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Topics in Chronicling America - Yosemite National Park: Path to Conservation

"A Mountain Climber's Outing: A Novel Experience." In August 1902, more than 200 members of the conservation organization, The Sierra Club, (along with 15,000 pounds of provisions) hike along the steep trails of Yosemite Park; sleeping in the outdoors, listening to the lectures of naturist & champion of Yosemite, John Muir, and viewing the great masterpieces of the tree creation: The grand Sequioas. The accounts of the club's second annual outing are printed in the August 24th issue of the San Francisco Call. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

Picture of a Yosemite

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Important Dates:

  • 1855: James Mason Hutchings leads tourists to Yosemite’s Inspiration Point June 30.
  • 1864: President Abraham Lincoln signs federal legislation which establishes the “Yosemite Grant,” the first time the US Federal Government sets aside land for use as a park.
  • 1865: Frederick Law Olmsted, as a commissioner managing the Yosemite Grant, writes a report on Yosemite and the Mariposa Grove which the commission suppresses.
  • 1869: John Muir arrives in Yosemite October.
  • 1880: President Hayes visits Yosemite.
  • 1889 Muir returns to Yosemite and discovers it has deteriorated and is in need of restoration and protection.
  • October 1, 1890: Yosemite becomes a national park.
  • May 28, 1892: Establishment of the Sierra Club May.
  • 1903: John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt camp at Yosemite.
  • 1905: Yosemite National Park is expanded by adding Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley October.
  • 1909: President Taft visits Yosemite.
  • 1909-1910: Attempts made to develop water resources in Hetch Hetchy Valley for use by the city of San Francisco.
  • 1913: Raker Act passes US Congress which allows the flooding of Hetch Hetchy Valley.
  • 1916: National Park Service established.

Suggested Search Terms:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.]
  • Use Muir and Yosemite in “All the Words” search
  • Names of sites within Yosemite can be used to find articles about those locations (eg., Half-Dome; Hetch Hetchy Valley; Mariposa Grove; Mirror Lake; El Capitan)
  • Other names & terms to use in combination with Yosemite: Joseph Le Conte; Sierra Club; Theodore Roosevelt; Galen Clark

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  August 26, 2013
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