Yosemite Gazette Winter 2008 Yosemite, California Free How Will Global Climate Change Affect Yosemite? Changes are apparent today. What will tomorrow bring? by Ken McFarland Photo: public domain and was printed in “Yosemite Nature Notes,” October, 1958 Climate change in the form of global warming is, no pun intended, a hot topic. It can lead to debate that often generates more heat than light. warring sets of scientific data, something dramatic is happening in the national parks—including Yosemite. Thanks to the meticulously recorded research of biologist The first airplane to land in Yosemite Valley. Lt. James Stephen Krull poses next to his Curtis JN-4 which landed in Liedig Meadow May 27, 1919 Airplane lands in Yosemite Valley Many are concerned whether it will take off again or crash into valley walls in attempt by Debbie Adams The idea of air flight into Yosemite originated in 1918, when it was suggested that it be featured during the opening ceremonies of the Yosemite Power plant. The proposal was passed over to the Commanding Officer at Mather Field to investigate landing conditions and report on the feasibility of the proposed flight. For some reason, although no investigation was made, an adverse report was made and the idea was abandoned. One year later, Arthur Clarance Pillsbury, photographic concessionaire in Yosemite, proposed another attempt. Pillsbury wanted to be the first photographer to secure an aerial motion picture of the Valley. Park Superintendent, W.B. Lewis, negotiated with the “Air Service” and sold the idea on the basis of the publicity value such a flight would have on the Yosemite Highway plan. Lt. Col. H.L. Watson, Commander of Mather Field, visited Yosemite Valley on May 13th and 14th, 1919. He was accompanied by Lt. James Stephen Krull, Flight Commander. Much to Pillsburys’ disappointment, Krull agreed to make the flight but refused to carry a passenger. It was believed that there were some unusual air currents in and Airplane lands, continued on page 14 photo courtesy Sierra Nature Notes, Volume 6, January 2006 A comparison of Lyell Glacier, Yosemite National Park in 1903 (top) taken by G.K. Gilbert, and 2003 (bottom) taken by Hassan Basagic. From Hassan Basagic Twentieth Century Glacier Change in the Sierra Nevada, California If, as many experts believe, this phenomenon is caused by human activity, then one might think our national parks would be relatively immune to the effects of global warming—being, as they are, havens of retreat and renewal. But whatever the politics or sometimes Joseph Grinnell in the early decades of the last century, today’s scientists have a baseline of information for comparison. Global warming, continued on page 14
Yosemite Gazette Winter 2008  Yosemite, California  Free  How Will Global Climate Change Affect Yosemite  Changes are appa...
Page Two Yosemite Gazette Ecological Restoration in Yosemite Valley by Denise Della Santina and Sue Beatty Yosemite contains many healthy meadows, forests, and watersheds. But sometimes these areas need a helping hand. The more than three million people who visit Yosemite each year cause a fair amount of inadvertent damage to natural areas. Their feet trample vegetation, compact soils, and erode fragile habitats. Previous settlers and park managers have cut trails and installed structures that now impinge on natural systems. To keep Yosemite’s ecosystems healthy, the park must devise ways to reduce and repair human-related impacts that have damaged or degraded habitat. Restoration is crucial to protect Yosemite’s wealth of biodiversity. The park’s plants and birds, insects and mammals, meadows and rivers are all connected on a local and global scale. When this web of life is stretched or broken by human impacts, nature can’t function as it should. Restoration is an attempt to strengthen the strands in the web so that ecosystems can function as they naturally would. Every year park staff, work crews, and volunteers work diligently to allow Yosemite’s ecosystems to take their own course into the future. At Yosemite, restoration ecologists identify where, when and how much of a helping hand ecosystems need. The need for some projects is obvious, such as meadows with large areas of bare ground or sites with visible pipes and crumbling cement that scar the landscape. Some sites in need of restoration, however, are hidden to the untrained eye. A line of small trees growing across a wet meadow may be the site of an abandoned roadbed. A small, straight stream is likely to be a human-made ditch draining a wetland. Sparse native vegetation with a high percentage of non-native species could indicate a former building site where topsoil was graded away. Once a site is identified to need restoration, the following questions must be asked to determine restoration goals. What was the natural condition of the site? What areas are still intact? How can they be restored? To answer these questions, ecologists look at the hydrology, soils, and plant communities of a Photo courtesy Yosemite Association Photo courtesy Denise Della Santina and Sue Beatty Upper: Meadows were extensive in the Yosemite Valley of 1899. Lower: Such meadows no longer exist in Yosemite Valley today due to human-caused changes in hydrology, fire frequency, and past agricultural practices. site. Together, these factors can help determine the past and present conditions. Groundwater monitoring wells may be installed to gather data on underground water flow and examine its influence on plant communities in meadows and the river floodplain. Research on soil types gives information on past locations of meadows, river floodplains, and forests, improving our understanding of the ecosystem prior to human-caused changes. Yosemite’s many square miles of unspoiled wilderness often serves as a reference for how natural resource restoration projects should look when completed. Yosemite Valley has seen dramatic shifts in vegetation and river processes since Euro-American settlement began in the 1860s. Soil studies indicate that some currently forested areas in east Yosemite Valley actually supported meadows and wetlands before the 1860s. Historic photos, maps and written descriptions corroborate these findings. Reports beginning around 1855 from Galen Clark reported “clear open ground, but large meadow loss by the 1890s.” Historic photos from the early 1900s reveal that the banks of the Merced River were well vegetated and that large piles of woody debris had collected both along the shoreline and in the channel. Cook’s Meadow is one example of a recent ecological restoration project that has removed humancaused impacts from the land. This project was a collaboration between the National Park Service and a wide range of donors, volunteers, and park partners. Their common goal: to restore scenic beauty and ecological integrity to a centerpiece of Yosemite Valley while enhancing visitor experiences. Restoration, continued on page 10
Page Two  Yosemite Gazette  Ecological Restoration in Yosemite Valley by Denise Della Santina and Sue Beatty  Yosemite con...
Yosemite, California, Winter 2008 4th U.S. Cavalry assumes control in Yosemite Valley Poachers and sheepherders alike are dismayed by Kris Corey Try to visualize the U.S. Cavalry. What images come to mind? Prior to researching the Cavalry’s role in Yosemite National Park the images in my mind were primarily what I’d seen on TV— straight-backed uniformed soldiers on horseback traveling in formation across the American frontier. I’d like to offer you a different perspective, a little more insight into the character of the men who served this country on horseback. It is because of their dedication and commitment that we can enjoy one of America’s most scenic natural treasures, Yosemite National Park. The Cavalry was given a monumental assignment against insurmountable odds and they performed admirably. The Cavalry established the first park policies and saved the area from certain destruction. They educated the public and instilled respect for the park in visitors and neighboring communities along with a belief that conservation was a worthwhile endeavor. Their work in Yosemite during the park’s formative years is commendable and this “claim to fame” deserves recognition and respect. In 1890 when Yosemite Park was created, the government originally set aside an area of approximately 1500 square miles as “reserved forest lands” for public use. These lands were to be protected from harm and kept in a natural pristine condition for the enjoyment of all people. However, Congress failed to allot any funding or make any plans for how to administer this new area. Since funding was already available for government personnel, the immediate solution was to use the Cavalry troops to secure, protect and defend the area. The acting park superintendent position was assumed by the commanding officer. I Troop of the Fourth Cavalry under the command of Captain Abram Epperson Wood was dispatched from the Presidio in San Francisco and marched for two weeks, covering 250 miles, to the reserved forest lands of Yosemite, arriving May 19, 1891, and so began the military’s 24-year reign as guardians of the park. The Cavalry, acting as a civil government, occupied the park during the summer months (May-October) every year thereafter until 1914. On their arrival in 1891 the Cavalry found park boundaries uncertain and unmarked. Roads and trails were few and accurate maps did not exist. Yosemite’s high country had been subjected to many years of overgrazing by hundreds of thousands of sheep. Wildlife was being slaughtered or captured for profit and the land was scarred from mining and timber operations as well as man-made forest fires. Creeks and rivers were being polluted and some of these park lands had been homesteaded. Photo: public domain Image of about forty members of F Troop, Sixth U.S. Cavalry shown standing beside their horses, and lined up on and beside a fallen giant sequoia known as “The Fallen Monarch” in Yosemite Park, 1899. Page Three People had been hunting, fishing, mining and grazing on these public lands since the California Gold Rush. The local counties looked to this vast region for its potential tax revenues and natural resources. And, to make things worse, no money had been allotted by the federal government to deal with extinguishing private property claims within the park. Naturally, the locals resented the Cavalry’s intrusion. The soldiers were met with hostility from the civilian neighbors who were skeptical and saw the park as an infringement of their rights. Guides were not inclined to be helpful and the public did not take kindly to the news that they could no longer hunt or trap game within the “reserved forest lands.” Ranchers were told their cattle and sheep could no longer graze on government property, and mining and logging operations were no longer permitted. The Cavalry had been given 1500 square miles of unmapped wilderness to protect and, as you can see, the whole thing was off to a really bad start. The Cavalry’s mission was to take charge and protect this new area, to preserve the magnificent timber and vegetation, to protect the fish and game, the vast mineral deposits and natural wonders of the region and to maintain this magnificent area in its natural condition. It was their job to protect this natural heritage from all who sought to wantonly exploit it. The first few years were the most difficult. The area had to be surveyed and mapped, reservation boundaries identified and marked. Trails and bridges were built to provide access to the vast wilderness. The Cavalry worked hard to gain some physical control over the park during those first few summers. Many believed that the harsh Sierra winters would be a deterrent to illegal activities, but poaching ran rampant during the winter months when the troops were not present. During the summer, small groups of Cavalry men were stationed at intervals throughout the park. These troops Cavalry, continued on page 16
Yosemite, California, Winter 2008  4th U.S. Cavalry assumes control in Yosemite Valley Poachers and sheepherders alike are...
Page Four Yosemite Gazette Letter to the Editor “Proof” reading does not mean properly identifying the alcohol content on that bottle hidden in your desk drawer! Get it together! In the last issue of the Yosemite Gazette (Fall 2007) I submitted an article entitled “Ancient Trails.” The published version of my article contained numerous typographical, punctuation, and spelling errors not contained in my original work. But worse, it contained unsubstantiated information that made me and the Yosemite Gazette look bad. I understand that part of the problem was because I submitted my article in writing rather than electronicaly thus subjecting it to human hands. So, I will take some responsibility for living in the “dark ages.” However, this article was obviously not 100 proof prior to publication. Kris Corey It is true that we had someone type Kris’s handwritten article who, it turns out, needs glasses really, really badly. He was not, however, drinking at the time he typed the article. It is also true that we managed to group all our mistakes for the entire issue in Kris’s article. That’s why we asked Kris to come by and review his article about the U.S. Cavalry in this issue before we printed it. If any mistakes got through, they’re the printer’s fault. We did change the single quotes Kris used in his letter to us to double quotes, and put the punctuation inside the quotes where it belongs.—ed. Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of Nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature’s sources never fail. —John Muir, “Our National Parks” Yosemite Gazette is online at YosemiteGazette.com Please direct letters to the editor to editor@YosemiteGazette.com Advertising information 209 962-7308 or email sales@yosemitegazette.com Subscription information 209 962-7308 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) © 2008 All rights reserved Published in the United States of America Editor in Chief, Marv Dealy Assistant to the Editor, Joyce Griffith Area Editors, Bob Oakley (Yosemite), Marc Fossum (Groveland) Ads, Robin Patterson, Bob Oakley, Tony Kash Art, Chris Emanuel Printing, Foothill Printing & Graphics  Editorial Last issue we brought you the story of the first car over Tioga Pass and the issue before that the story of the first car into Yosemite Valley. This issue we’re happy to bring you the story of one Lt. Krull who was the first to land an airplane in the valley, something you couldn’t get a permit for today unless it was a real emergency. The lieutentant’s adventure began, it turns out, because the gentleman who had the photography concession in the park really wanted some aerial photographs. The photographer wouldn’t get to go along ultimately, but you’ll have to read the story for more.  Across the page we are reprinting the obituary of John Muir Hanna, the last grandson of John Muir to have known him personally. John’s son, Bill Hanna, has promised to give us an article from time to time in the future, wherein he’ll share with us the story of John Muir’s future inlaws, how they traveled to California from Texas in 1849, and how they settled near La Grange, California. We look forward to Bill’s contributions. In the meantime, if anyone has the story of the first motorcycle into Yosemite Park, we’d love to hear it. Yosemite Park road news Yosemite Park is open during the winter. There are some road closures and reconstruction activities under way that motorists driving into the Park should know about. El Portal Road Reconstruction El Portal Road begins at the western boundary of the park where State Highway 140 ends and continues seven and a half miles east to the Pohono Bridge. The road has undergone a number of emergency repairs since the floods of 1997 but a complete reconstruction is needed so that the road can withstand future high water events. Yosemite Valley will remain open during the construction as will State Highway 41. Motorists should note that El Portal Road will be fully closed from 10 p.m. through 6 a.m. with one outbound opening at 11 p.m. for park workers and guests Sunday through Thursday. During the days, expect half hour delays with one lane controlled traffic. These plans are subject to change so call 209 372-0200 for further information. Winter road closures in the park In addition to the winter closure of Tioga Pass, the Park Service has Park roads, continued on page 10
Page Four  Yosemite Gazette  Letter to the Editor    Proof    reading does not mean properly identifying the alcohol conte...
Yosemite, California, Winter 2008 Page Five Obituary John Muir Hanna John Muir Hanna, a longtime Napa resident and grapegrower, passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 1, 2007 at the age of 98. He was the oldest surviving grandson of California’s most renowned naturalist and conservationist, John Muir. John was born near Martinez, California, on March 15, 1909, the second son of Wanda Muir and Thomas Hanna. The family lived in an historic adobe home next to the large Victorian home of John Muir. Young John remembered his grandfather as loving children and always having candy for him and his brothers. After Muir’s death, the family moved to Crockett and later back to Alhambra Valley, just south of Martinez. John’s first visit to Yosemite was in 1916 when he was seven years old. He and his older brother Strent, who was then nine, rode bareback and their parents and two younger brothers rode in a wagon. They traveled over Tioga Pass, north along Mono Lake through Bridgeport and then back west over Sonora Pass and back home. The next two summers the two boys spent their entire summers in Yosemite and Tuolumne Meadows with a foster brother who was fourteen. In 1919 the three boys rode from Martinez to Klamath Falls, Oregon, along the west Sierra foothills. They returned by a more westerly route and traveled through Napa on their way to the Benicia Ferry. John grew up farming and learned to ride and handle horses before he was five. By the age of twelve he was cultivating vineyards and orchards with a team of horses. He started buying cattle with the money he earned using his team on outside jobs, and planned to finance his college education in that manner. He entered Stanford University in the fall of 1928 as a business major. He also played on the polo team. Photo courtesy of the Holt-Atherton Collection,University of the Pacific John Muir with grandchildren (from left) Richard “Dick” Hanna, John Muir Hanna, and Strentzel “Strent” Hanna. John is wearing his brother’s hand-me-down overalls. Strent is in overalls that need to be handed down. John recalled that his grandfather always had candy in his pockets which imparts great meaning as shown by Strent’s outstreched hand. The Depression caused him to leave Stanford, and he worked for a year with his father at the May Lundy mine near Mono Lake. He then went to Oregon and worked on a highway project near Florence and then on the Columbia River jetty where he rigged the cables to unload the large boulders that formed the jetty. He renewed his college education at Oregon State where he again played polo and also operated a riding academy with some friends. After two years he returned to California to help his father work the mine. John began working at the American Smelting Company lead refinery near Crocket in 1937. He was the purchasing agent there until the plant closed and he retired in 1972. He married Virginia Young of Stockton in July of 1939. They lived in Berkeley until their son Bill was born in 1945 and they moved to Albany. John never lost his dream of having his own ranch, so in 1950 he and Virginia bought a 100 acre ranch northwest of Napa. Though the ranch contained vineyard, it was not economical to farm so he raised cattle and prunes. He began converting the prunes to vineyard in 1969. He planted chardonnay at the suggestion of Mike Grgich and began selling to Chateau Montelena in 1972. His grapes have been in every vintage there, including the 1973 that won the “Paris Tasting” of 1976. After his “retirement” in 1972 he farmed full time and by 1977, when Bill and his family returned after serving in the Air Force, he was farming nearly 100 acres of vineyard. He remained active in the vineyard operation for another 20 years and helped with the family’s first commercial crush in 2000. Shortly after moving to Napa, John joined the Napa County Farm Bureau. He was the president of the Salvador Farm Center and on the board of directors of the NCFB for about 30 years. He John Muir Hanna, continued on page 10
Yosemite, California, Winter 2008  Page Five  Obituary  John Muir Hanna John Muir Hanna, a longtime Napa resident and grap...
Page Six Yosemite Gazette Garotte becomes Groveland From gold dust to currency, Groveland prospers by Joyce Griffith “Garrote is not a very pretty name,” The Sonora Union Democrat commented in January, 1875. Indeed. Translated from Spanish, “garrote” is the word for death by choking or hanging. Groveland was known throughout the area as Garrote for years after the 1849 lynching of two men caught stealing gold dust near the settlement’s adobe trading post. “To kill a man, the miners reasoned, might be justifiable; to steal from him was not. So they picked a fine oak tree growing conveniently near the trading post and the hanging took place thereupon.” (From The Big Oak Flat Road to Yosemite.) Not long after that, a lynching apparently took place on another fine oak tree about two miles away, and the name “Second Garrote” was given to that area. Before long local folks became weary of sending and receiving mail with such a gruesome name on the address. A resident named Benjamin Savory suggested “Groveland,” the name of his home town in Massachusetts, and most of the citizens accepted the new name. The vote was not unanimous. Some of the pioneers of Tuolumne County did not relish the departure from history and continued to call the community post office “Garrote” for years—and some old-timers still do. The Red and White Grocery, known in gold rush days as Cassaretto’s store, offered food and sundry items. Owner Louis Cassaretto traded with miners and struck up a thriving business with native Americans in Deer Flat. Payment was often in gold dust rather than in hard metal or minted coins. “The Indian trade was mainly in staples,” said Mr. Cassaretto, “especially sugar. They would come into the store with their gold dust and make a bee line for the sugar barrel. They would even work to get it. That was one sure way that the pioneer women could get much-needed help. My mother could get a heavy washing done for fifty cents worth of sugar. “The Indians were usually quiet but the miners from the hills would come into town for Sunday and spend the day drinking and gambling. Then they’d get boisterous and come into the store to make trouble. One day father got thoroughly disgusted, picked up a weight from the scales and threw it, hit or miss, at the bunch of them. It ‘hit’ all right and the man it connected with was out for three hours. After that he didn’t have so much trouble.” (from The Big Oak Flat Road to Yosemite.) Family life resurfaced in Groveland and other mining towns and prospecting settlements in the 1860s as more and more wives and children joined the men in the rough-and-tumble life of our country’s newest frontier. From age four and up, children played an important role in the family economy. Youngsters provided the family’s best source of unskilled labor, and boys and girls handled tasks as varied as riding with the sheriff’s posse to laying out the dead for burial as well as household tasks such as growing and preparing food, washing clothing and linen, and keeping the house as clean and comfortable as possible. At the age of fifteen or sixteen, boys had virtually the same strength as a grown man and would choose a job for income and adventure as a teamster, stage-driver, guide, Wells, Fargo & Co. messenger, miner, or some other ambitious job. They were sent without hesitation into dangerous situations far from where they could look to anyone for help. Self-reliance was a requirement for survival. Girls usually married between the ages of fourteen and twenty and from then on, they faced whatever dangers childbirth had to offer without a doctor or hospital care. “Childhood ended early,” according to the authors of The Big Oak Flat Road to Yosemite, “but the parent pair were a pair until death.” School and church brought families together from Groveland and nearby Big Oak Flat. For several decades in the last half of the 1800s, a schoolhouse known as “Big Oak Flat School” on the edge of Groveland replace an earlier schoolhouse located at the top of the divide between the two towns. The children of Big Oak Flat and Priest’s Hill trudged to Groveland to school. To round out the reciprocity, since Groveland had no church families from that town attended Mount Carmel Church in Big Oak Flat. One of the most memorable teachers at the Groveland school in gold-mining days was John Gamble, an unusually tall and powerful man with a black spade beard. It was reported that he did not hesitate to use his fists if necessary to keep order in the classroom. His daughter, Lucy, succeeded him at the school, and his son taught the school at Stevens’ Bar. With their gift of instruction, the Gamble family trained much of the population in the countryside. Memories resurrected from their classrooms of the past show “Lucy Gamble sitting atop of a cast iron stool with a horsehair cushion—minus, in the later days, every vestige of horsehair—while the small organ vibrated heroically to the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic.’ ” (from The Big Oak Flat Road to Yosemite.) Garotte, continued on page 11
Page Six  Yosemite Gazette  Garotte becomes Groveland From gold dust to currency, Groveland prospers by Joyce Griffith    ...
Yosemite, California, Winter 2008 Page Seven Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum About twenty miles from the Yosemite National Park entrance is the historic community of Groveland—the Highway 120 gateway to the Park for visitors from all points west. Among the attractions of this Gold Rush town is the Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum, which not only preserves area history but has quite a history of its own. Jane Dees, current president of the Southern Tuolumne County Historical Society (STCHS), says the museum was the dream of Wally Anker, the “mover and shaker” who talked up the idea among area locals and, from 1986 onward kept momentum going for the project. From the beginning, Wally envisioned a combination museum and area library. In 1992, the dream took a long step forward toward reality when the late Charlie Heath—known as “the can man”—suggested to STCHS that he spearhead a fundraising project of collecting aluminum cans from around the area, which he would transport to Modesto in the valley for processing and payment. Vacation Rentals Cabins to Luxury Homes YosemiteRegionResorts.com • hiking • golfing • flying • fly fishing • boating • gold panning • Gold Rush history • skiing • fishing • swimming • rafting • snowshoeing • water skiing • horseback riding • antiquing • spelunking • wine tasting • musuems • ice skating Charlie and his helpers’ efforts truly turned aluminum into gold, eventually bringing in $50,000 toward the new museum and library. At its grand opening in May 2001 a bronze bust of Charlie the Can Man was dedicated to reside in the museum, which is shared—as Wally Anker planned it—with the Groveland branch of the Tuolumne County Library. Mary Kelly, author of a history of the museum, says that the museum opened totally paid for by the donations and funds raised by area residents. In addition to a gift shop, it now features a few permanent exhibits but also many displays that change regularly. Current displays depict pioneer families whose descendants still live in the area such as the Laveronis, the Cassarettos and the Rangers, a model of the nearby Longfellow Stamp Mill, native plants and animals, some of them indigenous to the area, old bottles and baskets, a history of the U.S. flag, and “pettable” animal pelts. Before entering the museum, stop at the arrastra located in the parking lot and the sluice box nearby. The arrastra (from the Spanish “arrastre” which means to drag along the ground) depicts the earliest and simplest method used to crush the raw gold from the rocky soil of the gold fields, and the sluice box shows one method of washing the soil and sand from the gold. The floor stones of this arrastra, which had been stolen from National Forest land in the Gentry Gulch area in 1997, was reconstructed in 2004 by volunteers. This simplest form of an arrastra is a flat-bottomed stone placed Photos courtesy Bob Oakley Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum shares space with the Groveland library. Exhibits feature the history of Hetch Hetchy, the art of fine stichery, antique bottles, “pettable” animal pelts, and a model of the Longfellow Stamp Mill (left in center photo, above). www.YosemiteChamberofCommerce.com 800 962-4765 rentals and sales Lodging, restaurants, real estate and visitor info 800 449-4120 in a circular rock-lined pit and connected to a center post by a long arm, the end of which would be powered by horse, mule or a person. The museum is managed and staffed by volunteers. There is no charge for admission donations are gratefully accepted. For location of the museum, hours, and current information, visit www.grovelandmuseum. org or call 209 962-0300.
Yosemite, California, Winter 2008  Page Seven  Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum About twenty miles from the Yosemite Nati...
Page Eight Yosemite Gazette Kinghts Ferry bridge Longest covered wood bridge west of the Mississippi River by Marilyn Lane The covered bridge at Knights Ferry is one of the historic treasures in Northern California. At 365 feet, it is the longest covered bridge this side of the Mississippi. In order to truly appreciate this remarkable structure, a brief history of the founding of the town and the events leading to the creation of the bridge is in order. James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill in January of 1848, starting one of the most exciting eras in California history. People from all over the country flocked to the Golden State in the hopes of striking it rich. Many overlooked the fact that along with the promise of riches, the West was wild and could be a dangerous place to live. Dr. William Knight, who founded the town of Knights Ferry in the spring of 1848, found this out first hand. Knight was as colorful a character as could be found in that period; he was a former scout, fur trader and physician. Once he set stakes in Knights Ferry, he established a trading post and ferry. He and partner James Vantine constructed the first ferry in the area, using an old whaling vessel for building materials. It was attached to a heavy cable and powered by the river’s current. The region was a paradise, rich in natural beauty as well as gold. The location of Knights Ferry was strategic because it was a gateway on the main road from Stockton to the Gold Country where the river banks, hills and gulches were packed with the shiny metal. Droves of miners passed through every day and used the ferry to cross the Stanislaus River. During the high season, the ferry would make as much as $500.00 a day. Knight was prospering in the town he had founded, but his life was tragically cut short in a gun battle on November 9, 1849 that was described by witness James G. Fair as, “one of the most cold-blooded murders” he had ever seen. They buried him right where he fell, in front of Masonic Hall. After Knight’s death, his partner joined with John and Lewis Dent to form Dent, Vantine & Co. They built a new ferry fashioned in bridge plans while visiting in 1854. The Dents went so far as to purchase the lumber, but never got around to building the bridge. David and his brother Elbridge also opened a profitable grist mill, which still stands next to the bridge. To ensure the success of the mills, in 1856, the Lockes purchased the bridge from the Dents for $26,000. The purchase price included the unused timber that had been previously cut. Locke started Photo courtesy Marilyn and Sandy Lane Knights Ferry bridge, strategically located gateway on the main foad from Stockton to the Gold Country is closed to vehicle traffic and is protected under the National Historic Preservation Act. a more classical style and also added a restaurant and boarding house to the town. They reduced the toll charge, hoping that the increased travel on the ferry would improve patronage at their establishments. Several years later, the Dents tried to rename the town Dentville, but fortunately for posterity, the lyrical name Knights Ferry was so firmly established that they were unsuccessful in their efforts to change it. In 1852, Vantine decided to pull out. He sold his holdings to the Dents and moved back East. The Dents were financially flush and decided to back the construction of David Locke’s sawmill, which was completed in 1854. The Dents were the first to explore the idea of building a bridge across the Stanislaus River. Urban legend has it that Ulysses Grant, who was married to their sister Julia, drew up the work on the bridge immediately and was issued a license by the Board of Supervisors on Jan. 7, 1857. The town was an important stage and supply center, but with the addition of the bridge, mills and a ditch on the north side of the river to supply water, the community continued to grow and prosper. By 1859, the town boasted two hotels, four general stores, two attorneys, a physician, blacksmith, livery stable, boot store, book and stationery store and market. It had come a long way since the day when Dr. William Knight first set stakes in the town’s fertile soil. The bridge was a mainstay until towards the end of 1862, when it met its untimely end. A warm, unseasonable rain had swept across the high Sierra, melting the snow. The run-off joined the Stanislaus River and caused it to rise at alarming proportions. It rose three to four feet an hour and peaked at thirtyfive feet above the low water mark. Most of the town was washed away by the strong currents that swept through. Surprisingly, amid all the destruction, the bridge stood firm. It probably would have survived had it not been for one unexpected event. The bridge at Two Mile Bar mining camp was torn loose from its foundations and came careening downstream, picking up force as it progressed. By the time it reached the Knights Ferry Bridge, the impact was so fierce that it crushed the truss supports and knocked it off its foundations, completely destroying it. After the flood subsided, the ferry was brought back into service until such time that a new bridge was completed. The new bridge constructed is the one that still stands today. It was built by the Stanislaus Bridge and Ferry Company, a partnership formed by Locke and other bridge and ferry owners. They placed it eight feet higher than its predecessor. In the spring of 1863, it was opened to traffic. Few changes have been made on the bridge since it was built: the wooden roof was replaced with tin in 1884; the deck was repaired, asphalt replaced sand, and felloe guards were added in 1918; and a chain-like fence was added in 1970. In 1981, engineers spotted cracks in the support structure and the bridge was closed to vehicular traffic. The Sacramento District Corps of Engineers received title to the Knights Ferry Bridge in 1985 and Bridge, continued on page 11 Michael J. Malloy Certified Public Accountant mike@michaelmalloy.com 1001 Bayhill Dr., 2nd Floor San Bruno, CA 94066 650 616-4305 510 220-7830 (cell) PO Box 370 17390 Highway 120 Big Oak Flat, CA 95305 209 962-7830 209 962-6727 (fax)
Page Eight  Yosemite Gazette  Kinghts Ferry bridge Longest covered wood bridge west of the Mississippi River by Marilyn La...
Yosemite, California, Winter 2008 Civil War reenactment at Knights Ferry bridge Last year’s reenactment saw the North attack from the South. Will mistakes be repeated? by Private Tom Gardner The public is invited to observe the Fourteenth Annual Battle of Knights Ferry on March 29 and 30, 2008. The battle is presented by the American Civil War Association, a Northern California living history club, with the approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. You’ll be able to watch as General Lee’s Confederates defend the north end of the historic covered bridge from Mr. Lincoln’s Bluecoats crossing from the south bank of the Stanislaus River. Battle times are 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, then on Sunday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. There is plenty of opportunity to get up close and watch the firing of cannon and wonder at the scene. The public is welcome to tour the camps of Yankees, Rebels, civilians, and Page Nine merchants before and after each battle. A $5 donation to offset the expense of trash removal and sanitation will be requested at the parking lots. For more information, visit www.acwa.org. As we go to press, there is some question as to whether the reenactment will be held on the last weekend in March or the first weekend in April, so check the organizing club’s website at www.acwa.org for further details. There is no better site in all of Northern California for a Civil War reenactment than the Knights Ferry covered bridge! Photo courtesy Marilyn and Sandy Lane Photos courtesy Marv Dealy Foothill printing ad A Confederate Captain inspects his troops before deploying them to halt the Yankees advancing across Knights Ferry bridge. His sword and uniform are considered highly authentic, as most Civil War reenactors strive to present a correct impression, regardless of Blue or Grey. Photos to left show part of a Union camp, the Union’s advance toward the bridge, Rebel cannon firing on them, and the defeat the North ultimately suffered at the hands of the Rebels at the north end of the bridge, in full sight of the crowd. As a spectator, you are allowed to sit close enough to the raging battle that you’ll get a good dose of cannon smoke and your ears won’t forget.
Yosemite, California, Winter 2008  Civil War reenactment at Knights Ferry bridge Last year   s reenactment saw the North a...
Page Ten Restoration, continued from page  Though Cook’s Meadow is surrounded by forest today, historically it was part of a continuous Yosemite Valley meadow system present in the 1850s. Over the years, a sewer line, roads, paved trails, culverts, ditches, and the channeling of the streambed altered the meadow’s surface and groundwater hydrology. The new conditions altered the vegetation growing in the meadow. Nonnative upland grasses planted for hay production in the 1860s continued to thrive long after the farmers departed, while invasions of noxious exotics, and encroaching conifers put the meadow under additional stress. In addition, the blasting of the terminal moraine at the western end of Yosemite Valley in 1879, which lowered of the water table up to Yosemite Lodge, may have impacted hydrologic conditions within the meadow as well. The restoration team realized that that local surface and groundwater hydrology were the keys to returning the meadow to its pre-disturbance condition. Broadly speaking, the restoration plan aimed to increase water flow to the meadow and improve visitor amenities in the area. Cook’s Meadow Restoration • Four drainage ditches created by early Euro-American settlers were filled. The ditches originally drained standing water away from the meadow. • A raised, abandoned roadbed and a trail bisecting the meadow blocked the flow of water. Both were removed. • The trail to an elevated boardwalk was reconstructed. The boardwalk allows water to flow freely underneath and reduces foot traffic on sensitive meadow plants. Visitors can now stay dry while visiting even the wettest portions of the meadow. • Six interpretive wayside exhibits providing information on the cultural history, ecology, and geology of the project area were installed. These exhibits help visitors understand the ecology of the meadow and how it has been affected by land use changes. • Cul- Yosemite Gazette verts under Sentinel Road were installed to direct runoff into the meadow. The culverts restore natural inundations from the Merced River during seasonal periods of high water. • Hundreds of volunteers as well as park staff pulled out nonna- campsites and fire rings are removed to protect water quality and other natural resources, as well as enhance the wilderness experience. After restoration, sites are monitored for one to five years. Surveys determine whether native plants have re-established themselves. Photo courtesy Yosemite Association Volunteers filling in a ditch in the restoration of Cook’s Meadow. tive plant species using manual and mechanical control methods. The meadow restoration was accomplished through contributions of expertise, equipment and labor from National Park Service (NPS) employees in the Resources Management and Science, Facilities and Interpretation divisions. The Yosemite Fund provided financial support. Volunteers from the Yosemite Fund and the Yosemite Association removed exotic plant species, collected native plant seeds, filled several ditches and an outlet within the meadow, and helped revegetate the habitat. The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) of Mariposa County made additional contributions to the project. Other restoration projects have involved decompacting soils, mulching, revegetating impacted areas and unofficial trails, removing of abandoned infrastructure, and installing protective fencing. In wilderness areas, inappropriate Before-and-after photos help document the recovery of each site. All of this information helps determine what methods work best, improving the success of future projects. Thanks to the restoration efforts of volunteers, Yosemite is a more natural place. In addition to restoring soils and building fences, volunteers have helped collect native plant seeds, transplant seedlings, have even conducted vegetation surveys. Their work has taken place in some of the most beautiful areas in the park. Along the way, volunteers learn how to restore and protect natural resources, identify plants, and get the satisfaction of working to protect Yosemite. Their labors are bringing back dynamic natural processes that will contribute to a more valuable Yosemite experience well into the future. Article reprinted from Yosemite Association’s Fall 2007 members’ journal with their permission. John Muir Hanna, continued from page  was one of the original drafters of the concept of preserving Napa’s agricultural lands which resulted in the Agricultural Preserve and was a strong proponent of the Winery Definition Ordinance. His foresight was instrumental in the formation of the Napa Valley Grape Growers where he was a founding director. He also served on the board of the Napa County Farm Supply for nearly 40 years. In the late 1960s, he was appointed to the board of the 25th Agricultural District by Governor Ronald Reagan. John will be remembered as story-teller extraordinaire. He loved to recount his many adventures and especially his time in Yosemite and Lundy. He is survived by his youngest brother Ross Hanna (Gladys) of Dixon, his son Bill Hanna (Claudia) of Napa, grandchildren Michael Hanna (Leonora) of St. Helena, Kristin Hanna Maher (Brad) of Napa, great-grandchildren Colton and Trenton Maher and Gino, Gemma, and Michele Hanna, and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service was held at the First United Methodist Church, 4th and Randolf Street, Napa, at 2 p.m., Friday, December 7. The family requests that in lieu of flowers any donations in his name be made to the Yosemite Association, Yosemite Fund, Mono Lake Committee, Napa County Land Trust, or the environmental stewardship organization of your choice. Yosemite roads continued from page  announced the closure of Glacier Point Road and the road to the Mariposa Grove for the winter season. Glacier Point Road is open from Chinquapin to the Badger Pass Ski Area. Motorists are asked to use extra caution on roadways. Conditions in the park can change very quickly, and icy, wet road conditions may exist even when the weather is clear. All park roads are subject to chain control or temporary closure due to hazardous winter driving conditions. Motorists must carry chains while traveling in the park during winter months. Chains may become mandatory on any park road at any time. For updated 24hour road information in Yosemite call 209 372-0200 or visit NPS.
Page Ten Restoration,  continued from page    Though Cook   s Meadow is surrounded by forest today, historically it was pa...
Yosemite, California, Winter 2008 Garotte, continued from page  Mrs. Thomas Reid was born in Groveland and spent almost all of the next ninety years living in the town. Following are bits of memories of her early days in Groveland that she shared with the authors of The Big Oak Flat to Yosemite before her death. “There was a period,” she said, “during the fading out of the gold fever when the mining communities were rather rough. I think it partly coincided with the high feeling over the Civil War. As a rule it didn’t touch the women, though. They had enough to do without being out very much.” Her description of racial disharmony may not match today’s politically correct style of writing, but here is how she remembered “a tragic affair” in a Groveland store: “You know almost every place sold liquor in those days and men were apt to meet and drink together. Several men were standing talking, and after awhile one of them turned around and invited everyone in the store to come up to the bar and drink with him.” “One of the men waiting at the counter for his groceries happened to be colored and the man who was treating gathered him in with the rest and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Then a gambler from the South, named Andy Hunter, made a big scene and shouted that he wouldn’t drink with a ‘nigger’ and pulled a bowie knife.” “The colored man moved away. He didn’t want trouble, but Hunter kept right after him. He backed him against the wall and there they were. Hunter had the knife high in the air when the Negro clutched the hand that was gripped around the handle. He was a powerful man and fighting for his life. The hand came down but he had forced it around so that it was away from him. When the other men rushed over, Hunter still gripped the knife handle but the blade was buried in his own body. It was he who was dead.” The gentle woman who had taken Garrote for better or for worse since Civil War days thought about the incident for a moment with apparent serenity and then added, “Nobody did anything more about it. There was no need to.” Before Charity Rathburn married Thomas C. Reid in 1855, he Photo source The Bancroft Library. University of California, Berkeley Hangman’s Tree in Second Garotte, circa 1951. Sign hanging in tree says “Scenes of many Executions in the ‘50s.” bought the first hotel in Groveland, the Savory Hotel, which had been built in 1852. “It was just an ordinary mountain hotel,” she recalled. “The boarders were mostly miners. No woman or child ever set foot in the bar. In fact, I was well along in years before I was ever in company where I saw a woman take a drink of liquor.” In 1884 Reid bought the Groveland Hotel, the second hotel in the town, built about 1853 or 1854. “We didn’t keep it long,” Charity recalled. “My husband thought that operating a hotel in those days was too hard for a woman.” The original Thomas C. Reid adobe house still stands just out of town and the orchard trees still bear fruit. “My son’s name is Thomas also. For over one hundred years now,” Mrs. Reid finished with some pride, “there has been a Thomas Reid in Groveland.” After the era of the placer mines much of the town’s ready cash came from the payroll of the Mount Jefferson Mine on a hill just north of Mrs. Reid’s house. Old-timers Page Eleven remember with a smile the whitefaced sorrel horse whose responsibility it was to bring the ore from the opening of the mine shaft down to the crushing mill. This he did without benefit of anyone’s advice, picking his way to the bottom, waiting with one ear cocked while the man in attendance dumped his load and then slowly making his way up the hill for more. The faithful animal took the place of several men who had previously brought the ore down in wheelbarrows held back by a sort of breeching strap around each man’s shoulders. Groveland developed a healthy dependency on its freighting business. The Garrote Teamsters—local ranchers and cattlemen with their sons—drove Egling wagons made in the Chinese Camp wheelwright shop. After placer miners were worked out, quartz mining took over, paid well and kept the town full of hardrock men on Sundays clear into the 1870s when the deep mines began to fade. By 1877 Groveland was reduced to a population of about 100 rattling around in a settlement designed and built for many more. The town’s prosperity was materially assisted beginning in 1915 when Groveland was headquarters for much of the business connected with the building of the O’Shaughnessy Dam at Hetch Hetchy. The Hetch Hetchy Railroad rendered it easily accessible for the duration of the project. From being the supply center for a large back country to welcoming a constant increase of automobile tourists, Groveland has never faded into a ghost town. Today outside money moves in a steady flow across the counters of the stores first patronized by the miners with their native gold dust. Bridge, continued from page  • Mac and PC repair • Internet access • Faxes and copies 209 962-7308 Big Oak Flat, California safeguards it under the National Historic Preservation Act. Next time you walk over the Knights Ferry Bridge, take a moment to savor the history behind how it got there. Marilyn Lane is a member of the American Civil War Association and a correspondent of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
Yosemite, California, Winter 2008 Garotte,  continued from page    Mrs. Thomas Reid was born in Groveland and spent almost...
Page Twelve Yosemite Gazette Life returns to a golf course Lake Don Pedro community welcomes improvements by Marv Dealy was reminded of more than one old I first saw what looked like the bar in San Francisco from decades ruins of a golf course and counago. Unfortunately, this bar wasn’t try club several years ago. There open. I looked out the windows wasn’t a green in sight, no golfers over the newly greened fairways of enjoyed the warm foothill sun, not the 10 through 18 holes, bordered a water hazard anywhere. Even the by homes, some built over thirty weeds looked undernourished. five years ago when Boise-Cascade That memory made my first first worked to develop the area, glimpse of the reworked Lake Don other houses under construction Pedro golf course and country club now. even more remarkable. Where there I’d learn later that Ray had had been weeds, now expanses of grown up in the second of those freshly-trimmed green grass flourhomes to be built, right alongished. At the 9th hole, a remoteside what is now the 17th hole. I controlled fountain threw a jet 20 wandered back down to the lobby feet into the air on the command where I found the once dusty floors of a button pushed by a grinning were now covered with sparkling Ray Claveran, the guy in charge of new marble. Upon entering I was bringing the golf course and counreminded of the lobby at the Awatry club back to life. hanee Hotel in Yosemite Park. I felt It’s not easy interviewing Ray. invited to sit a spell, and I did, enI found that just getting him on the joying one of several comfortable phone to arrange an interview was chairs while awaiting my interview a marathon. I arrived at the time with Ray. agreed for our meeting and discovRay told me that he grew up ered he’d be delayed a bit as he was in the second house built at Lake in an impromptu Don Pedro meeting with the from 1971 to project owner, 1975. His dad, so I helped also Ray, was myself to a tour the first head of the club house golf pro at the and restaurant. course, a job his I’d seen older brother the facility Derek would some years ago one day hold as Photo courtesy Marv Dealy well. Ray said, when it was at the tail end of Renovated lobby at the Lake Don “after Tobin and a downward Pedro Golf Course country club Clark bought the spiral, neglected, invites you to sit a spell. Lake Don Pedro covered in dust, development abandoned furniture pushed into from Boise-Cascade, dad worked corners, and a leak in one area of for them a short time. He then had the roof over the pro shop. The the opportunity to own his own golf changes since then were remarkcourse, Meadowmont in Arnold, able. Beginning with the new California. Then he sold that and porte-cochere that shelters visitors was asked to come back to Lake upon arrival, the entire structure Don Pedro in 1981.” has been given a bath, blow dry and “As I went off to college dad complete makeover. and mom came back here and my Upstairs, brand new bar mom ran the kitchen and my dad fixtures featuring handran the golf course. The course carved clusters of grapes never was in really great shape drew my attention, the but it was playable. At that time deep cherry wood there weren’t as many golf courses fixtures showing around here so it had its niche and attention in evit was a fun place. It’s got a good ery detail. I layout and it was well managed at that juncture. People came from Pedro. We want to be part of that Mariposa and Sonora and Merced community.” and even Yosemite Park to golf. In addition to Ray and Tom, Many became friends. with their local roots, others who “Then dad retired and the were born or grew up in the area owners passed away and that’s and moved away have returned when the bank called the note and and are involved in the rebirth of took it over. The bank made quite the golf course and country club. extensive improvements to the These include Martha Hertz in the course and the club house but they pro shop, Billy Adams, the golf couldn’t make a go of it and closed course superintendent, Merenda it. Tom and Peggy Porter, owners McCulloch, the food and beverage of Deerwood Corp., bought it in manager, Brian Kreadiet, executive 2005 out of fear chef, and sous that someone chefs David Atelse would buy kins, and Mark it and just do the Butler. same thing that I asked had happened in Ray how the the past. That’s homeowners where I came surrounding the back into the golf course had picture. reacted to the “I was able news of Deerto redesign wood’s pursomething that chase. He said was near and “I knocked on dear to my the door of all heart. There’s the homeowners a lot of famadjacent to the ily history here, Photo courtesy Marv Dealy course saying and a lot of fun, we’re going Ray Claveran discusses where to good times. I to start some move a water hazard on the 17th have a lot of construction, do hole at the Lake Don Pedro golf good memories you have any course. here. It was a concerns. What natural for me to come back and I got back was they were elated want to do this, and bring somethat someone was going to finally thing back not only for the commu- do some improvements to their nity but for myself as well, being so backyard pasture of weeds.” close and attached to this area for I asked Ray whether, like some so many years.” golf courses in the region, this was Tom Porter came by his interest to be subsidized by homeowners in in the area naturally as he grew up the surrounding homeowners assoin nearby Waterford, California, ciation and he replied “Tom wants and went to Oakdale High School. this to be a standalone golf course “He sees an opportunity here to not subsidized by development. leave a legacy and give something This is an open to the public back to the community,” Ray said. golf course first. We do have a “His commitment is more than membership but we’re open to the just a dollar commitment, it’s to Golf course, reviving the area around Lake Don continued on page 13 Yosemite West Reservations ♦ Rooms ♦ Studios ♦ Condos ♦ Cottages ♦ Vacation Homes “Your Yosemite Home” OPEN ALL YEAR P.O. Box 36 Yosemite Nat’l Park CA 95389 YosemiteWestReservations.com 559-642-2211
Page Twelve  Yosemite Gazette  Life returns to a golf course Lake Don Pedro community welcomes improvements by Marv Dealy ...
Yosemite, California, Winter 2008 Sleeping around Groveland There are many places along Highway 120 and into Yosemite to hang your hat for the night. Choices range from historic country inns to classic bed and breakfasts and even a sheep ranch and olive orchard. This selection comes from the member properties of www. StayNearYosemite.com. All Seasons Groveland Inn 18656 Main Street, Groveland, CA 95321 209 962-0232 • Toll-free: 800 5959993 www.allseasonsgrovelandinn.com The All Seasons Groveland Inn is a year-round luxury inn. Step back in time to a simpler, more romantic place, accentuated by charm and grace, with Jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces and murals, and defined by excellence. Golf course, continued from page 12 public. This is an expensive business to run and this is a tough business to be in—the golf business in today’s market. Our thoughts were if we can make this affordable for the masses, that’s what we want. We want people to come see Lake Don Pedro.” “We’re opening the golf course with promotional rates in February 2008, the restaurant will be open by the time you read this and then probably Memorial Day Weekend we’ll do a big grand opening once we get everything polished up the way the owners want to present it.” With that, Ray was off, rushing to talk to one of the people still at work, placing by hand every rock in the creeks that meander through the course. Hotel Charlotte 18736 Main Street, P.O. Box 787, Groveland, CA 95321 209 962-6455 • Toll-free: 800 9617799 www.HotelCharlotte.com • HotelCharlotte@aol.com For the best value on the hill, choose the Hotel Charlotte with cozy lodging, good food and spirits. A family-friendly, 10-room B&B hotel and vacation rentals with choices to fit most group sizes. Rated number one on TripAdvisor. com for both the hotel and restaurant. Groveland Hotel 18767 Main Street, P.O. Box 289, Groveland, CA 95321 209 962-4000 • Toll-free: 800 2733314 www.groveland.com • Info@ Groveland.com A restored 1849 Adobe with free wireless access and named “A Top 10 Inn in the US” by Country Inns Magazine. 14 rooms, 3 tworoom suites, all done in European antiques, breakfast buffet, fine dining restaurant, full bar, and Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence” Wine List. Yosemite Rose Bed & Breakfast + Cottage 22830 Ferretti Road, Groveland CA 95321 209 962-6548 • Toll-free: 866 9626548 www.yosemiterose.com • info@ yosemiterose.com This lovely and quixotic manor is located on the old stagecoach run to Yosemite just 18 miles from the park’s entrance. The manor is set amidst 210 quiet acres. Enjoy a full country breakfast, fishing at the bass bond, private guided Victorian Gold Bed and Breakfast eight unique rooms with baths in the European tradition 10382 Willow Street • Jamestown, California 888 551-1851 • innkeeper@victoriangoldbb.com www.VictorianGoldbb.com horseback rides, and therapeutic messages. Big Creek Meadow Ranch 10551 Smith Station Road, Groveland, CA 95321 209 962-1942 www.bigcreekmeadowranch.com • askdranns@yahoo.com Big Creek Meadow Ranch is an historic guest ranch for travelers who want to experience rustic charm at reasonable prices. Enjoy the scenic meadow, part of a working 240 acre cattle and sheep ranch within Stanislaus National Forest and only 16 miles from the Yosemite National Park entrance. Blackberry Inn Bed & Breakfast 12 Miles East of Groveland off Highway 120 P.O. Box 1064, Groveland, CA 95321 209 962-4663 • Toll-free: 888 8675001 www.blackberry-inn.com • innkeepers@blackberry-inn.com Located just 13 miles from Yosemite, the Blackberry Inn is the perfect retreat for park visitors seeking comfort and elegance after a day of adventure. Spacious guest rooms feature feather beds, fireplaces, and private baths. A gourmet breakfast and the Inn’s chocolate chip cookies are served every day. Page Thirteen Frommer’s Guide calls the Evergreen “the classic Yosemite experience,” and Fodor’s describes this historic mountain resort as “The perfect blend of rustic charm and modern comfort.” The lodge features spacious cabins, fine dining, a classic tavern, nightly activities, and guided tours. Sunset Inn—Yosemite Guest Cabins 33569 Hardin Flat Road, Groveland, CA 95321 209 962-4360 • Toll-free: 888 9624360 www.sunsetinnusa.com • sunsetinn@mlode.com Just two miles from Yosemite. Three charming, secluded cabins; artistic “Craftsman” style wood interiors, queen beds, wood burning stoves, well equipped kitchens, private bathrooms. Surrounded by lush forest, these lovely cabins sit on the edge of a beautiful, private meadow. Evergreen Lodge 33160 Evergreen Road, Groveland, CA 95321 209 379-2606 • Toll-free: 800 93LODGE www.evergreenlodge.com • info@ evergreenlodge.com “Sometimes I think we’re alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we’re not. In either case the idea is quite staggering.” —Arthur C. Clarke
Yosemite, California, Winter 2008  Sleeping around Groveland There are many places along Highway 120 and into Yosemite to ...
Page Fourteen Global warming, continued from page  Grinnell—the founding director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California at Berkeley—spent decades recording the flora and fauna and weather of California, including detailed studies in Yosemite. Today, Jim Patton, curator of mammals at the museum Grinnell once directed, has returned to Yosemite to note whether anything has changed in the past near-century. What he and other researchers have discovered is significant. For example: • On the east side of the Sierra, Grinnell and his team in the early 1900s saw piñon mice only below 7,000 feet. In the same area recently, Patton’s group found that the mice had moved upward to as high as 10,200 feet. • Four other small mammals, it’s been found, have moved the upper limits of their range by an average of 2,000 vertical feet. These include the alpine chipmunk, a small relative of the rabbit called the pika, and two high-elevation ground squirrels. Two other mammal species—a chipmunk and a woodrat—have so dramatically shrunk their range that they are now extremely rare in the park. • Whatever the cause, Yosemite National Park is demonstrably warmer today than it was in Grinnell’s time. Snow melts earlier in the spring. Lyell Glacier—along with other glaciers throughout the Sierra—is disappearing. • Just how fast is Lyell disappearing? Portland State University researchers, comparing current and historic photographs, report that the western lobe of Lyell Glacier has shrunk by 30 percent since 1883— and the eastern lobe by 70 percent. • During the past century, weather records from the Yosemite Valley show a 9 degree Fahrenheit increase in mean minimum temperatures. Yosemite is not the only national park impacted by climate change. By 2030, scientists predict that even the largest glaciers in Glacier National Park will be gone. The park will carry a name that refers only to what once was. Yosemite Gazette The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, considered to be the global scientific authority on the subject, predicts that between 1990 and 2100, the earth’s average surface temperature will increase by between 2.5 and 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit. “The projected rate of warming,” the panel says in its most recent report, “is much larger than the observed changes during the 20th century, and is very likely to be without precedent during at least the last 10,000 years.” “It would seem to me,” Grinnell wrote in 1920 to Yosemite Park superintendent W. B. Lewis, “that national parks should comprise pieces of the country in which natural conditions are left altogether undisturbed by man.” Yet current researchers are finding that when it comes to climate change, Yosemite is no safe refuge. As Jim Patton says, “Places like Yosemite mean so much to so many people….The high-elevation species, those that seem to be retracting upwards, have no place to go—so when they go, they’re gone, and they’re never coming back.” The national parks do not exist in a vacuum, of course. They cannot detach their climate and ecology from the rest of the world around them. And with climate change a global problem, there is only so much they can do within their boundaries. Not only can they not stop global warming on their own, they can’t grow taller mountains to create ever-higher habitats for upwardly migrating mammals. The eventual impact of global warming on Yosemite isn’t yet possible to predict accurately. But either of two possible scenarios would dramatically affect what future visitors find inside the park’s 1,189 square miles. If climate change should result in far more rain, the possibility of a steadily rising Merced River would mean flooding of the valley floor, leaving no access to this most-visited area of the park except by boat. Or imagine the opposite: decreased rain and snow to the high Sierras, the runoff from which supplies the valley’s waterfalls and the Merced River. Will visitors still come to a dry valley with no waterfalls? Just as panic or despair would be unwise responses to the larger challenge of global warming, the same is true of the effects of climate change on Yosemite and our other national parks. Instead, once the challenge is fully acknowledged, innovative problem-solving and adaptive planning are urgently needed. Perhaps it is already too late to reverse some changes of climate change or to halt its impact on our world—everywhere from Yosemite to Yemen. But to do nothing would also be an unthinkable crime against this “third rock from the sun” where each of us—the 6.75 billion inhabitants of Planet Earth—live and breathe. And while science and national governments continue searching for solutions, any of us can take steps to adopt a more earth-friendly lifestyle in our personal conservation of energy, how we relate to waste (recycling, for example), and our support of initiatives and research focused toward cleaner fuel sources.  Airplane lands, continued from page  around the Valley rim and were not to be trifled with. Additional weight would be undesirable. Krull and Watson picked Leidig Meadow as the landing field. The meadow provided a smooth 300– yard landing strip. Boxed in at both ends by the Merced River, it was not possible to extend the landing strip. But by removing a number of willows and cottonwoods up the valley, they were able to gain an extra 250 yards to clear the surrounding forest on the descent and ascent. On the morning of May 27th, 1919 at 5:57 a.m., Krull left Merced flying a Curtis JN-4. It took an hour to achieve the altitude needed. At 6:57 a.m. he was spotted over Sentinel Rock. Krull flew over Glacier Point and up towards Half Dome and began a series of turns descending toward Washington Column, making a straight shot for Leidig Meadow. Krull made a perfect landing at 7:02 a.m. on the spot selected two weeks prior. Everyone watching breathed a sigh of relief because it was believed that the feat was impossible and was doomed to end in disaster. Krull reported that he had encountered only the most stable conditions. The next morning after circling the Valley rim, soaring by Half Dome, Clouds Rest and Mt. Hoffman, Krull was able to fly out of the Valley without incident. In the early years of the twentieth century, the National Park service had mulled over the idea of a Park to Park Air line. One park official believed that this service would be in operation long before the highway system. Over the next few years this feat was repeated a couple of times, then flight into the Valley (and all national parks) below 2000 ft. elevation was prohibited. Krull’s flight into the Yosemite made national news. He was awarded a medal upon landing in the Valley. This medal is now in the possession of one of our local Groveland pilots, who unfortunately couldn’t find it in his collection, or we’d have a picture here for you. Web site design and maintenance Graphic design wireless ISP Publisher of the Yosemite Gazette 17433 Highway 120 Big Oak Flat, California www.Throck.com 209 962-7308
Page Fourteen Global warming,  continued from page    Grinnell   the founding director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology...
Yosemite, California, Winter 2008 Page Fifteen Names of Yosemite Peaks By Tuolumne Tom Gardner Clues in bold face type reference a person for whom a peak or mountain is named. Across 1. See 6 Down 6. Satisfied sounds 1 0. Fastening firmly together 1 3. Pleases and delights 1 6. One who incites to evil 1 7. Fresno, in English 1 8. Precedes boat or truck 1 9. An angry bull _____ 2 1. Atlanta based org. in the news a lot these days 2 2. Brawn or vitality 24. Mt. ____: 1830s English geologist 2 5. California’s Mother ____ 2 6. They replaced FFs and DMs 2 8. Pig pen 2 9. William Tell was the best ever 3 0. When orchids get root bound, Joe ___ them 3 2. Mt. ____: 1860s Whitney Expedition member 3 4. Hawaiian garlands 3 6. “_____” cried the little red hen 3 7. ____ Pk.: 1890s Army surgeon 4 1. Bothers or chafes 4 5. 4th Century Christian in Egypt 4 6. Slangy affirmative response 4 8. Fax or Photostat 4 9. Toasted grain sprouts 50. Mt. ____: 1860s Yosemite Park Supt. 5 2. FDR’s coin 5 3. DoD intelligence agcy. 5 4. Many Wisconsin farms 5 6. Mountain pass 5 7. Gorgonian corals 5 9. Mt. ____: 1860s geologist 6 1. Eroded or worn away 6 2. Renders capable 6 3. And others: Lat. 6 4. Peter, Boris & Ivan Down 1. Build ____ mousetrap 2. ____ Pk.: 1890s 5th Cavalry soldier 3. Belgian port ad from Bucky 4. Early 16th Century year 5. (let it stand: plural) 6. Mt. ____: with 1 Across, 20th Century photographer 7. Juvenile behavioral/learning problem: Abbr. 8. Hillbilly word for “warm up” 9. Malignant tumor 1 1. French physicist noted for research on magnetism 1 2. Zane and Lady Jane 1 3. During an initial stage 1 4. Blush 1 5. Differentiate or distinguish 2 0. Third son of Adam and Eve 2 3. Lanolin 2 5. Buick model 2 7. 17th Century Dutch painter 2 9. Precedes math or noon 3 1. ___ Paul McCartney 3 3. Summer sight in SF 3 5. Fancy word for a barber 3 7. Having branches 3 8. Garden spider genus 3 9. Determine paternity 4 0. 1968, 4 2. Appendages on corals and sponges 4 3. Soldier responsible for weapons upkeep 4 4. Post-frostbite condition? 4 7. USDA ____ beef 5 0. Erie or Panama 5 1. 19th Century Shakespear- ian actor 54. Mt. ___: 1860s Yale professor 5 5. Wordless jazz singing 5 8. US levy on gasoline: Abbr. 6 0. Weight units: Abbr. About the puzzle Our crossword contributor is Tom Gardner, who uses the nickname “Tuolumne Tom” when creating puzzles with a California theme. Tom has enjoyed solving crossword puzzles for more than 25 years. About three years ago, he began constructing puzzles and discovered that his training as a civil engineer more than three dozen years before then was useful, since a good themed crossword puzzle has intersecting words, much like a building has supporting beams and columns. Among Tom’s other interests are fly fishing on the Tuolumne River (but don’t ask where) and Civil War re-enacting as a Yankee artilleryman. Using the nickname Private Gardner, he produces Civil War themed puzzles for a national publication, The Civil War Courier. Tom was the Jeopardy! champion on June 6th, 1995, and told the best fish story ever heard on the program.
Yosemite, California, Winter 2008  Page Fifteen  Names of Yosemite Peaks By Tuolumne Tom Gardner  Clues in bold face type ...
Yosemite Gazette Cavalry, Yosemite, California, Winter 2008 Page Sixteen crown jewel of the Yosemite region and the troops had been helpless to stop it. worked as liaisons with landownCaptain Benson moved the ers to solve property disputes. The Cavalry’s headquarters from Cavalry units fought fires, expelled Wawona to Yosemite Valley and trespassers, blazed trails, confistroops first attacked the sanitation cated weapons, stocked lakes and issues in the valley. Benson confisrivers with fish, and often spent 16 cated weapons and traps and was to 20 hours a day attending to their determined that the wildlife should work. see the valley as a “safe retreat, not The biggest problem was a death trap.” trespassers. Cattle and sheep ranchThe Cavalry arrived at a critical ers had been enjoying unlimited time in the park’s history and, in grazing for their stock in the high spite of enormous odds, the soldiers Sierra meadows for the past 30 laid the foundation for adminyears and were reluctant to leave. istering the park today. The policy The sheepherders simply ignored they set is the basis for today’s the Cavalry’s orders to leave when natural resource management. they found out that expulsion was They made decisions based on the only penalty for a trespass what they saw and the problems violation. encountered and developed The war between the sheepworkable administrative policies herders and the Cavalry continand procedures based on need ued for several years until 1895 and experience. when K Troop of the Fourth In 1913 when automobiles Cavalry took charge. were permitted entry into the Commander Alexander Rodpark, the Cavalry posted and gers solved the grazing problem enforced speed limits. Drivers by implementing some creative were fined one dollar per mile if and ingenious enforcement tacthey arrived earlier or later than tics, as there was no law against the allotted time between check grazing that could be enforced. stations. He ordered trespassers’ stock As time went on, the pubbe evicted at the nearest boundlic came to accept the idea of ary. The sheepherder was then Photo courtesy Lisa Flynn preservation and the benefits of escorted many miles over the tourism became apparent. The mountains to the opposite side of U.S. Calvary in Chinese Camp, west of Yosemite, after leaving the park. The Cavalry spent less time chasing the park and released. The flocks building in the background is labeled as the Masonic hall in the photo. poachers and more time planting were mixed and lost and it didn’t fish, educating the public and take long before the owners of setting up interpretive and natuthe herds gave the orders to “stay ralist programs. Troops collected out of the park.” scientific data and performed In 1896 a determined effort search and rescue missions. was made to keep firearms out of By 1914 the public had acthe park and this greatly helped cepted the idea of preservation with the poaching issue. Unforand the national park system, and tunately, Yosemite Valley and it was a relatively easy transithe Mariposa grove of big trees tion into a civilian force. Some were not included in the reserved Cavalry officers resigned their forest lands and the troops could commissions to become the first do nothing to stop the abuse in civilian park rangers. these areas. John Muir commended the But the Cavalry was relentCavalry when he said, “Blessless in its efforts and as time Photo: public domain ings on Uncle Sam’s soldiers. went on it overcame the odds Cows grazed in Yosemite Valley in this 1918 picture. They have done their job well, and convinced the public that every pine tree is waving its preservation was the right arms for joy.” thing to do. Attitudes gradually continued from page  changed as more saw Yosemite for themselves and people became committed to the preservation and protection of this unique environment. The soldiers convinced the public that conservation was necessary to preserve both recreational and economic advantages existed. Troops constructed roads, bridges, campgrounds and administrative buildings. They collected tolls, made maps, guided tourists and rescued hikers. Although much of their work was technically outside their legal jurisdiction these men were dedicated to their mission and believed in their task. Many soldiers, such as Captain Harry Benson, distinguished themselves, and land features throughout the park bear the names of these Cavalry officers. In 1905 it was determined that the best way to protect Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa grove of big trees was to include these areas in the park, which was done on March 3rd of that year. At last the troops could do something about the destruction occurring just beyond their reach in Yosemite Valley. The valley had become a death trap for any bird or mammal that ventured near, and raw sewage polluted the river. Mining and logging were fast destroying the “Between us, we cover all knowledge; he knows all that can be known and I know the rest.” — Mark Twain, of Rudyard Kipling
Yosemite Gazette Cavalry,  Yosemite, California, Winter 2008  Page Sixteen  crown jewel of the Yosemite region and the tro...