National Register of Historic Places in Mariposa County

National Register #79000316: Bagby Stationhouse c1900 Bagby Stationhouse c1900
Courtesy San Joaquin Valley Library System
(Click Photo to Zoom)
National Register #79000316: Bagby Stationhouse in El Portal Bagby Stationhouse 2006
National Register #79000316: Bagby Turntable in El Portal
Turntable Undergoing Reconstruction
Locomotive, Caboose and Water Tanks
in Background

National Register #79000316: Bagby Stationhouse in El Portal Water Tanks
All Photos 20 December 2006
(Click Photos to Zoom)
National Register #79000316
Bagby Stationhouse, Water Tanks and Turntable
Highway 140
El Portal
Built 1907

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.

Acting Superintendent's Office, Yosemite
Alford-Nielson House, Ferndale
Alpine Hotel, Markleeville
Ashland Depot Hotel, Ashland, Oregon
Auburn Fire House No. 1, Auburn

Bagby Stationhouse, El Portal
Bayview Hotel, Aptos
Bridgeport Elementary School, Mono County
Calvary Presbyterian Church, Bolinas
Carter House, Ashland, Oregon
Christian Church, Gilroy
Choller Mansion, Virginia City, NV

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
Davis Creek Community Church, Davis Creek
Duatre's Store, Monterey
Errea House, Tehachapi
Fairwind, Eureka
First Baptist Church, Sonoma

Fort Bragg Storehouse and Commissary, Fort Bragg
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

King City Depot, King City
La Gloria Schoolhouse, King City
Lagunita Schoolhouse, Salinas
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
Mendocino Masonic Hall, Mendocino
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. Mary's Church, Rocklin
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
San Rafael Improvement Club, San Rafael
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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