Yosemite National Park Commemorates Restoration of Yosemite Cemetery

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Date: February 20, 2014

Park Also Honors Galen Clark, the First Guardian of Yosemite 

Yosemite National Park restored the Yosemite Cemetery through a grant from Yosemite Conservancy. To commemorate the restoration, Yosemite National Park and California State Parks will conduct a dedication ceremony. The ceremony will also celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Galen Clark, the first Guardian of Yosemite Valley and the first California State Park Ranger. 

The event will take place from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 3, 2014 in the Yosemite Cemetery. The cemetery is located in Yosemite Valley, near the visitor center. Activities include remarks from National Park Service, California State Parks, and Yosemite Conservancy representatives. Special guests include Lita Karlstrand, great-great granddaughter of Galen Clark, and Jim Karlstrand, great-great grandson-in-law of Galen Clark. The event marks the beginning of the California Parks Training Conference. 

The Yosemite Cemetery, in Yosemite Valley, is a tangible link to Yosemite’s American Indians and iconic Yosemite stewards such as Galen Clark and James Mason Hutchings. The work was completed by the park’s Historic Preservation Team and included restoring historic headstones and wooden monuments, repairing wrought-iron fencing, and improving walkways through the cemetery. 

The park would like to hear from any descendants of the people that are buried in the cemetery. They include: Sally Ann Castagnetto, Mother of Lucy Brown, May Tom, May Dick, Susie Sam, Lucy Brown, Bill Brown, Lancisco Wilson, Johnny Brown, Pete Hillard, Louisa Tom, Henry Eddy, Frank Bockerman, William Atkinson, James, Augusta and Florence Hutchings, Effie Maud Crippen, Laura Milner Cannon, Thomas Glynn, Agnes Armour Leidig, Albert May, James Lamon, Galen Clark, George Fiske, Caroline Paull Fiske, Hazel Caroline Mayer, Gabriel and Rose Souvulewski, Leonius Whorton, John Hamilton, George Anderson, David Woods, G.B. Cavagnaro, John C. Anderson, Infant Coyle, Albert Glasscock, James and Mary Morgan, Sadie Schaeffer, Forest Townsley, John Bennett (A Boy), Etienne Manet (A Frenchman), Henry Woolcott (Woolcock), George Boston, M.C. McKenzie, and A.W. Madden. If you are a descendant of any of these people, please call Historical Landscape Architect, Kevin McCardle, at 209-379-1418 or email him

This event is part of the California State Parks Training Conference “The Heritage of Parks in California” taking place in Yosemite in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant and the California State Parks. The Yosemite Grant Act was signed by Abraham Lincoln and set aside Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove, to begin our shared and inspiring heritage of state and national parks. 

The restoration project was funded by Yosemite Conservancy, with support from Tauck Tours, Heller Foundation of San Diego, Sumar Foundation, and many individual donors. 

Did You Know?

Vernal and Nevada Falls

In Yosemite Valley, dropping over 594-foot Nevada Fall and then 317-foot Vernal Fall, the Merced River creates what is known as the “Giant Staircase.” Such exemplary stair-step river morphology is characterized by a large variability in river movement and flow, from quiet pools to the dramatic drops of the waterfalls themselves.

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