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 Yosemite History Center — formerly the Yosemite Pioneer History Center — took shape in Wawona in the 1950s and 1960s, and is home to numerous historic 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 Yosemite History Center is not implied or accidental,” Yosemite’s former 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 year: This 2022 project is the latest step in a multiyear effort to expand the Yosemite 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