Mariposa County Points of Interest

Town of Bagby on the Merced River in 1910 1910 Photograph
Courtesy San Joaquin Valley Library System
Yosemite Valley Railroad at Bagby c1900 c1900 Photograph
Stationhouse and water tanks moved to El Portal in 1996.
Courtesy San Joaquin Valley Library System
(Click Photos to Zoom)
State Route 49 Crossing Merced River State Route 49 Crossing Merced River
20 December 2006
(Click Photos to Zoom)
State Route 49 at the Merced River
Year 1850

The commemorative marker reads:


From a vista point near the 1,156 long, 130 foot high bridge, completed in 1966, the site of Bagby lies east under, and sometimes exposed beside, the back waters of Lake McClure. Bagby's history passed through three definite developmental eras. From 1850 to 1859 it was the site for Thomas E. Ridley's ferry. Then a dam and Fremont's water-powered stamp mills were built there, and the place renamed Benton Mills for his father-in-law. Later Benjamin A. Bagby built a hotel, store, saloon and boarding house on the north side of the river. When a Benton Mills post office was to be established on June 30, 1897, authorities found that a mining town in Mono County had prior claim to the name. Applicant N. C. Ray, a mining man, promptly chose the title Bagby in honor of his friend.

Bagby's subsequent history was integral with the importance of the Yosemite Valley Railroad, 1907 45 [sic].

At its demise, Bagby diminished to a fisherman's resort. When inundation threatened in the early 1960's, Yosemite officials arranged removal of a turntable, twin water towers, and the Bagby station to the Yosemite Pioneer Transportation Center at El Portal. Bagby's remaining structures and old bridge were razed in late 1966. Where a stamp mill thundered and trains chugged, boaters now float. Among the first to launch a boat was B. A. Bagby's son, Everett.

Dedicated by Matuca Chapter 1849
E Clampus Vitus
April 1, 2006 (6011)
Credo Quia Absurdum

Underwater in California

The damming of rivers and creeks inundated many 19th century cemeteries, buildings and entire towns.

Bagby (Merced River)
Bidwell's Bar (Feather River)
Camanche (Mokelumne River)
Condemned Bar (American River)
Jacksonville (Tuolumne River)

Middle Bar (Pardee River)
Mormon Island, (American River)
Negro Hill (American River)
Poverty Bar (Mokelumne River)
Reynold's House (Silver Creek)

Salmon Falls (American River)
Searsville (Corte Madera Creek)
Whiskeytown (Clear Creek)

The town of Volcano in Amador County had a close call in 1934 but was granted a reprieve and survives today.

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