Travel Through Yosemite National Park History
Welcome to the Gold Country of Southern Toulomne County! If you are looking for Yosemite campgrounds you don’t have to go straight to Yosemite National Park camping. Instead, stay at Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family Lodging and learn about the rich history surrounding one of our country’s most beautiful National Parks.
The Hangman Tree near Yosemite Pines RV Park
The first residents of the Valley were Native Americans. They were called the Southern Sierra Miwok. The Miwok called Yosemite Valley Ahwahnee, which basically means “Place of a Gaping Mouth,” and called themselves the Ahwahneechee. Non-Native Americans began moving into the area in the 1830s and 40s. Then an exciting new thing was discovered in 1848 – GOLD! This area was known as Savage’s Diggings, named for miner James Savage. When he moved away in 1850 (due to squabbles between his Indian wives and the local miners, it’s said) the locals started calling the two major settlements Big Oak Flat and Garrote (due to infamous “hangin’ parties”) that eventually became Groveland.
Yosemite Pines RV Resort is located in an area originally called San Ignacio Flat, but also became famous for its hangings and earned the name Second Garrote. In fact, the “Hangman’s Tree” can still be viewed out on Old Hwy 120, not far from the entrance to the Yosemite Pines!
Mark Twain Trail Marker Just Outside Our Gate
But, despite the rowdy atmosphere, there was the lure of “gold in them thar hills!” The largest nugget extracted in this area weighed over 75 pounds and was discovered in Garrote Creek, which flows through the Yosemite Pines RV Park and Campground.
In today’s dollars, the mining camps extracted a quarter of a billion dollars in the precious metal by the 1870s! Gold mining continued, but mining interests eventually turned to minerals, such as quartz.
In the late 1870’s, naturalist John Muir brought more attention to the Yosemite area with his writings about the remarkable trees and other geological formations that could be found in Yosemite. The national park was established in the 1890’s thanks in part to John Muir and the attention and enthusiasm he brought to the area. The park was run jointly between state and federal governments but in 1906, California turned the Yosemite area back over to the federal government.
In 1916, another boom hit the area with the arrival of construction workers under contract with the City and County of San Francisco to bring in a water source from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Construction of the Hetch Hetchy Valley brought with it a railroad. By the late 1920s, the construction had moved westward and the local towns became quiet ranching communities.
Still, the lure of gold remains! In 1997, a construction worker discovered gold near Garrote Creek while pouring concrete. Recent heavy rains have uncovered more gold deposits. Your Yosemite vacation could turn into a lottery you never imagined. If you are looking for Yosemite camping and lodging, you can stay here at Yosemite Pines RV Park and Campground and enjoy the beauty of the Yosemite National Park and surrounding areas. Yosemite Park covers 1,187 square miles. That’s about the size of Rhode Island! And there are Yosemite Lakes and the seven-mile-long Yosemite Valley that is the heart of the park.
The beauty and wonder of Yosemite is something you will never forget. It will likely be the best vacation you have ever been on and if you are looking for Yosemite RV parking, we have what you need here at the Yosemite Pines RV Park.
There’s much more to the area to explore such as camping and hiking in Yosemite National Park, all located just minutes from Yosemite Pines RV Park and Campground. We promise to make your Yosemite camping and Yosemite vacation enjoyable for the whole family.