Dilsea's Road Trip travel blog

History Center: Wawona

Covered Bridge: Erected 1857

Only two story log cabin in Yosemite

Original Wells Fargo Office

Evolution of a Jail

Wawona Jail/Morgue

Horseshoe Shackles: Jail

Stage Coach (still in use...weekends)

Hodgdon Homestead Cabin

Hitching Post

Artist's cabin w/original stained-glass window

19th Century meets the 21st Century

Hand hewn bridge support

Original stage coach: circa 1860

Chuck wagon

Surry (designed by Studebaker)

Mosquito Wagon (vat filled w/oil to be spread on ponds)

Road Grader (could use this on Branch Lake!!)

Wawona Lodge

Original hand-painted shades used throughout dining room

Note hanging cord

Wawona Lodge front porch

Wawona Bluebonnets

Rock and Bluebonnets

Degnan's oven...baked 50 loaves at a time. Degnan's Deli still in business..


On our last day in Yosemite, we drove south through Oakhurst and entered the park at Wawona. Wawona is a settlement on the South Fork of the Merced River, established in the 1850ies when a Vermont styled covered bridge was erected across the river. From then on, Wawona and Yosemite were promoted as a "tourist destination" resort. A stage coach route was established, running from Fresno through Wawona and further into the park. Travel time by stage, Fresno to Wawona, was a bumpy 8 hours; with an additional 8 hours needed to reach Glacier Point. Before long, a Wells Fargo office was built, additional settlers moved to the region, and a group of Hudson River trained artists built cabins and started to publicize Yosemite through their paintings. In 1879, the Wawona Lodge was erected and (of course) Anne and I had lunch there.

The entire area is now part of the Yosemite Pioneer History Center, with many of the original structures preserved and a wonderful display of old wagons/carriages used in the 19th century. Also included is the Wawona jail/morgue/powder house; the summer kitchen used by Margaret Degnan to bake bread for tourists passing through; a Hudson River artist's cabin; and some interesting old farm equipment.



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