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Yosemite National Park: Topics in Chronicling America

In 1864, the Yosemite Grant set aside land for park use. In 1890, Yosemite becomes a National Park. This guide provides access to materials related to "Yosemite National Park" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"Giant of the Yosemite. Half Dome, the great rock that dominates Yosemite Valley, rising to a height of nearly 5, 000 feet above the floor of the valley in Yosemite National Park, California." July 15, 1934. Evening Star (Washington, DC), Image 86. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

"A Mountain Climber's Outing: A Novel Experience." In August 1902, more than 200 members of the conservation organization, The Sierra Club, (along with 15,000 pounds of provisions) hike along the steep trails of Yosemite Park; sleeping in the outdoors, listening to the lectures of naturist & champion of Yosemite, John Muir, and viewing the great masterpieces of the tree creation: The grand Sequioas. The accounts of the club's second annual outing are printed in the August 24th issue of the San Francisco Call. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


June 30, 1855 James Mason Hutchings leads tourists to Yosemite’s Inspiration Point.
1864 President Abraham Lincoln signs federal legislation which establishes the “Yosemite Grant,” the first time the US Federal Government sets aside land for use as a park.
1865 Frederick Law Olmsted, as a commissioner managing the Yosemite Grant, writes a report on Yosemite and the Mariposa Grove which the commission suppresses.
October 1869 John Muir arrives in Yosemite.
1880 President Rutherford Hayes visits Yosemite.
1889 Muir returns to Yosemite and discovers it has deteriorated and is in need of restoration and protection.
October 1, 1890 Yosemite becomes a national park.
May 28, 1892 Establishment of the Sierra Club.
1903 John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt camp at Yosemite.
October 1905 Yosemite National Park is expanded by adding Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley.
1909 President William Taft visits Yosemite.
1909-1910 Attempts made to develop water resources in Hetch Hetchy Valley for use by the city of San Francisco.
1913 Raker Act passes US Congress which allows the flooding of Hetch Hetchy Valley.
1916 National Park Service established.