National Register of Historic Places in Mariposa County
These structures were moved to the historic railhead of El Portal in 1966 prior to the inundation of Bagby by the raising of Exchequer Dam and the expansion of Lake McClure.
The Yosemite Valley Railroad ran from the San Joaquin Valley town of Merced to the village of El Portal, on the boundary of Yosemite National Park, for 38 years (1907-1945). Bagby Station, built in 1907, is the only remaining YVRR stationhouse.
The advent of railroad travel to Yosemite National Park signaled the end of the stagecoach era and significantly altered patterns of tourism and commerce within the park. With the arduous two to three day stagecoach ride reduced to a comfortable four hour journey, the number of visitors increased rapidly.
At the same time, visitors stayed in Yosemite for a much shorter duration, causing a high turnover rate and need for expansion of guest accommodations. Yosemite Valley businessmen were able to meet the needs of visitors with greater facility than in the past as the YVRR brought supplies as well as passengers, eliminating the ten to fourteen day wait for the horse-drawn freight wagons. Stagecoaches were still needed to transport passengers from El Portal to the valley floor as the final eight miles up the Merced River Canyon had proven impassable to the railroad.
In 1913, auto "stages" replaced the horse-drawn vehicles and set in motion the eventual decline of railroad travel.
After the All Year Highway, across the Merced River from the train tracks was completed in 1926, the YVRR depended primarily on revenue from transporting freight for the various lineside industries that had developed during its heyday. A disastrous flood in 1937 destroyed miles of track and the expense of replacing twisted rails and missing roadbed added to the financial difficulties caused by the loss of passenger traffic.
In 1945, wrecking crews took up the track and another pioneer railroad disappeared.
Excerpted 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.
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.