National Register of Historic Places in Mariposa County
Yosemite National Park has been a lodestone for artists since 1856 when lithographer Thomas Ayres accompanied the first tourist party to the Valley.
One of the park's most prolific scenic interpreters was the noted California painter Chris Jorgenson, who maintained a seasonal residence and studio in Yosemite Valley for twenty years.
Jorgenson arrived in Yosemite Valley in the late 1890's already an established artist, At 14 he had been the first student at the California School of Fine Arts, organized in San Francisco in 1874. From 1881 to 1883, he served as Assistant Director, as well as an instructor, at the school.
Jorgenson and his wife, Angela Ghirardelli, had studied for two years in Italy in the early 1890's but discovered their true milieu during those first visits to Yosemite. They established their studio on the bank of the Merced River in 1899.
Jorgenson did several canvases depicting the local Indians and began an extensive collection of Native American basketry, specializing in California products. Both the paintings and the baskets are part of the Yosemite Museum Collections and provide a valuable resource in visually interpreting the ethnic history of the park around the turn of the century.
In 1962 the Jorgenson studio was moved from Yosemite Valley to the Pioneer History Center and the interior was authentically restored.
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.
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
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.