Headquarters of Col. John C. Fremont, world-famous American, who, in 1847, purchased a floating Mexican grant of 44,000 acres for $3000. After gold was discovered, he floated his grant to include the Mother Lode gold belt from Mariposa to Merced . . . — — Map (db m5958) HM
First called Johnsonville: Bear Vally had a population of 3,000 including Chinese, Cornish and Mexicans during 1850-60 when Col. John C Fremont's Pine Tree and Josephine mines were producing. Fremont's elegant hotel "Oso House", built with lumber . . . — — Map (db m39482) HM
General John C. Fremont, 1813-1890. A noted military man, explorer, topographer, senator & businessman, Fremont was also a miner. He settled in Mariposa County living just outside Bear Valley. He operated the Josephine, Pine Tree & Princeton mines . . . — — Map (db m5783) HM
Originally named Tower Rock, May Rock is the largest outcropping of quartz along the Mother Lode. This 82 foot high formation contains no gold ore. Most gold ore within quartz is at greater depths in the earth.
It was part of Colonel John C. . . . — — Map (db m46375) HM
Louis Trabucco was born in 1821 and emigrated from Italy in 1847. He opened his first store in Bear Valley in 1856. After becoming successful in his Mariposa mining and business ventures he returned to Italy and married 19 year old Elena . . . — — Map (db m46374) HM
[This marker is composed of several panels]
Origin of the Name of Cathey’s Valley
In 1739, the Catheys immigrated from Clones, Ireland to America. Andrew D. Cathey a native of North Carolina, his wife Mary Mariah . . . — — Map (db m46839) HM
In 1879, Andrew Cathey donated land to establish an elementary school. James Cliff directed the construction of the one room schoolhouse located about one mile southwest of the location where the schoolhouse now stands.
Over the years the . . . — — Map (db m46847) HM
From a vista point near the 1,156 long, 130 foot high bridge, completed in 1966, the site of Bagby lies east under, and sometimes exposed beside, the back waters of Lake McClure. Bagby's history passed through three definite development eras. From . . . — — Map (db m5957) HM
George W. Coulter started a Tent Store here, early in 1850 to supply hundreds of miners working the rich placers of Maxwell, Boneyard and Black Creeks. The settlement was called Banderita, from the flag flying over Coulters store. A postoffice . . . — — Map (db m5955) HM
While miners worked nearby streams and veins for gold, George W. Coulter served their needs as merchant and hotel proprietor. His first store, established in 1850, was a tent stocked with merchandise hauled in by pack train. Coulter and the town . . . — — Map (db m46330) HM
The original rock building was built by Thomas and Caroline McCarthy as a private home. Upon completion of the building, they placed a cornerstone with the date of 1852. Eventually, the property was leased to Percy Davis who converted the home into . . . — — Map (db m46327) HM
“This was the first road into Yosemite Valley. Originally a county road it became a toll road and later again a county road. Opened in 1874 as an improved toll road, it has served continuously since that time. Beginning in 1956, the Northern . . . — — Map (db m45647) HM
In 1849 Penon Blanco was a Mexican and Chilean gold mining camp. The foreign miners tax of 1852 caused the camp to be abandoned. In 1855 George Bell and Mary Haigh opened a store in Penon Blanco and reportedly sold supplies to Joaquin Murietta’s . . . — — Map (db m46373) HM
Built originally in the late 1840’s to serve the Mexican community as a cantina and fandango hall, the succeeding Jeffery Hotel has been warmly praised in the memoirs of the 49er and travelers.
The hotel is among the oldest owned and operated by . . . — — Map (db m46339) HM
One of the earlier Gold Rush buildings, and one of the last adobe structures left, this general store was established and operated by the Chinese from 1851 until 1926.
Named after it’s original owners Mow Da Sun and his son, Sun Kow, this store . . . — — Map (db m46366) HM
This structure was built around 1860. After a fire, it was reconstructed in 1890. At this time, the building was owned by Tom Hollow and housed a blacksmith’s shop. The upper level was added around 1900 and eventually the building became a bar and . . . — — Map (db m46365) HM
This eight-ton, short-wheel base, wood burning locomotive, built by the H. K. Porter Co. of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, was delivered to the Merced Mining Company of Coulterville in 1897. All of "Billy’s" active life was spent hauling gold-bearing . . . — — Map (db m5956) HM
Here in 1849, James D. Savage, established a store built of logs. He engaged in trading and mining and married several squaws for protection and influence. In spring of 1850, fearing Indian depredations, he moved to Mariposa Creek. In December, his . . . — — Map (db m904) HM
[This marker is composed of two panels.]
Gateway to Yosemite
The arrival of the Yosemite Valley Railroad in El Portal, Spanish for the Gateway, represented a great accomplishment in transportation and the birth of . . . — — Map (db m46770) HM
Walk through this living tree and look for evidence of it heeling itself. Bark of this sequoia is growing inward in an attempt to close over its wound — the large tunnel carved in 1895. Thought to have served as a lower elevation winter . . . — — Map (db m84231) HM
Welcome to one of the most famous ghost towns of the 1800's. Hornitos is Spanish for "Little Ovens". It got its name from the above ground graves that were shaped like little cooking ovens used in Mexico. During this time, population was about . . . — — Map (db m39481) HM
Started in 1850 by outcast Mexicans from nearby Quartzburg and given the name Hornitos, meaning “little ovens”, from the dome like rock and mud bake-ovens being used here by some Germans.
The whites soon gained predominance, the . . . — — Map (db m46904) HM
Historic Jail Museum • History of 1849 • Relics
Gold Rush Day Displays
One of the Nations Most Famous Ghost Towns early population 15,000. Here was the first Wells Fargo Express Office in county. $40000 in gold sent to Mint daily by armed . . . — — Map (db m46936) HM
This building was constructed C. 1855 of native schist rock. It was purchased in August 1873 by the Freemasons of Hornitos Lodge No. 98, and since early 1875, continue to meet here. The Lodge was originally chartered as Quartzburg Lodge No. 98 on . . . — — Map (db m46900) HM
This restored Masonic Hall is recognized for the significant community involvement of its members from 1873 to 1930. The Freemasons owned stores and hotels, served as town and county officials, worked as miners and engineers and supported Hornitos . . . — — Map (db m46899) HM
Indian Gulch was one of the earliest settlements in Mariposa County. Originally called Santa Cruz. The town adapted the new name when the post office opened as another Santa Cruz already existed. James Morton was the first postmaster. During its . . . — — Map (db m38671) HM
St. Catherine Church was built during the 1860’s probably in 1865. Before the church was built, priests came from Stockton to say Mass for the people of Hornitos. Priests from Sonora and Mariposa came for Mass after the church was built. In the . . . — — Map (db m46937) HM
In honor of the sesquincentennial of the Mariposa County Courthouse and recognition of its continuous use since 1855.
In June 1857 Biddle Boggs vs. Merced Mining Company made legal mining history and the 1861 cases of Moore vs. Smaw and Fremont . . . — — Map (db m46739) HM
Discoverd by Sonoran miners in the early summer of 1849. It was located about a quarter mile above the two springs of cold water from which the town derived its name.
Aqua Fria was the first county seat from Feb. 18, 1850 to Nov. 10. 1851. . . . — — Map (db m46410) HM
One fourth mile north of Carson Creek, tributary of Agua Fria, was located Agua Fria, first county seat of Mariposa County in 1850-1851 one of original 27 counties in California. Until 1852, while mining was main industry of region, Mariposa County . . . — — Map (db m51554) HM
In 1852 Andrew Church established a trading post where a road from the San Joaquin Valley, crossed the Agua Fria Creek. The site, known as Bridgeport, was on the Fremont Grant, about five miles south of Aqua Fria, first county seat of Mariposa . . . — — Map (db m46846) HM
The California State Geological Society started collecting mineral specimens in 1865. In 1880, the California State Mining Bureau was founded. This plaque is dedicated to the miners and founders for their foresight. Todays collection displays . . . — — Map (db m46845) HM
The oldest building in Mariposa, and the only 3 story adobe building still in use in the state of California.
Erected in 1850 by Col. John C. Fremont and wife Jessie for Palmer Cook & Co., lease holders for the Mariposa Mine and Fremont’s agents. . . . — — Map (db m65502) HM
This site is part of the 44,000 arce [sic] Las Mariposa Land Grant purchased in 1847 by Colonel John C. Fremont for $3,000. In 1850 La Mineta, a mining camp, was established here by Sonoran miners. La Mineta was changed to Princeton in 1854 for the . . . — — Map (db m46407) HM
California’s oldest seat of justice still in use. The front half, the original building, completed in 1854, cost $9.200. The lumber was sash-sawed from nearby forests; framework fastened with mortised joints and wooden pegs. Finished lumber was . . . — — Map (db m46734) HM
This mortise and tenon Greek Revival courthouse, erected in 1854, is California’s oldest court of law and has served continuously as the seat of county government since 1854. During the 19th century landmark mining cases setting legal precedent were . . . — — Map (db m46733) HM
This 33 X 26 foot structure was built in 1858 from granite blocks quarried near Mormon Bar at a cost of 14,744.00 by J.O. Lovejoy. It originally had two stories and a gallows at the east end. In 1892 a fire gutted the building, taking the life of . . . — — Map (db m46443) HM
The first meeting of the Mariposa County Historical Society was held April 14, 1957. In 1958 the museum was established at the Historic Masonic Lodge located nearby.
In December 1969, Judge Thomas and Katherine Coakley donated the land to . . . — — Map (db m38670) HM
In 1849, a group of Mormons established a tent encampment near here while searching for land to farm. After an influx of gold miners the Mormons moved on. Next came thousands of Chinese miners, merchants and farmers. Mormon Bar became the largest . . . — — Map (db m46408) HM
This school was originally two stories and was built in Georgetown about 1878. At that time it was called the Snow Creek School. Space was limited so the school was dismantled and moved to a larger site in 1910. The land was donated by Richard . . . — — Map (db m46771) HM
Built in 1859 by John F. McNamera, destroyed by fire in 1866, rebuilt in 1867 by Herman Schlegeter, Presidents Grant & Garfield stayed here, Walter & Clarice Robinson acquired ownership in 1963. — — Map (db m46441) HM
Built in 1862 by the people of Mariposa under the direction of Father Auger. The church was dedicated, Confirmation was conferred and the first Mass was said by Archbishop Alameny on Jan. 18, 1863. The church has been repaired many times through the . . . — — Map (db m46599) HM
The Mount Ophir Mine is one of the most successful and conspicuous of the Mother Lode mines in Mariposa County. It includes the Mount Ophir Mint which was the first of such mints to turn gold into coins. The Mint was built by John Moffitt, who had . . . — — Map (db m46381) HM
This mining town became the seat of justice of Mariposa County when on February 18,1850, the State Legislature divided the state into 27 counties. Mariposa County the comprised one-fifth of the entire state and included what are Mariposa, Tulare, . . . — — Map (db m46411) HM
In the 1972 Federal Highways Administration Contest as the outstanding example of a bridge, overpass, tunnel or other highway structure in the United States.
“This is the way a bridge should look.” — — Map (db m46773) HM
This monument is located in the Whitlock Mining District, which is on the eastern Mother Lode gold vein and includes the Colorado, Sherlock Creek and Whiskey Flat areas. Placer and lode mining began in 1849. 49er’s Lafayette Bunnell, Champlin . . . — — Map (db m46445) HM
After several pioneer lodging structures were destroyed by fire, Henry Washburn and John Bruce had this building, opened in April, 1879, erected. Bruce died in it in 1882, but Henry, John, Edward, and later Clarence Washburn owned and operated it . . . — — Map (db m70572) HM
From the crest of the ridge of a few hundred feet behind this point members of the Mariposa Battalion under the leadership of Major James D. Savage looked into Yosemite Valley on March 27, 1851. Alarmed by the encroaching tide of California Gold . . . — — Map (db m47417) HM
Tourism in Yosemite began long before it became a national park. In the 1850s, daring visitors endured long days of rugged travel on foot and horseback. Indian trails led them to never-to-be-forgotten views of Yosemite.
Entrepreneurs were soon . . . — — Map (db m81942) HM
Stephen T. Mather, the first director of the National Park Service, employed park rangers to guide tourists and protect parks from poachers. In 1920, Mather hired architect Charles Summer to construct a home for members of his newly organized ranger . . . — — Map (db m65629) HM
Mirror Lake was once regarded by park scientists as a stream-fed lake slowly filling in to become a meadow. As hydrologists have developed a more complex understanding of the water's dynamics, they now theorize that the "lake" is a pool in a . . . — — Map (db m81952)
The open vista below you, Big Meadows, has many stories to share. American Indians have been using this area for thousands of years. It was also center of activity for some of the first Euro-American settlers. By 1874, the Coulterville and Yosemite . . . — — Map (db m65578) HM
In Yosemite, you may never witness the same scene twice.
This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise, somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal . . . — — Map (db m63596) HM
A Burning Tradition
Miwok people, who called themselves Ahwahneechee, lived in Yosemite Valley for thousands of years. Their traditional practice of regularly burning the meadows and oak woodlands of the Valley contributed to the open . . . — — Map (db m63597) HM
Just above Mirror Lake, bracken ferns grow in large tracts. The root-like portion of the fern (rhizome) is favored for making the black designs in Southern Miwok and Mono Lake Paiute baskets. Because of the rich sandy sediments here, bracken fern . . . — — Map (db m81953) HM
At certain times of the year some of the Valley’s waterfalls disappear. Bridalveil keeps flowing even in late summer, when Yosemite Falls begins to dry up.
Above Yosemite Falls the terrain is largely bare granite; runoff is rapid. Bridalveil . . . — — Map (db m63589) HM
After leading the first tourist party into Yosemite Valley in 1855, entrepreneur James Hutchings promoted the Valley’s “Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity” in his own .California Magazine. Not long after, a steadily increasing stream . . . — — Map (db m65506) HM
El Capitan is famous for its massive bulk of largely unbroken rock and its sheer, vertical face soaring 3,000 feet into the air. This monolith is composed of a particularly durable granite, allowing it to withstand the pressures of glaciers and . . . — — Map (db m81949) HM
You are standing on the site of two famous Yosemite landmarks: McCauley’s Mountain House (1872-1969) and the Glacier Point Hotel (1917-1969). Both structures were built from trees cut down near this site. They both burned to the ground on the . . . — — Map (db m100858) HM
Geologic processes that created Yosemite Valley include glaciation, erosion, rockfalls, and earthquakes. Most of these processes are still at work here, shaping and reshaping the land. Ancient glaciers have left dramatic geologic evidence virtually . . . — — Map (db m81948) HM
After bringing the first tourists to Yosemite Valley, James Hutchings established Hutchings House in 1864. Using the boardinghouse know-how of his mother-in-law, he and his wife launched a career as Yosemite innkeepers. Hutchings was a gracious . . . — — Map (db m65505) HM
In 1869, innkeeper James Hutchings hired a young wilderness explorer named John Muir to rebuild and operate his sawmill. Muir worked here for almost two years, milling trees blown down in a storm to build improvements at Hutchings’ Yosemite Valley . . . — — Map (db m66101) HM
LeConte Memorial Lodge was built by the Sierra Club in 1803/04 in honor of the world-renowned scientist and charter Sierra Club member Joseph LeConte who died near here in 1901. The memorial served as Yosemite Valley's first public . . . — — Map (db m65529) HM
For centuries, the local Indians use the bracken fern found above Mirror Lake. In the 1800s, Euro-American entrepreneurs found new uses for the area's resources. Hotel owners marketed the magnificent scenery to an enthusiastic audience or travelers. . . . — — Map (db m81951) HM
Perhaps only three or four hundred years ago, an enormous rockfall dumped boulders across this canyon, damming Tenaya Creek. During spring and early summer, the stream backs up into the two pools on either side of the dam.
Tinkering with . . . — — Map (db m81950) HM
This turnout was named in honor of famed landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903), and his son, Frederick, Jr. when Tioga road opened to automobile traffic in 1961. Olmsted senior was considered the father of American landscape . . . — — Map (db m65531) HM
On this site President Theodore Roosevelt sat beside a campfire with John Muir on May 17, 1903 and talked forest good. Muir urged the President to work for preservation and priceless remnants of America’s wilderness. At this spot one of our . . . — — Map (db m62853) HM
Where the Old Village once stood, little evidence remains. In its heyday, thousands of tourists arrived on horseback, in wagons, and in early Model T Fords. They danced, bathed, and slept here. Today this is hard to imagine, as the meadow seems so . . . — — Map (db m65527) HM
Mirror Lake's magnificent scenery was as much a commodity to be harvested as was the ice and sand. In the 1860s, entrepreneurs built a toll road to the lake, and here at the end of the carriage road, they opened an inn in 1870. Later the inn became . . . — — Map (db m81962) HM
The log, trestle-roofed entranceway to The Ahwahnee hotel is called the “porte cochere.” The hotel’s architect had originally intended that automobiles enter a porte cochere from the meadow side of the hotel through the space where the . . . — — Map (db m65503) HM
This marker is composed of four plaques secured front and back to two pillars.
Adapting to a New Life
For thousands of years, Indians adapted to climate changes, fires and droughts in the Sierra. They also survived conflicts with . . . — — Map (db m65632) HM
Along with other accomplished artists of his time, including Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran, Thomas Hill's large-scale oil paintings of Yosemite captured the attention of people across America, visually introducing them to magnificence of . . . — — Map (db m84190) HM
The first director of the National Park Service, Stephen T. Mather, was as at home in the High Sierra as he was in high society. To ensure Yosemite’s protection for future generations, he knew that influential people would have to care about the . . . — — Map (db m65504) HM
Before you lies the site of the Old Yosemite Village. Stretching between the Four Mile Trail and Sentinel Bridge, it was a bustling hamlet during the late 1800s and early 1900s. It consisted of guest cottages, photo studios, a hotel, bathhouse, . . . — — Map (db m65528) HM
Millions of years ago the granite block of Half Dome was larger, but there was never a matching half. Undercut by glaciers near the base, slabs of rock fell away from a broad vertical crack in the granite, leaving a sheer face. Remnants of the . . . — — Map (db m81963) HM
The opening of Yosemite to tourism in the 1850s coincided with America's glorification of nature and fascination with the picturesque. Early accounts of Mirror Lake are full of such sentiments. Visitors today still express many of the same emotions . . . — — Map (db m81961) HM
Nowhere else on earth are there so many spectacular waterfalls in such a concentrated area.
During the spring, torrents of water from melted snow thunder over Yosemite's precipices. By August, the "ephemeral" falls disappear; others, like the . . . — — Map (db m81943) HM
People have been coming to Glacier Point for generations to see one of the most spectacular views on earth. For a panoramic vista of Yosemite Valley, walk along the trail to Glacier Point, located ¼ mile from where you’re now standing. Along the . . . — — Map (db m63610) HM
On June 30, 1864 the United States granted the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Big Tree Grove to the State of California to "be held for public use, resort and recreation...inalienable for all time." This act, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, . . . — — Map (db m81941) HM