National Register of Historic Places in Mariposa County

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National Register #78000381
Mariposa Grove Museum
Mariposa Grove Road
Yosemite National Park
Built 1930

Galen Clark built a rough one room cabin here in Upper Grove in May, 1864. He had recently been appointed the first guardian of the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Big Tree Grant, and he built the cabin as an office and information center to assist visitors.

Dr. Henry Bellows attached the name "Galen's Hospice" to the cabin in June, 1864, after his party gained shelter there from a storm. In 1881, the State of California replaced the ramshackle, though well known hospice, with a new one room cabin "for the comfort and convenience of the visitor."

Another room was added in 1902 to serve as the office for the current guardian. In the Yosemite Superintendents Reports of the 1920's, the deteriorating condition of the building was noted, as well as its international fame achieved through photographs, postcards, and remembrances of Yosemite tourists who recorded the impression made by the small structure amidst the giant trees.

By 1930, the unstable log cabin was replaced with a new structure to serve as the Mariposa Grove Museum. The exhibits are devoted exclusively to the story of the Big Trees, hence the cabin and its furnishings were designed to harmonize with the surrounding sequoias. The massive furniture was hewed by hand from a Big Tree that had fallen in the lower grove.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination.

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