Yosemite Grant Act a landmark for landmarks

By Alex MacLean / The Union Democrat

As the Civil War raged across the south and eastern parts of the nation in 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation on June 30 that forever altered the destiny of Tuolumne County out west.

The Yosemite Grant Act, introduced by Sen. John Conness, gave the state of California ownership of Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of sequoia trees, marking the first time a wilderness area had been set aside by the federal government for protection. The bill gave birth to the California state parks system and also ushered in the rise of the national park system.

Both have provided a huge economic engine to tourism-based businesses, like Southern Tuolumne County's former gold mining towns.

Since last September, the National Park Service has been promoting the anniversary with a series of events at Yosemite and the surrounding communities that will continue throughout 2014. Most kick off this spring.

State Parks officials have also said many of the popular annual events held at the state's 280 designated parks have been repackaged with a special focus on the sesquicentennial.

"Yosemite came along as a state park almost coincidentally with the end of gold," said Kathy Brown, affairs coordinator for the Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum, run by the Southern Tuolumne County Historical Society. "If it wasn't for the opening of the park, towns like Groveland and Big Oak Flat would probably be nonexistent today."

For the full story, see the March 7 edition of The Union Democrat.

11915199
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Wednesday August 24, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
More than a coach

08/17/2016

Thomas Kruetzfeldt had just returned from a late afternoon run with his ... more

Cal Fire battalion chief remembered

08/15/2016

Whenever Mike Spear’s children heard of a nearby fire, they worried about ... more

Sonora area group launches a new radio station

08/18/2016

First envisioned more than a decade ago, a Sonora-area radio station with ... more

Nursed back to health, hawk flies free

08/19/2016

Sonora resident Laura Reid was driving on Tuolumne Road when she saw ... more

No immunizations, no school in California

08/17/2016

Cyndra Joaquin, cradling her three-month-old during a recent visit to the health ... more