 1943. They too went the way of the slot machines. But the card tables remained at the Gold Coin. Even after the fire in 1950, what seemed to be casual card games continued well into the l960s when finally the story has it that a carpenter had the habit of losing the family’s grocery money at the Coin. The wife marched in and the carpenter marched out being held by the ear. End of cards. The tables, as I remember, were in the room behind the assay office, where the bathrooms are now. It is said that Angelo Cavagnaro, school bus driver and eventual owner of the Tenaya Motel, would gamble there and enjoy food from the Gold Coin Café at the table so Coin, continued on page 14 photos by Leroy Radanovich (top) The historic Gold Coin doesn’t offer gambling any longer, although stories are told of “friendly” card games that continued into the 1960s. (bottom) This painting was one of several recently restored and originally painted by Cornelius J. Vejer during the period of 1888 to 1989 when Peter and Margaret Gordon owned the saloon. This and two other paintings are all that are left of a number of other paintings originally in this and other buildings in Mariposa. Vejer drew his inspiration from paintings he had seen in museums in Washington, D.C. He often was paid for his work with means and lodging. The remaining three paintings were repaired and restored by artist Marsha ”Yeshe” Crawford.
Page Two  Yosemite Gazette  Gambling at the Gold Coin Card tables remained at the Gold Coin even when other businesses los...
Yosemite, California, October–December, 2012 Page Three October 12 is George Anderson Day Honoring the first person up Half Dome; brave Scot started Yosemite off as big rock climbing Mecca reach the top. John Muir is believed While George Anderson Day to have been the ninth person to hasn’t been proclaimed by any the top using Anderson’s route. His governmental agencies, we think it system lasted several years until should be made official. We’re not weather took its toll. saying it should be a national holiAnderson later constructed the day, but George path we now Anderson was know as the the first person Happy Isles to ascend Half trail to get to Dome, a feat he the Vernal Fall accomplished footbridge. He on October 12, died in 1883 1875. His singuand is buried in lar achievement the Yosemite opened up a Cemetery under whole new area a nondescript of mountain stone. When the exploration. Sierra club inToday over stalled the cables 40,000 people in 1919, a plaque each year enjoy was placed at the experience the base of Sub of hiking to Dome honorthe top of Half ing him. It Dome. read “Erected Working 1919 under the alone in 1875, auspices of the Anderson Sierra Club to reforged approximember Captain illustration from the Internet and believed in the public domain George Andermately fifty steel spikes that Prior to George Anderson’s son who first 1875 climb Half Dome had been he placed into ascended this holes he drilled considered unclimable. His cabin is dome in 1875.” now at the Wawona Pioneer Village. as he perilously Rick Deutsch, ascended the aka Mr. Half Dome, has written 400 vertical feet to the summit of One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Half Dome. He installed a rope into Dome and developed a free Half Dome smart phone app available eyelets on the spikes and thereby at HikeHalfDome.com set up the first method for others to by Rick Deutsch “HIDDEN GEM” – Sunset Magazine Combining a timeless feel with modern comforts, Evergreen Lodge is Yosemite’s premier mountain resort. Come see why Frommer’s Guide calls the Evergreen “the Classic Yosemite Experience”. www.evergreenlodge.com (800) 93-LODGE Located off Hwy 120 on Yosemite’s western border photo courtesy Casliforni Museum of Mining and Minerals The Fricot Nugget, a 201 troy ounce (about fourteen pounds) cluster of gold crystals, was not stolen in the recent robbery at the Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa. The Fricot Nugget is some 800 times larger than the famous nugget found at Sutter’s Mill in 1848. The Fricot Nugget was found in August, 1865, by William Russell Davis, who owned the Grit mine at Spanish dry Diggins near Georgetown. The names comes from Jules Fricot, who purchased the specimen and exhibited it at the 1878 Paris Exposition. After disappearing for the next sixty five years, it was found in a safe deposit box in Angels Camp, California. Although the bank manager had one of the most extensive gold collections in California and knew the Fricot family well, he had no idea the nugget was in his own bank. While priceless as an historical artifact, if melted and sold as gold bars at today’s price of about $1,750 per ounce s it might be expected to fetch nearly $400,000. Mining and Mineral Museum hit by robbers Fricot Nugget, a special specimen of crystalline gold weighing fourteen pounds, escapes robbers clutches by Leroy Radanovich The California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa is open again following an October break-in. Two men with pick axes invaded the museum, confined the staff, entered the gold display area, broke open cases and stole gold and gems from the displays. Fortunately they were not able to break into the heavily protected Fricot Nugget, a special specimen of crystalline gold weighing fourteen pounds (pictured above). Many other gems and minerals were not damaged, and the museum was able to repair the cases and reopen the display. The break-in occurred in spite of heavy security by the museum’s operator, the California State Department of Parks and Recreation. The muse- um is located at the Fair Grounds one and a half miles south of Mariposa on State Route 49. Further improvements to safeguard this priceless exhibit will be made after in-depth evaluation of the museum security. The gold display at the museum is only a small part of the collection that came to Mariposa from San Francisco in 1984. The California State Mining and Museum Association, the citizen group supporting the museums activities, has been heavily involved in improving the quality, character and availability to the public of this collection. The public is invited to visit Mariposa and the Mining and Mineral Museum. For further information about times and programs, call 209 742-7825.
Yosemite, California, October   December, 2012  Page Three  October 12 is George Anderson Day Honoring the first person up...
Page Four Yosemite Gazette Letters to the Editor Editor, About your Editorial in the JulySeptember issue: A big bicycle race is not a bunch of guys riding around the park. Big bicycle races are major sporting events with teams, dozens of vans carrying support people and many extra bikes for each rider. Camera crews in trucks and motorcycles following to get news coverage. This would be especially true when starting a stage. You must know this, so why the attempt to distort the truth? Comparing it to the Vatican—you must know that the area surrounding the Vatican is mostly concrete with thousands of tourists milling around in crowds, plus many restaurants and hotels who of course would encourage the race for all the business it would bring. A proper fit—and not in any way a proper comparison with such a major sporting event inside Yosemite Park. Yosemite Gazette is published quarterly by Throckmorten Enterprises 17433 Highway 120 P.O. Box 353 Big Oak Flat, California 95305 209 962-7308 209 962-5286 (fax) Editor and Publisher Marv Dealy Assistant to the Editor Joyce Griffith Area Editors, Marc Fossum (Groveland), Debbie Adams, (Big Oak Flat), Leroy Radanovich (Mariposa) Correspondents, Tom Gardner (recreation), Debbie Adams, (murder and mayhem) Advertising, Michael Gahagan Research and Collections, Clint Maxon Art, Chris Emmanuel Printing, Foothill Printing & Graphics I’m wondering what is your financial interest in bringing a major sporting event into Yosemite Park? Can you give an honest answer to this question? What is it—more paid ads for the Gazette? Your (or someone close to you) participation as owner or partner in lodging or restaurants? Bob Cheatham via email Yes, Bob, we would like to see more paid advertising, that’s how the printer get’s paid. We know any number of business owners who might benefit from a major event, such as a bicycle race in Yosemite Park. We don’t ourselves, however, own any such establishments.–ed. Editor, Just came across a great article by Tom Gardner in the Gazette by Tom Gardner re: Tehipite Valley. I am an old Tehipite veteran (4 trips) and would like to email or chat on the phone a bit. Could you give him my email contact or send me his info? Mark Hayward Reedley, California We did pass along Mark’s contact information and he and Tom have been in touch.—ed. Editor, I was reading the story “Russells City.” The paragraph of “Mexican Rancher, Francisco Soto; and land grant in 1840s.” Yosemite Gazette the leading quarterly for the Yosemite Region 10,000 copies each issue and online at YosemiteGazette.com Direct letters to the editor to our post box or to editor@YosemiteGazette.com Ad and subscription information 209 962-7308 Subscriptions $30 per year, delivered via first class mail © 2012 All rights reserved 100% published in the U.S.A. on paper This rang a bell. I have documented my family tree to the Soto family back to 1794 and marriages in 1800s and the blood line back to 1770. My ancestor Manuel Butron sailed from Spain to Mexico with Father Junipero Serra. They (and others, including natives) built the Carmel Mission. So through papers I have, there’s a good chance that I may be (one of many probably) connected to this story you dug up. Clint Soto Mokelumne Hill, California Editor, I was impresed with the article about Russels City, California. I live in Castro Valley, CA, next to Hayward, Ca. As a kid, me and my Dad went to the dumps in Russells City. I remember the bar just before crossing the railroad track. I remember my grandfather telling me about the 1906 earthquake. It was great seeing your article about Russell City. Jim was right, it was sad, it was very bad. Ron Enos Mariposa, California Editor, We met a few weeks back at your office. As we discussed, I have property on Packard Canyon Road and I am very interested in the Golden Rock ditch which ran close by. In the April-June, 2011 edition of the Yosemite Gazette, there was an excellent article on Golden Rock Ditch, including a map of the ditch. I would be very interested in getting more information on the Golden Rock Ditch, including a better copy of the map. Denise Henderson was the author of the article. If possible,  I would like to contact her and learn more about where I can find sections that are still accessible, remnants of the Big Gap Flume (if they still exist), etc. Thanks for your help and for putting out a quality pamphlet. I really enjoy reading it. James Beard Groveland, California Editor, It was interesting to note that my mom (Pearl Ditton) sent a note to you stating that she enjoys your publication (as do I). What my mom did not say is that she met my dad at a Camp Curry dance in 1942. My mom was a PBX operator working in Yosemite “on loan from Pacific Telephone &Telegraph” from Lodi, California and my dad was a night auditor for the Yosemite Park and Curry Company on summer break from Cal Berkley where he was a student. Shortly thereafter they were married and my dad went to WW II. After returning from the war they lived in Yosemite until retiring. Both are now 90 years young residing in Oakhurst just outside the south entrance to Yosemite. My younger sister and I were born in Lewis Memorial Hospital. Our older sister was born during the war outside the park. Our family lived “on the row” of houses facing the Ahwahnee Meadow. What a view from home! Yosemite was the greatest of all places to spend a life/childhood. Thanks for your great publication. Brad Ditton Yosemite Native Century 21 Ditton Realty Oakhurst, California Letters, continued on page 5 Editorial  Regular readers may have noticed that this and our July– September issue were both late in hitting the streets. We try to have them out about the first weekend of the month, and we’ve missed that deadline with both this and the last issue. I’d expected to write a “The best way to see Yosemite is…without a cataract” article by now, having had cataract lense replacement surgery on my left eye a few months ago. By now, I thought, I’d be able to report on how spectacular the colors were, and how much more enjoyable my visit to the park was. Well, it hasn’t worked out that way. I can’t read with my left eye, and my reading with my right eye is diminished. That makes all this work a lot harder. We appreciate your patience, and if any of you have any large magnifying glasses laying around you’re not using, let me know.
Page Four  Yosemite Gazette  Letters to the Editor Editor, About your Editorial in the JulySeptember issue  A big bicycle ...
Yosemite, California, October–December, 2012 Editor, My name is Cherise Zopff. My mother was the office manager for Dr. Michael Adams (Ansel’s son) when he first opened up his practice in Fresno, California many years ago, her name was Dorris Zopff. She worked for him for quite a while, he was a good employer, Dr. and person. She was very fond of him. I was searching for any current information on Dr. Adams as I was hoping to correspond with him. I saw your article dated April-June 2012 and was hoping I could contact him through you. Can you be of any help to me, perhaps by passing my name and email on to him. I realize I could also contact the Ansel Adams Galleries. Cherise Zopff via email Editor, Just a quick “FYI.” The article in the recent Gazette shows a picture on pg 13 of the advertisement poster for the delivery route through the Mother Lode... one of the towns was listed as “unintelligible.” I believe it’s Quartzburgh. Info here: ghosttowns.com/states/ca/quartzsburg. html As always, a great issue. Craig Polson Groveland, California Editor, I wanted to refer a friend to a letter written by Peter T. Hoss in your JulySeptember, 2012 issue. I have not been able to find it on your online site. Can you help me? Kevin D. Barry via email Watch for updates to our website, YosemiteGazette.com, soon. Really.–ed. Editor, This is Ellie from the Mariposa Museum, and I was wondering if you guys forgot us when delivering the hard copies of your recent edition of the Yosemite Gazette. Our museum guests just LOVE that it’s offered as a complimentary copy, and I wanted to remind you that we’ve not received any of the final quarter’s issues. Please respond as soon as you’re able. Ellie Mariposa Museum and History Center Mariposa, CA No, Ellie, we didn’t forget to get you copies. See our editorial as to why this and the last issue were late hitting the streets.–ed. Editor, I was very impressed with the Letter to the Editor concerning the Merced River Plan written by Peter T. Hoss in the July-September 2012 issue, and I couldn’t agree more. My husband and I are horse owners and have lived in the Sierra Nevada foothills since 1971. Our main form of recreation is horseback riding and camping in the back country. We believe in multi-use of our Public Lands and have enjoyed sharing trails and camp sites with a variety of users. We are seriously concerned that the National Park Service wants to remove the Wawona and Curry Stables, and intends to establish areas restricting recreational stock use and commercial packing in Yosemite National Park. These uses are historical and are allowed by law in the Wilderness Act. Upon reviewing the Merced River Plan it appears that all of the Concepts 1-5 will be eliminating the Curry and Wawona Stables. Concept 3 even recommends replacing the Curry Stables with forty RV campsites, and would eliminate commercial river rafting. It would also restrict horse camping at Merced Lake, which will leave it for backpackers only and eliminate a huge network of trails that have historically been traveled by stock users for many years. It is our opinion that tourists want to see the horses and mules, and be given the opportunity to view Yosemite from their backs. The Mariposa Gazette recently printed an article about the bridges that are slated to be removed due to the “wild and scenic river” designation to restore it to its natural state. Anthony Veerkamp of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is trying to save the bridges by putting them on the 2012 list of most endangered historic places. Our point; the old Curry (1925) and Wawona barns are historical. We feel they should be preserved as well as the stock they house. Any Concept of the Merced River Plan will be detrimental to a vast number of people. It will eliminate many jobs, and many livelihoods will be threatened. With 17,000 tourists using wranglers to pack them in every year and 34,000 people who hire private rafting companies, recreation will be severely limited. Horses and mules have historically been instrumental in the building and maintenance of these trails and should continue to be used as such. In our personal experience, the majority of back country stock users are conscientious and respectful of the environment and other users. We know that we must be stewards of the land in order to keep enjoying it. We teach and use the principles of gentle use of the wilderness. We have written letters to Yosemite National Park asking them to rethink the Concepts to include livestock (public and private) into the back country as they have done historically for over a hundred years. We also feel that The Wilderness Act, The Wild and Scenic River Act, and The Endangered Species Act need to be amended and/or reformed to allow for more use and public enjoyment. Go to www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/mrp.htm to review the Merced River Plan. Wendy Brown-Barry Mariposa, California Editor, I just returned from a lengthy trip and just managed to read the latest issue of the Gazette. Thank you for printing my letter. I would be interested in the feedback. I haven’t had a chance to follow the planning process since the April meeting in Wawona I planned to attend was snowed out in Page Five April. I need to get back into it. I still hope our paths will cross. Peter Hoss Peter, see the letters from two readers in this collection.–ed. Editor, I am responding to your request about a photo I took back in 1985 of Yosemite Valley. I have included a file of the photo I think you are referring to. I had also thought that I could almost see a dinosaur head in the fog among the trees in the valley. :-) Information is available about the photo....although really it was just being there at an opportune time. Richard Barrington via email We’ll be posting this great photo on both our website and Facebook page soon.—ed. Comments from Facebook We have a house near Mariposa, but actually are based in the UK and just discovered the Yosemite Gazette at True Value :) Haven’t been able to put it down, great stories. Love the mix of history and local info! If I was here in October I’d also be off to the grand opening of Indigeny Reserve. I didn’t know the apple story before now and as a chef any food news is good news! thanks for this... ALL GOOD STUFF! Draeyk Hørn UK and Mariposa, California Subscribe to the Yosemite Gazette One year, all four issues, only $30—less than 50 cents a story. You’ll receive your copy of each issue delivered to your home or office by first class mail. Photocopy this and mail it to us with your check at P.O. Box 353, Big Oak Flat, CA 95305. You can also subscribe at our website YosemiteGazette.com Name _________________________________________ Address _______________________________________ City ___________________________________________ State _____________ ZIP _________________________ Email _________________________________________
Yosemite, California, October   December, 2012 Editor, My name is Cherise Zopff. My mother was the office manager for Dr. ...
Page Six Yosemite Gazette Mariposa Museum and History Center Exhibits represent original settings for artifacts, ranging from barbed wire to a suppository machine by Leroy Radanovich Judged to be one the finest small museums in the county, the Mariposa Museum and History Center is a center of civic pride. The museum began in 1953 with the formation of the Mariposa County Historical Society as the vehicle to help celebrate the centennial of the courthouse and the publication of the town’s first newspaper, The Mariposa Chronicle, became the Mariposa Gazette a couple of years later. The first museum was housed in the ground floor of the Masonic Lodge in downtown Mariposa. It soon became apparent that this space was not suitable to house the grand collection of museum items coming in every day to the museum or to accommodate the growing crowds of visitors. On March 22, l968, supporters initiated a fund raising campaign for the building of a new museum. The family of Judge Thomas Coakley dedicated land for the museum on Jessie Street a few blocks north of downtown Mariposa. Balloons and speeches at the courthouse marked the grand event to launch the campaign. At the same time community members were urging the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors to build a new library. They combined the ideas, and work got under way for a new building to house both the museum and library. In December 2002 the library moved to a new building in the Government Center, and the museum expanded into the vacated space, allowing public space for meetings and lectures, more cases for various facets of Mariposa County history and the addition of a major archival vault unlike any usually found in small museums. Today the Mariposa Museum and History Center displays many artifacts of early life in Mariposa County from barbed wire to a suppository machine in the drug store display. The museum’s concept, designed by artist Muriel Neavin, is to create spaces that represent the original settings for the artifacts on display, from the Clerk’s office at the court house, a school room to the bar at Bear Valley, a miner’s cabin, a rancher’s kitchen, the Sheriff’s office and on and on. Original photographs decorate the various exhibits, with the center of the exhibit displaying fixtures and merchandise from a 100-year-old store in Hornitos. Shown are spectacles, shoes of which there is no difference between the left and right, plugs of tobacco, a coffee grinder, old cameras, razors, soap and again too many items to list that must be seen to be appreciated. The Mariposa Museum and History Center is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Groups are accommodated with docent tours. A working stamp mill can be run by appointment. Many groups ranging from school children to senior citizens and every group in between enjoy the tours of the museum and the grounds, which displays mining equipment as well as two historic buildings including the old home of the Mariposa Gazette. To make arrangements call 209 966-2924 or visit mariposamuseum.com Tuolumne Me-Wuk Indian Health Center Now Accepting New Patients Medi-Cal, Medicare, CMSP and most private insurances accepted For services offered and locations of our health and dental centers visit www.tmwihc.org 18880 Cherry Valley Blvd. Tuolumne, CA 95379 209-928-5400 top photo by Leroy Radanovich, bottom photo courtesy Mariposa Museum and History Center (top) The stamp mill (left) comes to life for delighted tours of both school children and others at the Mariposa Museum and History Center. (bottom) One of the many displays inside the museum.
Page Six  Yosemite Gazette  Mariposa Museum and History Center Exhibits represent original settings for artifacts, ranging...
Yosemite, California, October–December, 2012 Page Seven St. Joseph’s Catholic church Soon to celebrate its sesquicentennial, the church is on National Register of Historic Places by Sheelah Gehring The charm of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Mariposa is undeniable. This “little white church on the hill” is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Dedicated by Archbishop Joseph Alemany in 1863, St. Joseph’s is soon to be celebrating its sesquicentennial year beginning on January 18, 2013. The land for the church was donated to the Catholic Church by R. S. Miller and Alex Deering, owners of the Mariposa Gold Mine located directly behind the church cemetery. Prior to its construction, Catholic priests saw to the spiritual needs of Catholic residents and miners in the area by saying Mass wherever they could find a meeting room or temporary “tent” church. The tent churches were made with a board floor and canvas attached as the roof and sides. Priests would often travel great distances by horse and buggy to serve the people. Many times Mass would be postponed or cancelled due to poor weather conditions that caused the roads to become muddy, dangerous and hard to travel. Notifications of buggy crashes and other problems were posted in the Mariposa Gazette. In December 1865, one such accident report claimed that the occupants of the buggy “were precipitated over a perpendicular bank about 8 feet high, upsetting the buggy.” If Mass was cancelled, the notice might be “Not coming…the Reverend Archbishop will not be up this way.” Before the church was built, Rev. Louis Lootens was the parish priest traveling between Mariposa, Hornitos and French Bar (La Grange). The second pastor, Rev. A. Auger, was the pastor of Sonoma and Mariposa. He traveled between churches in Mt. Bullion, Hornitos, Bear Valley, Coulterville, La Grange, Mariposa, and Sonoma. Rev. Auger was the pastor when St. Joseph’s was built and the Mariposa Gazette declared on January 20, 1863, that “There has been erected no structure deserv- ing so much credit, or adding so much beauty of this place as the new Catholic church…the selection of the site is well made, and it is possible and it is capable of being more beautiful even than at present.” History of the last 150 years of St. Joseph’s existence has proven this statement to be true. In the first one hundred years (from 1863 to 1963), there were thirty-two parish priests assigned to St. Joseph’s. The Rev. Msgr. Francis E. Walsh served two terms from 1942-1948, and again from 1951 to l988 for a total of fortythree years. The Msgr. Francis E. Walsh Parish Hall, built adjacent to the church in 1991, and the Msgr. Walsh Scholarship Fund are named in his memory. From 1988 until 1994, Rev. Joseph C. Barnes served the parish. Since 1994, the current Pastor, Rev. Stephen Bulfer, has served St. Joseph’s for eighteen years. Father Steve is a familiar face at many community outreach programs. St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, once a part of the Dioceses of Monterey, San Francisco, and Stockton, is now a part of the Diocese of Fresno. It is the oldest church building in the Fresno Diocese. Throughout its history, the church building’s supporters have cleaned up the church building, reinforced the tower with timbers, repainted the tower and cross, and reinforced the existing foundation with poured cement and, in 2000, renovating the interior. In 1927 Father Deschesne built the rectory on the north adjacent side of the church, large enough to take care of the parish priest as well as visiting priests and guests. It was the first parish house owned by the parish. Today, it houses the parish office, as well as Father Steve. The New England style of architecture is in keeping with that of the Mariposa Courthouse, the other site in Mariposa listed on the Historical Places Register. In 1958, the church was enlarged. The sacristy and sanctuary were moved back eighteen feet, Church, continued on page 13 kphoto by Leroy Radanovich St. Joseph’s, in Mariposa, was dedicated in 1863 and soon will celebrate its sesquicentennial. Yosemite Gazette on Facebook by Yosemite Gazette staff “Our Facebook pages have shown a study trend of increased activity,” according to Michael Gahagan, Advertising Director of the Yosemite Gazette. “We also have 25 ‘Pages’ that like us which aren’t not shown in the totals of ‘Likes.” Pages are organizations and businesses and they are the key to expanding the networking or reach for everyone who has ‘Pages’ that like us. “The Facebook outlet has helped deliver advertisers in our regular printed quarterly a way to expand their message to an additional 40, 000 people. Advertisers are highlighted by albums we set up on Facebook for them. “There are currently 40,709 ‘Friends of Fans,’ the number of unique people who are friends of fans of our Facebook pages which has doubled from three months ago. “The number of people who have seen any part of our pages shows the majority being local and the Bay Area,” Gahagan noted, “as well as the Oakhurst and Mariposa areas. We’ve added checkins from Ireland and Norway and from India (most over all others combined), Canada, Australia, the U. K., Mexico, Malaysia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Indonesia, Qatar and Singapore. The gender demographics still shows women outnumber men by 2 to 1 across all age groups who are checking out our Facebook pages and the largest percent of both males and females are in the 45-54 age group. Some recent Facebook posts: Anna Brown, of Los Banos, a photographer, with many shots of Yosemite, posted recently, “Saw my first issue of your Gazette this past Saturday.... GREAT stuff!! Can’t believe I missed it these past 5 years!!” Check out Anna BrownPhotography Facebook pages and her Yosemite photo albums.
Yosemite, California, October   December, 2012  Page Seven  St. Joseph   s Catholic church Soon to celebrate its sesquicen...
Page Eight Courthouse, cont. from page 1 By 1851 placer mining was running out. When the county fathers gathered they decided to move the county seat to a more stable and developed community and chose Mariposa as the county seat. Many early records of the county were lost or destroyed, but volunteers moved what was left to the Mariposa home of County Clerk Edward Bell. For a couple of years the governing body—the three-man Court of Sessions—met wherever it was convenient, be that at a saloon or meeting hall or outdoors. Saloons were the favorite but eventually more up-to-date conditions dictated that a proper court house be built. John C. Fremont claimed all of the property within the Los Mariposas Grant, but this property was now part of the United States, and clear titles to land had not yet been agreed to. By 1852 Fremont surveyed his claim, Land Case #1, and presented it to the California Lands Commission. Many legal difficulties occurred before clear title was given to Fremont. In the meantime, he gave, leased, and rented various parcels with the understanding that when the clear title was reached, he would pass along its terms. William R. Owen graciously donated a city block between Jones and Bullion, 9th and 10th St. to the county in order to build a courthouse. The city contracted with Perrin V. Fox to design the court house and Agustus F. Shriver to handle the construction. The fact that the land that the courthouse was planned to be erected on “squatters land” made no difference. Fremont received title to the land more than a year later. The total cost of the project was set at $9,000. It is not clear who supplied the lumber, but two sawmills were working in the area. Humphrey and Geiger used a handforged vertical-blade saw mill powered by an overshot waterwheel along Mariposa Creek. David Clark’s mill was a steam-powered vertical-blade Yosemite Gazette mill at Midpines on the original Clark home site. Both mills probably provided lumber because it is doubtful that one alone could cut enough in the time needed for the construction. The building’s balloon-style framework was supported by timbers, typically six by eight inches, joined together by mortise and tenon cuts at the point of contact. The joints were secured by wooden pegs, and it is said that there is not one nail in the basic frame. Square nails were used on the walls, floors, ceilings and outside siding. Since there were no planing mills available, the saw blade marks still show on some of the surfaces. The building was constructed on time with a cost over-run of only $200. Any delays were a result of county requests. Construction was completed in 1854, and the first meeting of the Court of Sessions occurred on February 12, 1855. At one of the first meetings, an enterprising lawyer moved to have the case dismissed on the grounds that the court room was outside the town of Mariposa and thus did not have jurisdiction. Various changes in laws and new legislation had made the courthouse the county seat of Mariposa County and thus the appeal was denied. From those beginnings, the Mariposa County Court House has been the Seat of Justice for Mariposa County continuously since 1855. It is the oldest continuously operated courthouse west of the state of Missouri, where there is one court house not quite a year older. The courthouse underwent extensive renovation in 1987 and in 1990. Today it is open for docent-led weekend tours during the summer season. Visitors can stop in Monday through Friday during normal business hours to see the historical displays. You can contact Mariposa Chamber of Commerce at 209 966-2456 for more information. Historian and ex-politician Leroy Radanovich has been a businessman in Mariposa County for over sixty years. photo courtesy Leroy Radanovich and Mariposa Heritage Press Officials posing in front of Mariposa County house are (1) Fred Schlageter, (2) William Turner, (3) Joseph Ridgeway, (4) Ed Skelton, (5) Judge Corcoran, (6) Judge L.F. Jones, (7) Samuel Counts, (8) George Temple, (9) Gus Robinson, (10) Maurice Newman, (11) James H. Lawrence, (12) Newman Jones, (13) Henry Farnsworth Mariposa 1863 from the Stockton Daily Independent NEW PAPER—The Mariposa ‘Free Press is the name of a new weekly newspaper published in the town of Mariposa by J.H. Lawrence. The 1st number was published last Saturday. The editor in his salutatory article characterizes the Administration as “revolutionary in its aims and despotic in its ends.” It’s of the peace Democracy 1863, continued on page 9 for over 30 years
Page Eight Courthouse, cont. from page 1 By 1851 placer mining was running out. When the county fathers gathered they deci...
Yosemite, California, October–December, 2012 map courtesy PanamaRailroad.org Map of the old Panama Railroad Canal, continued from page 1 nine-month rainy season. A canal remained a dream. By the middle of the nineteenth century, sailing ships were hauling freight and people from New York to San Francisco on a regular basis. It was a time consuming and expensive venture to go around the bottom of South America. Then in 1848 an event that would forever change the world occurred—gold was discovered in California. The dream of striking it rich filled the hearts and minds of ambitious American men. If they could get to the Sierra quickly, stake a claim and find those gold nuggets, they could live in riches. But how to get West? The transcontinental railroad would not be built until 1869. Land trips via horse or wagon took months. Many anxious men sailed to the eastern side of Panama then walked through the jungles to the Pacific and tried to get on a northward sailing ship. They would often have to wait for weeks to gain a seat. This trip would take “only” 40 days and saved 8,000 miles and 22 days! A solution came with a group of American entrepreneurs who formed the Panama Railroad Company when they saw the potential for a railroad across the isthmus. The company dispatched men and machines to begin the work in 1850. Workers hacked rail beds through the jungle–not an easy task. The railway required the building of over three hundred bridges and culverts. Since the Continental Divide runs down the spine of Panama, the train had to get over a pass at 286 feet. The work came at a high human price. An estimated twenty percent of all workers died each year and four chief engineers died or got cholera, malaria and yellow fever. It’s believed that these diseases killed upwards of eleven thousand workers. The initial stock offering for the railroad raised $1,000,000 1863, continued from page 8 stripe of course. Tuesday, 27 January 1863 RUNAWAY—As the stage from Mariposa was approaching town, near the Race Track, it was met by a party driving 2 slow mustangs whose driver took occasion to snap his whip just as the leading horses of the stage were opposite him, which had the effect of starting them off at full gallop and made them almost unmanageable. Mr. I.D. Morley was riding beside the driver—Mr. Fisher, one of the proprietors—at the time, and by his assistance Mr. Fisher succeeded in controlling the horses so that no danger was done. A party who noticed the affair informed us of it, and stated it as his belief that the man who cracked his whip at the moment of meeting the leading horses, did it for the purpose and with the design of making the stage horses run. There were 6 high spirited horses attached to the stage. Tuesday, 20 January 1863 Page Nine for the project. It was spent in twenty months with only eight miles being completed. The lust of the gold seekers spurred on more investment and another $7 million was raised to complete the project. The initial goal was for the 47-mile trip to take twelve hours. When it was finished on January 28, 1855, the trip took less than five hours. The Panama Railway was the highest traded stock on the New York stock exchange and hit a high of $369. In 10 years it carried $500,000,000 in gold and $147,000,000 in silver out of California. The train continued running and was later sold to the French when they attempted to build a sea level water canal. This venture went bankrupt and it was not until 1914 that the United States eventually completed the task. Surely the Panama Canal would have been dug in time, but the Gold Rush was the spark that lit the fire. Muir was right: all things are connected. Rick Deutsch, Mr, Half Dome, has written One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome and developed a free Half Dome smart phone app available at HikeHalfDome.com TOBACCO—A man named DeLong, residing near Mariposa, informs the ‘Gazette’ that he will this year raise 2 tons of tobacco. Tuesday, 24 March 1863 MARIPOSA—The ‘Gazette’ of the 2d inst., has the following: Mr. John Clark, of Smith’s Ferry, was stopped last week by a highwayman, between that place and Bear Valley, and his money demanded, by having a pistol stuck at his head. A scuffle ensued, in which Mr. C., who had no weapons about him, was knocked down several times by blows over the head with a 6-shooter. Upon rising to his feet, he pulled out a sack of gold dust, containing 56 ounces, and dealt the thief such a blow in the face as to knock him down. Mr. C. then started and made good his escape with all the dust; the robber firing at him until his pistol was emptied. The same party robbed a boy, on the road from Coulterville to Don Pedro’s Bar, of $15.
Yosemite, California, October   December, 2012  map courtesy PanamaRailroad.org  Map of the old Panama Railroad Canal, con...
Page Ten Yosemite Gazette Day hikes near Tioga Pass Tioga Tramps by local authors, Elizabeth Stone O’Neill and John Carroll O’Neill, describes in great detail nearly 50 hikes in the Tioga Pass area of Yosemite National Park. In the last issue, I included hikes west of Tioga Pass. This column and the next one feature hikes in the Mt. Dana Region east of Tioga Pass. Dana Gardens On the lower slopes of Mount Dana, a permanent seep of water dribbles from the melting snows above. This moisture has created several acres of natural garden, one of the finest assemblages of mountain flowers around. It is worth a short hike just to see them. Leave Tioga Pass on the Mount Dana Trail, which takes off in the direction of the mountain, right at the pass. It crosses Dana Meadows, where to your right you see gray, snowy Mammoth Peak majestically reflected in a small Dana tarn. Continue winding about through open forest and past several more tarns to your left. Across one of these, Tioga Peak, stark and reddish-brown, stands sentinel. Juncoes flit through the woods, and on the water you may see a flotilla of mallards and their ducklings. Occasionally in this forest one comes upon a strange carving on a tree trunk, often of a female figure. They were left by Basque sheepherders a century ago as they whiled away their time and indulged their fantasies. They drove their sheep to these high meadows before the National Park, and later the National Forest, prohibited the practice. The alpine meadows are too fragile to sustain sheep-herding. If you find one of these old carvings, cherish it as an expression of the past. In fifteen minutes of walking you come to a large green meadow, and across it to the right rises the crenellated Kuna Crest in the distance. Re-entering the forest, one sees some enormous Lodgepole Pines, surprisingly large so close to timberline, and probably the result of the abundant moisture flowing down from the mountain. At the base of the trees grow prickly bushes of Mountain Gooseberry, slow picking but good for pies in September. As you emerge from the trees the talus slope of Mount Dana rises abruptly before you from the forest floor. A little farther on is an open area where the whitened trunks of dead trees have been brought down by an avalanche in a winter of heavy snows. The gardens start here. From this point, linger to your heart’s delight, admiring the tapestry of bloom that climbs several hundred yards uphill. Through the summer season blossoming shifts. In July, BroadLeafed Lupine dominates. Later tall scarlet Paintbrush becomes more evident, along with deep blue Larkspur and purple Onion. In August triangle-leafed Senecio makes a blaze of gold, Corn Lilies stand like feathery white candles above lush green foliage, and Fireweed flickers in a purple blaze. These are only a few of a long roster that includes blue Mountain Forgetmenot, creamy Valerian, white Woodland Star, and yellow Mimulus. You may hear the deep drumming of a Blue Grouse and see the jeweled flash of Rufous and Allen’s Hummingbirds hovering above the open blossoms. To enjoy the gardens, it is not necessary to climb to the upper part, but if you do, you will be rewarded by the ever-widening view over meadows, forests, and distant mountains. Returning to the pass, if you have more time you can spend it wandering around Dana Meadows with its many lakelets and tarns. The lakes to the west are sometimes called Lakes A, B, C, and those to the east, Lakes 1, 2, 3. Or maybe it’s the other way around. illustration courtesy Adelle O’Neil Day hikes in the Mt. Dana region are sketched in the map above. Featured this issue are Dana Gardens and the Lying Head or Ferdinard’s Point. The Lying Head (Ferdinard’s Point) If you have the time and energy, continue from the gardens up the Mount Dana trail until you reach the broad gently inclined shoulder where there is a stone cairn. However, before reaching the cairn, turn left and work upwards to the prominent point which has been called The Lying (or Lion’s) Head. There is another large cairn on its summit. There has been a movement to rename it “Ferdinand’s Point” in honor of Ferdinand Castillo, the ranger who worked at Tioga Pass for many years. At any rate, you will find it a curious formation of broken rock, commanding a splendid view. Tioga Tramps is published by Albicaulis Press which also prints other books by Elizabeth Stone O’Neill. For further information contact us at albicaulispress@ yahoo.com Meadow in the Sky: A History of Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadows Region The only book dedicated solely to the history of this region, it provide the story of • Native Americans, soldiers and sheepherders • Miners, geologists and surveyors • John Muir, the Sierra Club and the birth of Yosemite National Park • William Keith, the painter, and numerous other famous people who passed this way With maps and old photographs At local bookstores • AlbicaulisPress@yahoo.com
Page Ten  Yosemite Gazette  Day hikes near Tioga Pass Tioga Tramps by local authors, Elizabeth Stone O   Neill and John Ca...
Yosemite, California, October–December, 2012 Page Eleven Canada Goose Branta canadensis by David Lukas The familiar Canada Goose has two faces: a population of relatively tame, permanent residents that hang out in city parks and golf courses, and a population of wild brethren that migrate vast distances to their northern and boreal nesting grounds. Year-round residents are primarily the offspring of a large subspecies from the Great Basin and Midwest that, partly due to capture and release programs and partly due to the creation of productive manmade habitats, have lost the urge to migrate and are now so widespread that some people consider them a nuisance. The mixing of these two populations creates such a complex set of seasonal movements and behaviors that your perspective on what the geese are doing might change with where you live. Throughout the winter these geese gather in both large and small flocks, roosting each night on open bodies of water or in large marshes, then spending the day grazing on newly emerged grass shoots and fallen seeds in nearby meadows and pastures. They are strong walkers and runners, appearing more com- fortable on land than many other ducks and geese though they still keep close to open areas, far from bushes where predators might hide. Their stout, flat bills are ideally suited for clipping vegetation, and nearly their entire diet consists of plant material ranging from seeds and leaves to aquatic roots that they find by tipping up while swimming and reaching underwater with their long necks. Large flocks are comprised of multiple family groups and individuals that assemble for safety and company, but if you watch a large flock as it lands you might notice that as they alight, they briefly split into family groups then mingle together again. By February, increasingly restless migratory groups begin to gather in key staging areas, and this is a time when large flocks may be seen passing north and east over the Sierra crest. Although they can fly 2,000 miles in marathon 48-hour flights, they tend to head north in smaller increments with many stopover points along the way. Many of the geese that winter on the east side of the Sierra Nevada seem to be resident breeders rather than part illustration from the Internet and believed in the public domain Canada Geese may fly 2,000 miles in 48 hours, although they tend to fly in smaller increments with many stopover points on the way as they migrate. The familiar Canada Goose has two faces: a population of relatively tame, permanent residents that hang out in city parks and golf courses, and a population of wild brethren that migrate vast distances to their northern and boreal nesting grounds. Most geese form life-long pair bonds in their second year of life, so they typically arrive on their breeding grounds already paired up. of the migratory population. Canada Geese are solitary or loosely colonial nesters that build their nests in a wide variety of habitats, with a preference for locations that are near water and have commanding views of the surrounding terrain, such as meadows or islands. Most geese form life-long pair bonds in their second year of life, so they typically arrive on their breeding grounds already paired up. With males standing guard, females select nest sites and make simple scrapes on the ground that they line with dry grasses and downy feathers. Females lay an Groveland Appraisal Services Rick Fox , SRA P.O. Box 495 Groveland, CA 95321 209-962-7067 grovelandapp@mlode.com 209-878-0117 average of four to five eggs that they incubate for twenty five days. Chicks hatch synchronously and within twenty four hours leave the nest already walking, swimming, diving, and feeding themselves. Young birds can fly when seven to eight weeks old, but the entire family remains together as a small flock until the following breeding season. In the winter, Canada Geese are abundant and widespread in lowlying areas west of the mountains, less so on the east side. Spring migration probably peaks in February but flocks of what are likely migrating geese continue moving through for another month or two. Return migrants begin arriving in August, and there is a big movement in late September and October though many linger to the north or on the east side until cold winter storms finally nudge them into the warmer Central Valley. Canada Geese are uncommon to the rare visitors in the southern end of the Sierra Nevada but otherwise common to abundant around large reservoirs and rivers in the lower foothills, with hundreds to thousands being reported each winter on Christmas Bird Counts in the region. Some remain to nest in the region, often in close association with humans, from the foothills to as high as Lake Van Norden at Donner Pass.
Yosemite, California, October   December, 2012  Page Eleven  Canada Goose Branta canadensis by David Lukas  The familiar C...
Page Twelve Yosemite Gazette Execution in Mariposa Stockton Daily Argus Stockton, San Joaquin Co., CA Friday, 16 Mar 1860 The execution of Dennis Mahoney for the murder of John Killburn on the 5th of Sept. last, took place in Mariposa on Friday. The Mariposa Gazette gives the following particulars of the execution: The gallows was erected at the eastern end of the jail, in a space enclosed to the height of about 20 feet. At 12 minutes past 12 o’clock, Mahoney was led from his cell to the scaffold, accompanied by Sheriff Crippen, Under-Sheriff Howell and Father Auguer. The Death Warrant was then read by the Sheriff. He was then asked if he had anything to say, to which he replied by giving a full account of his difficulty with Killburn, closing his remarks as follows: “If I was placed in a similar position again I would do the same thing over. I was defending my own life, and I do not think that I should suffer death for it. I little thought, when 12 years of age, that I would die ignominiously upon the scaffold. But it must be so, and I am willing to die, although I die innocent of the crime of murder. I forgive my enemies, if there are any, and I hope and trust that God will forgive me. I have nothing more to say, further, than that I am innocent, as God knows, of the crime for which I am about to give up my life.” At 15 minutes past 12, his hands were pinioned, the rope adjusted and the cloth drawn over his face. He cried “God have mercy on my soul,” repeatedly. At 20 minutes past 12 the pulleys were drawn and the platform fell; and in an instant the spirit of Dennis Mahoney fled affrighted from the earth it had stained with another’s blood to the illimitable realms of God, there to be judged in infinite mercy. The execution was witnessed by some 20 persons. It would have been well could all those in this State have witnessed it, who are accustomed to carry pistols in their pockets, and villainous whisky in their bodies. The drop broke the neck, and no life was perceptible for an instant, except a slight twinging and quivering of the muscles. After the body had hung a proper length of time, it was taken down and buried. Mahoney was tried at the November Term of the District Court, found guilty and sentenced to be hung Dec. 30th. He was respited twice, as in the case of Elyea, and like Elyea, executed on the same day. The Mariposa Gazette adds that it was not until the day before photo courtesy Mariposa Museum and History Center County jail built around 1858 by J.O. Lovejoy for the amount of $14,744. He used native granite stone quarried in the Mormon bar area about two miles south from the location of the jail on Bullion Street in Mariposa. This stone jail replaced the first Mariposa County jail, which was built of logs and burned in the fire of 1858, which also consumed most of the south end of town. The thirty-three by twenty-six foot structure had two stories and a gallows at the east end (rear in this photo) of the building. Several successful escape attempts were made, usually by overpowering the guards. A prisoner, Thomas Truit, may have been responsible for setting the jail on fire in an unsuccessful escape attempt in 1892 that took his life. The fire gutted the building and when it was rebuilt the present gable roof replaced the original flat roof over the second floor. The prison was condemned in 1963, but docents will happily give you a tour today. the execution, when the cloud of impending death seemed to bound life’s horizon, did he seem to be fully awake to the horrors of his situation. He however maintained a wonderful degree of composure under the circumstances, declaring his intention to die like a man. Open Daily (except Sunday) Full Breakfast Lunch (from eleven) Full Traditional Bakery Fast Internet from $30/month Free basic install No limits on use Does not use phone or satellite Apples, Strawberries, Pears, Produce (in season) Expresso, Frappé, Smoothie Bar Apple & Pear Sauce, Jams, Jelly, (no preservatives) • Groveland/PML • Greeley Hill • Smith Station Road • Sonora • Phoenix Lake • Apple Valley Estates • Jamestown • Lake Don Pedro/La Grange • Coulterville 17433 Highway 120 Big Oak Flat, California Throck.com 209 962-7308 Sonora by Columbia author Michael Gahagan $24 includes shipping G & O Enterprises P. O. Box 444 Columbia, CA 95310 Orders: Gazetteer@hub3.net Train Rides (weather permitting) 21 1 Ch erokee R o ad Now, watch all the Netflix you want—no limits! Arcadia Publishing’s Cider (100% natural unfiltered) 19 Areas served or coming soon Tuolumne 209 -9 468 9 2 8cov ersapp anch.com ler
Page Twelve  Yosemite Gazette  Execution in Mariposa Stockton Daily Argus Stockton, San Joaquin Co., CA Friday, 16 Mar 186...
Yosemite, California, October–December, 2012 Church, continued from page 7 rebuilt, and a new section added to the center part, along with two new windows. This project resulted in five more pews which allow fifty more seats allowing space for a total of 125 people. Also at this time, to allow for the expansion, the communion rail was reinstalled upside down. It remained that way until its removal during the 2000 Jubilee renovation, as per the Second Vatican Council where changes were made regarding the reception of Holy Communion. Sections of the original communion rail, from sometime after 1862, are posted on the north wall of the church. These sections were preserved to show respect for the original sanctuary furnishings. When visiting the inside of the church one can feel the pages of history turning back. A visitor can feel the “step back in time” feeling when gazing at the age-curved window sills, the red, green and white stained glass windows, the statues, the fourteen Stations of the Cross drawings, and the bellringing ropes. A rendering of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” was added to the front of the original 1860’s altar in the 1950s. Holes can be seen where square nails were used, as well as hand-made wooden dowels used in the mortise and tenon construction of the altar. In 1956, a 1912 reed organ was replaced with a new Lowery electric organ, and in 2012, a new pipe organ was installed. This organ will be dedicated during the sesquicentennial celebration in January. A picture of the decorated church for the November 27, 1895 wedding of John H. Corcoran and Mary A. Kerrins also shows the beauty of the church. The 1988 resolutions by the California Legislature and Mariposa County are posted from the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the church. St. Joseph’s sits on the hill at the south side of the town of Mariposa, as if it is guarding the spiritual life of its parishioners as well as the community as a whole. Its adjoining historical cemetery includes the first recorded burial in 1864 of Caciano Ruiz, a gold miner from Sonora, Mexico, who was hired by John C. Fremont, to work his land grant. The variety of grave markers, from simple wooden crosses to tall monuments, reveals those who each have a story to tell. The self-guided tour through this old cemetery is a trip back in time. At almost 150 years old and under the leadership of Father Steve, St. Joseph’s is a vibrant parish. The church has many ministries of charitable work, as well as liturgical, educational, and social programs. St. Joseph’s is a permanent House of Worship and it derives its strength from the clergy and parishioners of another century. Although the early church was fire heated by a woodstove, and then an oil stove, the warmth of its essence is in its people, both past and present. St. Joseph’s will be celebrating its heritage on January 18, 2013 with a Mass on the Anniversary of its Dedication celebrated by Bishop Armando Ochoa. Throughout 2013, there will be additional activities for the public to celebrate and learn more about Page Thirteen photo courtesy Mariposa Museum and History Center Mariposa was the county seat for about six years before this photo was taken about 1861. The Mariposa court house is visible upper right, albeit without the clock and cupola that were added about five years later. St. Joseph’s Church was built on the hill to the far right in this picture, just out of the picture framed here. this charming, historic church. Tours of the church may be arranged; for more information, call the church office at 209 966- 2522, visit their website at tinyurl. com/8qytfcq or email sjccoff@ yahoo.com Mariposa News religious devotion—truly admirable and worthy the commendation of all good people. The new church has been erected between 1st and 2nd streets, fronting on Main street, on a little eminence, and its steeple rises high over the town. two blocks will embrace the entire grounds; the one on Main street containing the church and grounds, and the block in the rear—250 feet by 125—being intended for a cemetery. The selection of the site is well made; and it is capable of being rendered even more beautiful than at present. The church is not entirely finished, but near enough to have been consecrated, in accordance with the rites of the Catholic persuasion, on Sunday last. Stockton Daily Independent Friday, 23 January 1863 During the last year, says the ‘Gazette,’ many improvements have been made in Mariposa— many of them being of special importance, as indicating the growth and prosperity of that place; but there has been erected no structure deserving so much credit, or adding so much to the beauty of the place as the new Catholic church. The enterprising citizens who have labored and worked and accomplished this are deserving of all credit. It exhibits an energy—a
Yosemite, California, October   December, 2012 Church, continued from page 7 rebuilt, and a new section added to the cente...
Page Fourteen Coin, continued from page 2 as to not interrupt his game. Then he would sleep in one of the rooms upstairs in the three-story adobe section. The fire in 1950 moved him out. Supervisor Bill Moffitt warned me when I became a Mariposa county supervisor that he did not like nor would he allow gambling, although rooms for playing cards were (and still are) a legal option in Mariposa County. The reason for the crackdown was that he remembered his father losing his whole pay check at the Coin. He told me he would see his father leave the Coin empty handed on his way home to his family living on the old Nanny Place down Old Highway, probably hungry. The Fremont Adobe, built in 1850 before California was a state, has served Mariposa in many capacities. The building survived the giant fire of 1866 but was re-dressed with brick and stucco, just as it is today. From land agents offices to living quarters, to watch makers shop, an assay office, to hotel and bar, the building has seen many changes. But probably the most significant was the instal- Yosemite Gazette lation of the Gold Coin Club. Life of such a watering hole was limited by time and age when the original club closed about l988. The owner of the building tried to restore the old building but failed. His passing placed the building on the market and it was purchased by a local businesswoman, Helen Kwalwasser, who had more determination. Eventually she leased the property to Linda Halvorsen who installed the new Bett’s Gold Coin Sports Bar and Restraint. Inside the building are three wall paintings done by Cornelius Vejar around 1900. The building owner had the three paintings restored as well and they serve as the center piece of the newly installed club. Linda’s husband, Bob Borchard, a gun and history collector, has decorated the walls with historic photographs of Mariposa and a fine collection of historic pistols and rifles. Today the Gold Coin has new life, new atmosphere, light and lively, serving quality food and occasioned by a mixture of Mariposa working people and visitors to town. No gambling any more, just a great atmosphere and great food and company. Half Dome hiking permit lottery a success 2013 Long Range Plan due out soon by Rick Deutsch This was the third year hikers needed a permit to go up the Half Dome cables. To prevent the rampant scalping of permits that occurred last year, the park conducted a lottery in March 2012 with 300 permits per day available for day hikes and 100 reserved for those with valid Wilderness Permits. The person who bought the permits—or an alternate—had to be on the hike with proof of identity. The response was overwhelming, especially for weekend trips in June. To help those who did not win permits, the park set up a two day mini-lottery. Fifty daily permits were put out via the recreation.gov website. These comprised a combination of the anticipated number of wilderness permits not being used, Yosemite weather Yosemite road news You can check our website at YosemiteGazette.com for a general idea of the current weather around Yosemite, but please remember that we’re in the mountains and weather can change rapidly. Winter is nearly upon us at this writing, and the snow has already started falling. Sonora and Tioga Passes have already been briefly closed, although they’re open at this writing. It’s a great time to visit the park. Because the weather can change, sometimes precipitously, you’ll want to remember the words of Sir Rannulph Fiennes who said “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” To get a general idea of the weather, you can view web cams at the Yosemite Conservancy’s website that will show you current conditions with views east from Turtleback Dome toward Half Dome, Half Dome from Ahwahnee Meadow, and from below Sentinel Dome. YosemiteConservancy.org/webcams More webcams and current conditons can be found at the National Park Service website www.nps.gov/ yose Yosemite National Park is open all year. Tioga and Sonora Passes and the road to Glacier Point past Badger Pass all will see winter closures at some point but are open at this writing. When Tioga Pass is closed you cannot drive through the park to get from California to Nevada or vice versa. Don’t rely entirely on your GPS. Read a map that notes winter closures or call for road conditions at the number below. We can tell you personal stories of people calling from Lee Vining asking why they can’t come the “short route” because Tioga Pass is closed, whether unexpectedly early or into the late spring, California state law requires you to carry chains when driving in the mountains when winter driving conditions exist, including four wheel drive vehicles, even if they’re equipped with snow tires. Don’t shoot the messenger. For updated 24-hour road information in Yosemite call 209 372-0200 or visit NPS.gov/yose Slow down, you’re in the mountains now. cancellations and no-shows. Demand continued through the summer and about thirty percent of those who applied for the mini-lottery were successful. On many days, far fewer than the 400 possible permits holders actually showed up. Those who did not cancel denied avid hikers a chance in the mini-lottery. Permits were monitored by rangers from the Protection Division who checked hikers via an iPad at the base of Sub Dome (the large “bump” just before the cables). Positive IDs of the purchaser had to be shown. Officials saw no known scalping or fraud, so kudos to the Park management. Additionally, visitor com- plaints were down significantly from last year. The park plans to release the long awaited Half Dome Stewardship Plan before the end of 2012. This will determine the process for accessing the top of Half Dome for 2013 and beyond. It might remain a lottery as this year, but with improvements learned from experience. The park’s preferred alternative as selected in the Environmental Assessment is for a total number of 300 per day (100 less than the Interim program). Big wall climbers going up the face of the rock do not need Half Dome permits.
Page Fourteen Coin, continued from page 2 as to not interrupt his game. Then he would sleep in one of the rooms upstairs i...
Yosemite, California, October–December, 2012 Historic Mariposa by “Tuolumne Tom” Gardner Solution page 10. Across 1. Where wrestlers meet 4. E. Asian weight 8. Spending ____ 13. Taxing month? 14. Prohibit or ban 16. Mariposa’s historic Court _____ 17. Driving aid 18. Movie “____ Rae” 19. A really strong emotion 20. Sept. 28th, 2012 crime at the CA. Mining & Mineral Museum 23. Desktop graphic symbols 24. Major sponsor of the French Open: Abbr. 25. Exclamation of disgust 28. Koran chapter 29. Archeological find 32. Mariposa’s 1st County seat, with 52 Down 33. The pigeons ____ loudly 35. Joaquin Murietta, e.g. 37. Sports tavern in downtown Mariposa 40. Annual Oakdale events 41. A hymn of praise 42. Like Death Valley in June 43. Muslim ministers 45. Fe 49. Boeing 737, e.g. 50. The loneliest number? 51. Part of a drum set 52. Exhibit not stolen in 20 Across 56. Port city of Iraq 59. Sing like Mel Torme 60. Deli favorite: Abbr. 61. Stand by 62. Colorado ski destination 63. How the deaf communicate: Abbr. 64. Icky green stuff 65. The Gulf of Mexico, 2010 66. ____ whiz! Down 1. New Zealand pine trees 2. A short synopsis 3. A small earthquake 4. Cares for or looks after 5. Love: Sp. 6. River in NE Spain 7. Mary had a little one 8. Not flat 9. Polo ____ 10. Prayer or throw ___ 11. Dir. from Mariposa to Sequoia NP 12. Suffix for musket 15. Jewish minister 21. Decreed or ordained 22. Converts into a cipher 25. A well-named citrus fruit 26. Large turkey-like game bird of tropical America 27. Hee-___ 29. Italian opera composer 30. Brain scan: Abbr. 31. Drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease 32. Doing penitence 34. Platte River tribe: var. 36. Fiddler crab genus 37. Diameter of a gun barrel 38. Revise text 39. Hightail it, cut and run 40. British rule of India 44. Where 43 Across bow to 46. Motley assortment of stuff 47. Final words of a threat 48. Irritate or vex 50. Talk pompously 51. A cheery disposition 52. See 32 Across 53. Approximating words 54. Pith helmet 55. Sir ____ Pierce Coward 56. Sheep sound 57. Shoemaker’s tool 58. Droop 1 2 3 4 13 6 7 8 14 17 5 Page Fifteen 29 30 27 46 47 48 32 35 38 36 39 41 42 43 44 45 50 49 51 52 64 31 34 40 61 26 16 24 28 56 12 22 23 37 11 19 21 33 10 25 18 20 15 9 57 58 53 54 55 59 60 62 63 65 66 One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome by Rick Deutsch, Mr Half Dome™ • Forward by Royal Robbins • Updated 2nd Edition • The only dedicated Half Dome guide • Covers history, geology, preparation • 193 pages; 120 photos • Gear checklist; trail information • 18 points of interest with mileage, altitude, elapsed time, GPS markers $14.95 plus tax at Yosemite, REI, Amazon, Outfitters and Bookstores HikeHalfDome.com FREE Half Dome app Yosemite Gazette Years 3 and 4 bound edition finally available $75 per copy with tax and shipping. We have single copies available of most but not all of the back issues, cost $7.50 each, including shipping. Order at YosemiteGazette.com or call 209 962-7308 to order by credit card, or mail your check to PO Box 353, Big Oak Flat, California • Mac and PC repair • Website design • Fast Internet in the woods 209 962-7308 17433 Highway 120 Big Oak Flat, CA
Yosemite, California, October   December, 2012  Historic Mariposa by    Tuolumne Tom    Gardner  Solution page 10.  Across...
Yosemite Gazette Yosemite, California, October–December, 2012 Historic apple orchard goes thoroughly modern By Michael Gahagan Over one hundred years ago apple growing on the lower western slopes of the central Sierra was a thriving agricultural industry. During the late 1800s, by some accounts, 16,000 apple trees had been planted to the west of Yosemite in Tuolumne County alone. “By the early 1920s there were thirty well-established apple orchards in Tuolumne County,” according to Tom Gardner, “Mother Lode apples—a brief history,” Yosemite Gazette, JulySeptember 2012. In the 1920s, one of the busiest rail junctions in the Mother Lode was located at Tuolumne and Soulsbyville Roads to ship apples around the world. Frank Ralph’s Lava Ridge Orchard’s apple packing house was served by the Sierra Railroad. “Ralph’s Station,” was just down the tracks from the adjacent Cherokee Ranch, now part of Covers Apple Ranch. Apple growing declined from a zenith in the 1920s, plummeting to only a handful of orchards in in Tuolumne County by the 1960s. Remnants of orchards were maintained over the years in an area east and north east of Sonora including Cedar Ridge (Abbotts Apple Ranch) and Apple Valley (Mother Lode Apple Ranch). Bob Summers, developer of Apple Valley Estates, expanded the original orchard around 1977. Summers said the ranch was not just an apple ranch but also supplied the area’s mining and lumber sites with provisions. Some 800 acres included Phoenix Lake and the dam originally cobbled together by Summers from eleven smaller ranches, many owned by Italian families. Summers cleared the land and established a saw mill which enabled him to build the barns and apple processing and packing plant. “We had about 20,000 apple trees which, with our apple processing and packing plant, provided apple products from Tuolumne County to Japan,” according to Summers. After nearly five years in the making, 160 acres of the former Mother Lode Apple Ranch—now known as Indigeny Reserve— co-founders Judy Watson and Jay Watson have transformed the ranch into a major producer of apple products, artisan ciderworks, a distillery and a local leader in the resurgence of traditional, sustainable and organic agriculture in the greater Yosemite region. Some 9,000 Honeycrisp apple trees have been added to existing orchards on 160 acres since 2009 to total 20,000 trees at Indigeny Reserve with some fifty-three varieties including Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Red Rome apple trees. Indigeny Reserve promotes eco-friendly practices including milling lumber from trees on site, rechargeable batteries for equipment, solar mass heating and cooling, green standard lighting systems, use of green and reusable packaging, strict organic growing processes, reclaiming water and operating ten wind Page Sixteen machines to control orchard temperatures. Lumber milled from oak and cedar is used throughout the property and comes directly from the ranch. Visitors can learn about growing, brewing, aging, fermentation, and pasteurization—from land to glass— and they can step up to the tasting bar to sample lndigeny Reserve’s crisp, delicious photo courtesy Indigeny Reserve organic hard Double copper pot stills, one eighteen feet high, with cider and NorIndigeny Reserve cidermaster, Jay Watson. mandy-style apple brandy, locally grown and produced right double-copper pot stills eighteen on the premises. feet high, an authentic oak barrel “We have zero waste of our aging chamber, research and product,” Jay Watson said. “The development lab, state-of-the-art aluminum bottles planned for use apple processing equipment and a in the hard cider are reusable and unique gift shop featuring several leftover apple pieces are fed to internationally-recognized artnearby cattle.” ists.” According to Judy Watson, Indigeny Reserve eventually “The building was re-designed by will offer programs in sustainCooper Kessel of Sonora, incorable living, outdoor education for porating more ‘green’ features. students and will serve as a venue The expanded facilities include for children’s performing arts and other community programs. Indigeny Reserve just celebrated (October 20) its grand opening with a day-long Fall Festival including a scarecrow contest, speakers, music, hayrides, ciderworks and distillery tours. For more information on Indigeny Reserve: 209-533-9463, email: contact@indigenyreserve. com or www.indigenyreserve. com. photo courtesy of Tuolumne County Historical Society Belle Cholez Lewis and her husband William with children Violet and Floyd were early agricultural ranchers. They acquired a small parcel on the eastern side of Sonora, California, on what may have become Mother Lode Apple Ranch (now Indigeny Reserve), raising turkeys and planting an orchard of Lady apples, the oldest known variety (left background). Michael Gahagan, who adheres to the maxim that an “apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is a former weekly newspaper editor and publisher, author of “Sonora” and current resident of historic Columbia. He is the Advertising Director of the Yosemite Gazette. Email him at Michael@ YosemiteGazette. com.
Yosemite Gazette  Yosemite, California, October   December, 2012  Historic apple orchard goes thoroughly modern By Michael...