A Little History About the Yosemite Grant Act (and Some Fun Things to Do)

In History, Inside the NPS, Things to do

You’ve probably figured out that this year marks the 150th Anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act. You haven’t you say? Well! Let me explain it to you then.

(Puts on old cowboy voice)

The Yosemite Grant was just this little matter where a certain President, with a fancy for stovepipe hats, and some yahoo’s in Congress decided in the middle of a war, that some things in this country were worth preserving. Somethings should be saved for future generations and should be protected. So they got together and on June 30, 1864, Congress enacted the Yosemite Grant Act, establishing Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove as the first protected wild land for all time.

Keep in mind, Yosemite wasn’t a “national” park yet. It was just a state park. California had control over the Yosemite territory until 1890 when the government created Yosemite National Park. But that only applied to the area surrounding Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove. It wouldn’t be until 1906 when that rough rider Roosevelt heard the words of good ol’ Mr. Muir and combined Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove with Yosemite National Park to form something pretty close to what we see today. We’ll save the Hetch Hetchy debacle for another time.

So, in celebration of California getting it’s first State Park (remember I said no Yosemite National Park until 1890, even the NPS agrees), and because anything having to do with Lincoln is really popular right now, folks from all over are planning shindigs…err…events.


Yosemite, Art, Wine & Wheels: Saturday, Mariposa Historic Courthouse, 5088 Bullion St., Mariposa

Yosemite Celebration: June 24, Mariposa County Fairgrounds, Mariposa

Way Out West in 1864: June 28-29, The Groveland Hotel, Groveland

Yosemite Grant 150th activities: June 28-30, Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Grant 150th Festival: June 28, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Oakhurst Community Park, Civic Circle, Oakhurst

Mariposa Grove Restoration Ceremony: June 30, Yosemite Conservancy, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Melodrama Series: June 30, 7-9 p.m., , Golden Chain Theatre, 42130 Highway 41, Oakhurst


Yosemite Art Month: July 1-31, Oakdale

July 4th Yosemite Festival, Bridgeport

Sierra Professional Artists Event: July 5-6, The Groveland Hotel, 18767 Main St., Groveland

The Music of Yosemite and Beyond: July 5, The Groveland Hotel, 18767 Main St., Groveland

Mid-Sierra Loggers Jamboree:July 5-6, North Fork Recreation Center, 33507 Road 230, North Fork

Mount Sing Pilgrimage — Chinese American Contributions Tours: July 25-28, Wawona, Yosemite


Youth in Yosemite Symposium: Aug. 7, Yosemite

Native Youth Cultural Exchange: Aug. 9-11, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park

National Park Service turns 98: Aug. 25


Wilderness Act 50th anniversary: Sept. 3, Yosemite

Kiwanis Club of Oakhurst 12th annual Run for the Gold Classic Car Show: Sept. 6, Oakhurst**Community Center, 39800 Road 425B, Oakhurst

Annual 49er Festival Celebrates Yosemite: Sept. 20, Mary Laveroni Community Park, Groveland

John Muir in America: Sept. 26-27, 7:30-9 p.m., Lower River Amphitheater, Yosemite Valley


Yosemite National Park turns 124: Oct. 1

Oakhurst’s Yosemite Fall Festival: Oct. 11-12, Oakhurst Community Park, Oakhurst


Jo Mora Exhibit: through June 30. Mariposa County Arts Council Treetop Gallery, 5009 Highway 140, Mariposa

Yosemite Rocks — an Artistic Learning Series: 2-4 p.m. 2nd Saturday of the month through September, Timberline Gallery and Yosemite Gallery, 40982 Highway 41, Oakhurst. timberlineartgallery.com, galleryyosemite.com or (559) 683-3345.

“The Tramp and the Roughrider: An Evening at Glacier Point”: 7-9 p.m. Fridays through June 27. Yosemite Valley Visitors Center Theater, 9035 Village Drive, Yosemite Valley. Tickets: $8, $4 ages 4-12.

“The Tramp and the Roughrider: Last Night of Camping at Bridal Veil Meadow”: 7-9 p.m. Saturdays through June 28. Yosemite Valley Visitors Center Theater, 9035 Village Drive, Yosemite Valley. Tickets: $8, $4 ages 4-12.

Discover Yosemite’s Forgotten Trails Series: 7:30-8:30 p.m. third Saturday of every month through Sept. 13 (second Saturday). Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites, 40644 Highway 41, Oakhurst.

“Three Generations of Rangers” and “Travels to Yosemite” Exhibits: 1-4:30 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Three Generations of Rangers through June 27 and Travels to Yosemite June 28-30. The Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum.
Lure & Lore of Yosemite Exhibit: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 19, Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau, 40637 Highway 41, Oakhurst
Wild, Wonderful Yosemite lecture series: through Dec. 27 (4th Saturday of each month), King Vintage Museum, Oakhurst

Yosemite Workshop and Summer Art Series: 10 a.m.-noon through Sept. 26 (Friday mornings), Mariposa County Arts Council Treetop Gallery, 5009 Highway 140, Mariposa
Camp Mather exhibit: Mondays-Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through Dec. 31, Oakdale Cowboy Museum, Oakdale

Inspiring Generations exhibit, Yosemite Valley: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. through July 6, The Ansel Adams Gallery, 9039 Village Drive, Yosemite

Yosemite Grant 150th exhibit: Daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through Oct. 18. Opening reception June 2. Museum gallery closes for lunch, Yosemite Museum Gallery, 9039 Village Drive, Yosemite

“Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit” documentary by Ken Burns: 8-9 p.m. every Tuesday through September at Curry Village or Yosemite Lodge Amphitheaters; 5-6 p.m. Thursdays through October, Evergreen Lodge, 33160 Evergreen Road, Groveland

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