Every year, more than 250,000 people travel back in time at the Pioneer Yosemite History Center in Wawona. The story they see there, however, is largely limited to that of European-American settlers.

In past years, donors have funded grants to restore the center’s log cabins, replace a replica stage coach and reshape the trail leading to the nearby visitor center. Now, your support will help the park take another important step in improving the center, by shedding light on lesser-known parts of the park’s pioneer past.

Part of the 2019 work will focus on a structure that once served as a laundry house staffed by Chinese laborers, where crews will replace the roof and porch, add educational materials about Chinese contributions to Yosemite, and open the building to the public for the first time. Outside, crews will repair damaged fencing and install new trailside exhibits that share stories of diverse people who played a part in the park’s early years, including American Indians and African-American “Buffalo Soldiers.”

Your gifts will help preserve important Yosemite stories and structures, and will encourage visitors to connect with the park’s pioneer era in a new way.

Partnering with Yosemite National Park

Tom Darcy

Facilities Management, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

The Pioneer Yosemite History Center was developed in 1959 by Chief Park Naturalist, Douglass H. Hubbard, designed to provide an interpretive experience for park visitors to become familiarized with 100 years of Yosemite's human history. Douglass Hubbard had a vision to make the Wawona site representative of the era of traveling on horse and living a meager life in a rustic cabin.