Project overview: Create a more welcoming, inclusive experience at the Yosemite History Center, through new educational panels that go beyond the center’s traditional focus on Anglo-American history.

How your support helps: The Pioneer Yosemite History Center, which took shape in Wawona in the 1950s and ’60s, is home to numerous historical cabins and other buildings that have been relocated from other parts of the park. Until recently, the center’s educational focus has stuck to a narrow subject: the experiences of white park residents and visitors in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

“Racial exclusion at the Pioneer Yosemite History Center is not implied or accidental,” Yosemite Chief of Interpretation and Education Sabrina Diaz writes, noting that the emphasis on Anglo-American history is inscribed in an NPS statement about the center’s purpose.

This 2021 project is the latest step in a multiyear effort to expand the history center’s educational themes. Your gifts will fund the design and installation of 10 new exhibits that highlight diverse people who have played a part in Yosemite’s story. Funding will also go toward repairing pathways, fences and barns, and making a clearer pedestrian route to connect the center with other nearby historical structures, including the Chinese laundry building that was restored in 2019 with support from our donors.

In addition to the recent laundry building rehabilitation project, our donors have supported several grants to restore resources and expand educational resources at the history center. With your help, this project is transforming the center into a more relevant and inclusive space that goes beyond a narrow slice of the past to honor the park’s full, complex history.

Project partner: Yosemite National Park.

Sabrina Diaz

Interpretation and Education, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

“Visitors of all backgrounds will benefit from the addition of interpretive experiences that celebrate the diverse history of this flagship national park. We must ensure the true diverse story of Yosemite is told, and that disenfranchised people feel welcome and recognized in Yosemite National Park.”