National Register of Historic Places in Mariposa County

National Register #79000280: Chris Jorgensen Studio in Wawona 29 October 2012
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National Register #79000280
Chris Jorgensen Studio
Pioneer Yosemite Historic Center
Wawona
Built 1904
Moved to Wawona 1962

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.

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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