National Register of Historic Places in Mariposa County

National Register #78000355: Yosemite Transportation Company Office The small building in the background is the powder house.
29 October 2012
(Click Photo to Zoom)
National Register #78000355
Yosemite Transportation Company Office
AKA Wells Fargo Office
Pioneer Yosemite Historic Center
Wawona
Yosemite National Park
Built in Old Yosemite Village in 1910
Moved to Wawona in 1960

This building is an exceptional and rare example of the Rustic Style of architecture as it first developed in the Yosemite region. Characteristic of the style was the use of cedar bark strips applied in decorative patterns, as exterior sheathing material on wood frame buildings.

Similar structures include the Yosemite Valley Railroad Station at El Portal (destroyed by fire in 1949) and four buildings extant in Yosemite Valley: Curry Cabin, Tresidder Cabin, original Camp Curry Registration Office, Pohono Studio. These rustic structures represent an effort to design facilities which would not be intrusive or incompatible with the natural environment.

The structure functioned as a horse and motor stage terminal. It was built at the Old Village site, near the Sentinel Hotel, in 1910 with funds and design provided by the Yosemite Valley Railroad Company. The railroad had recently completed a line to El Portal on the western boundary of Yosemite National Park. Horse and later "auto-stages" connected the El Portal depot with Yosemite Valley. During the stagecoach years the building also served as a telegraph and express office and it was then that the name Wells Fargo became associated with it.

After the all-year highway was opened in 1927, the popularity of the Yosemite Valley railroad began to diminish in favor of private vehicles and commercial buses. The Yosemite Transportation Company shifted its transactions to the front desk at lodgings throughout the park. In the late 1930s the vacant Y.T.C. building was converted to an employee residence.

In 1959 the Wells Fargo Office was slated for demolition as part of the National Park Service's "Mission 66" program that dismantled the majority of buildings in the Old Village and restored the meadow to its natural state. Recognition of the building's unique design and local history led to the allocation of funds for removal rather than destruction. The building was acquired from Yosemite Park and Curry Company and moved to the Pioneer Yosemite History Center in Wawona. There the building was restored to a circa 1912 appearance and opened for interpretive use.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination.

Buildings that Moved

It's not just that the people of the American West are restless, the buildings themselves sometimes pack up and move when - for one reason or another - the neighborhood no longer suits them or the neighbors no longer want them or opportunity waits down the road.

And when buildings remain in place, they are often searching for their identities.

Acting Superintendent's Office, Yosemite
Alford-Nielson House, Ferndale
Alpine Hotel, Markleeville
Ashland Depot Hotel, Ashland, Oregon
Bagby Stationhouse, El Portal

Bayview Hotel, Aptos
Bridgeport Elementary School, Mono County
Carter House, Ashland, Oregon
Christian Church, Gilroy
Chuck's Railroad Room, Westwood

Colfax Freight Depot (Moved Twice), Colfax
Commodore Watkins House, Atherton
Coyle-Foster Barn, Shasta State Historic Park
Croll Building, Alameda
Dallam-Merritt House, San Francisco

Errea House, Tehachapi
Galarneaux House, Sacramento
Glass House, San Ramon
Glendale School (Moved Twice), Sparks, Nevada
Goleta Depot, Goleta

Gray's Station, Truckee
Hostess House, Palo Alto
Hodgdon Homestead Cabin, Yosemite
House at 2214 Clay Street, San Francisco
Hutton House, Saratoga

Independence Hall, Woodside
J & T Basque Restaurant, Gardnerville, NV
Jamestown Branch Jail (Moved Twice)
Jax Truckee Diner (Moved Twice), Truckee
Jorgensen Studio, Yosemite

Lake Mansion (Moved Twice), Reno
Lathrop House, Redwood City
LeConte Memorial Lodge, Yosemite
Little Church on the Hill, Oakhurst
Mansion House Hotel, Watsonville

Marcus Books and Jimbo's Bop City, San Francisco
McCredie House, Central Point, Oregon
Meherin House, Pismo Beach
Methodist Episcopal Church, Placerville
Migliavacca Mansion, Napa

Milton Masonic Hall, Milton
Moab Cabin, Moab, Utah
Mt. Buckingham School, Darrah
Nevada-California-Oregon Railway Depot, Alturas
Old Log Jail (Moved Twice), Markleeville

Old Mammoth Saloon (Moved Twice), Mammoth Lakes
Old North San Juan School, North San Juan
Old St. Patrick's Church (Moved Twice), San Francisco
Perry's Dry Goods, Gardnerville, NV
Phelps House (Moved Twice), San Francisco

Rengstorff House, Mountain View
Reno Arch (Moved Five Times), Reno
Roper House, Ashland, Oregon
St. James Catholic Church, Georgetown
Sylvester House , San Francisco

Tribune-Republic Building, San Luis Obispo
Tubbs Cordage Company, San Francisco
Tucker House, Martinez
Twenty Mile House, Cromberg
United Methodist Church, Nevada City

Webber House, Yountville
Wood House, Modesto
Yosemite Transportation Company
Yosemite Valley Chapel

Of the buildings and structures we have visited, the original Reno Arch holds the record for number of moves. It has been moved five times since it was built in 1926.

Jax Truckee Diner holds the distance title. The building moved from New Jersry to Pennsylvanis in 1948, then from Pennsylvania to Califonia in 1992.

Probably the most ambitious relocation occurred on July 4th 1904, when the Southern Pacific Railroad loaded most of the town of Wadsworth, Nevada, onto rail cars and transported the town thirty miles west to create a new town which became known as Sparks.

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