National Register of Historic Places in Mariposa County
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.
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
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.