Because he saw himself as Yosemite's ambassador, Hutchings was surprised when the state of California told him his land claim was invalid. He fought the state for many years, and though he ultimately lost the battle, it didn't sever his ties to Yosemite.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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welcome to stuff, you missed in history class from Howstuffworks dot, com, hello and welcome to the Comcast I'm home, and I'm Tracy V, Wilson
and we are entering into part two of our two part episode on Yosemite and James Hutchings, and in part one of this. He talked about the park a little bit the Portuguese,
but he is, we know it today. We also talk about its history in terms of when white men first sites and how J
Hutchings started to really build an identity and a life completely around promoting this piece of land and working
a variety on the second part in the car
the story, so we highly recommended you listened apart when first or you might be a little bit confused, you will not have context for what we are talking about.
So, in addition to the periodical that we talked about last time, Hutchings also wrote the books scenes of wondering
reality in California, tourists guide to the EU.
many valley which published in eighteen sixty two
and then later in the heart of the Sierras, which was published in eighteen. Eighty eight, as with his magazine these
ex features them really fantastic illustrations and one other things that's
quite fun about Hutchings. Writing is it. He really was not shy about writing about
affecting this landscape could be so in scenes of wondering curiosity. He wrote the following about the feeling that one would get at the
the day at the end of the day,
in your seventy quote. As we sit
stillness and twilight of evening thinking over
conversing about the wondrous scenes. Our eyes have looked upon this day.
Were listened in silence to the deep music of the distant waterfalls. Our heart seemed to be filled,
to overflowing with a sense of the grandeur. Wildness beauty.
Profoundness to be felt in enjoyed when communing
The glorious works of nature in the
being in the heart of the Sierras Hutchings Bars, quotes from a wide range of people about Yosemite to us,
close the case. That is truly a marvel. Everyone from geologists to Ralph, Waldo
same way than on these introductory pages. They all praises
on a thing nature of the beauty that can be found there, the birth
goes on to relate the history of Yosemite and how it was quote discovered by white man. Howdy gold rush planted the seed of resentment with the name
population and how the Mariposa war began
Do you remember James Savage
who was the man that led the Mariposa battalion
change raving about whom is really interesting indeed, because, according to the Hutchings Account Savage
but why? Yes, that was poorer with us at the end from the native Americans, in the hopes that doing so would prevent attacks on his home and business,
and also in the Hutchings version, one of
Savages squaws, as they are called in this in this book,
told him ahead of time that an attack on the mining town was being planned by a group of native american men. A few
them their marriage in eighteen, sixty, four
then I'll virus purchased the upper hotel for four hundred dollars. Tat things had been hoping to do this for a long time beforehand, because of issues that the hotel it had from the
but it took him a little while to get the finances together to actually by it the
lifting her tell was still pretty utilitarian of best and when we talk last time, but how is basically a frame with some cheap but permanent.
but even when no virus bracelet alphabet and opened it as we Hutchings House
would later right of the hotels issues and his eventual acquisition of it. Also in the heart of this year, as in that he wrote quote owing to
Heavy indebtedness incurred in building the hotel and the like
success attending the first fourth of July Party given for which extensive preparations had been made and from which much had been expected. It's pretty,
there's an builders unable to meet their obligations, assigned it to creditors for their protection, the file
two years. It was least to Mr Charles Pack than to Mr P long hearse after
It was either let temporarily or remained closed until purchased by the writer in eighteen, sixty four
will eventually added on to the existing structure, including a large common room known as the big tree,
so named because it had been constructed around a cedar tree that was a hundred and seventy five feet or fifty three metres tall. This is
and with as a sitting room with a dirt floor, but it was later improved and floored and became the dining room for people,
before it was eventually made into a parlor. Yet there are some fantastic pictures
of James and Elvira sitting in this room and there on either side of the tree trunk and its mouth.
so they may as well sort of beef very far apart. Indifferent click fix, but you
and find pictures of those online. It will trailing summoned the show notes the same year.
the Hutchings purchase that hotel. They also had their first child Florence Hutchings should later go by flow. Sometimes Floyd and even flora in Florence was deferred
white child born in Yosemite on August, twenty third of eighteen, sixty four
love the outdoor. She was quite a tomboy and she often complain that she had not been borne a boy
while initially the whole family was involved in running the hotel. Eventually, it was Elvira, mother, Florian, fatigue, sprout, who really kept things running,
James is really busy working to be basically the ambassador of Yosemite and
of IRA immersed herself in her interests and music and botany since Florida,
experience, running a boarding house running a large came pretty naturally to her was a baseline extension of what she was already used to doing
If you recall from the first episode it was, it was at her boarding house that James actually meant Elvira, so
had been doing that in San Francisco for quite a time before them they were at Yosemite and from the beginning.
of the hotels life as Hutchings House. There were once again serious financial and legal problems.
In thirty of eighteen, sixty four president, Abraham
give signed an act of Congress that transferred ownership of Yosemite Valley in the mirror.
the Grove of Giant sequoias to the state of California that trains
was a land grant to the state. That was not to be settled, which meant that the property that the Hutchings had purchased just two months before this was
not considered a legal claim. That said all come about, because California Senator
Congress has introduced the Lamb Grant Congress with the goal of conserving the land he
like minded thinkers of the day, didn't want Yosemite to become like Niagara falls, which had been overrun with tourist Development Congress,
busy at the time with the civil war was rather quick to go forward. At this rate, the Yosemite Grant, probably so they could move onto the more pressing business if they had a hand. The fact that they were
property owners in Yosemite, already had not really been disclosed by caught us when he was questioned about this whole land grant and that lack
disclosure is going to play a big part in things coming up, but before we get all that lets pause really quickly. For a brief word from one of our faint ass dick sponsors, here's the thing:
saving money with Geico was almost better than playing pick up basketball, because there's always that guy who joins your game
He never passes the rock he constantly bricks theories and who completely
you and then put his hands up and say no foul, no foul with Geico. It's easy to switch
save on car insurance. No
the vacant fake, an ankle sprain because you're absolutely exhausted. So
which, in save with Geiger it's almost better than sports
so to get back into our story. Hutchings initially was really pretty excited about the land grant. He thought like yea we're gonna preserve this land that I love so much, but that was before it was made
to him that his hotel did not fit into the state legislatures plans. It was seen
stand by some as a case of the Hutchings wanting to turn a profit of the natural beauty of the valley, rather than as the home.
ways of Yosemites ambassadors, which is how Hutchings saw it
in addition to the hotel James Hutchings, had also filed a preemption claim on a large land parcel that up to that point
was just awaiting a survey team and the States
that was invalid as well for the next decade, a better back
played out between Hutchings mistake. Government initially
after the land transfer, the state told James and Elvira that they need to sign a least for the hotels, the state owned. The land but Hutchings spot the state,
And how was not the only person who had a land claim in Yosemite and other
James C Mon
cabin there as well, and he was in the same boat as Hutchings, and he also fought the state level.
It actually initially constructed the upper hotel when it was initially
after it was completed here,
claim on the upper into the valley and established a garden in an orchard. In addition to constructing a little log, cabin they're, both
things and La Mon were notified by the Board of Yosemite commissioners appointed by the state that they would need to lease their property from a state by a given deadline or that have to leave, and both men turned down those options.
according to Hutchings when he spoke with a senator primarily of Kansas, who served on the United States Committee of Public lands. That is when
came to light. The calmness had claimed that the
and had no settlers Hutchings, felt that this really prove that he should have
protected rights as a land, claimant, otherwise,
why would that information have been withheld,
are you out of this legal wrangling? There were, of course, huge gaps in terms of anything happening. Committees would reach
or other delays would come up in the government schedule and threw out at all Hutchings occupied in time by promoting Yosemite. Both right
and in giving lectures they claim to give quote. Eighty seven illustrated
shares on Yosemite. Sometimes you audiences of over three thousand. He did
he claimed for three reasons to keep himself busy to make little money and to bring more attend
to quote the marvelous grandeur of the scenery in July,
of eighteen. Seventy one, the California Supreme Court, issued the following ruling in another land claim case quote, if required,
five preemption or enter upon a portion of the public domain with the intention to pre empt the same purpose
Only acts necessary to perfect his pre emptive right, except the payment of the purchase price
government may, nevertheless, at any time before the prices actually paid or tendered devote the land.
You another purpose and thereby wholly defeat the right of preemption
so. Basically, there saying
Even if someone is trying to buy a piece of land, for example, James Hutchings claimed big land parcel that had not yet been surveyed in so that deal was not yet done if they
we're making that claim that they haven't paid for it, and the state came in. I wanted to do something else
is the money haven't changed hands. There was nothing to be done for it. That judgment was appealed to the United States Supreme Court, but the ruling was upheld. Hutchings suggest in his writing about
this that he, but if he had made a land claim any less beautiful place, government never would have gone to all this trouble. Yeah
We felt like it that, at the end of the day, because Yosemite was spectacular, it was of more interest to the state than if it had been laid up a park that was not so filled.
Wonders in any seventy four, this state of California finally paid out at twenty four thousand dollars settlement to the Hutchings for their land and hotel
La Mon, receive twelve thousand dollars and, as this tale develops in Hutchings writing, he makes it quite clear that he actually thinks that this
treated him relatively well, but that the blame
it squarely with Senator John Conness and his deception
that started. All of this trouble. The hatching
We finally left their hotel behind and moved to San Francisco, not one
they settled in San Francisco, James and Elvira divorced James, however, continued
without virus mother, as did the couples children and for years late.
New wife, Augustus Wieland, had been their next door. Neighbor yeah.
Came and took off to do their own thing. That's why James State with the family and her mother NL virus Mother
during this decade of turmoil that they had been undergoing. The Hutchings also became entwined with the life of a man who
also had a long term relationship with Yosemite Valley and in many ways he is more famous in that's in
Teen, sixty nine, the pair hired a Scotsman named John, where to build
and run a saw mill on their property, and there was
gin from the start between the two men. Each of them felt ass, though he was the expert and the spokesperson for Yosemite and while Hutchings had at that point,
two decades of writing on the matter is his credentials. Whereas we are here,
we been in the United States. I think like a year and a half at that point. People real
responded to wear and that's where he kind of garnered a great deal of attention. He is in most of the historical pictures of
you have to remedy that have yeah that I found like I was hoping to find a picture of Hutchings or picture fudging than yours,
for our part casts on our website and all that new he's. Nevertheless, in the picture
There are some but they're not like the ones that are in always public domain, but yeah. We're is, is really like the one that history has eventually made
the Yosemite guy there than he could easily be applied cast subject on alone, probably will at some point, but one of the things to consider about this clash.
when the two man is their fundamental differences in how they approach the subject of Yosemite, hatching saga
Three of the valley is a thing that could be shared like a shared experience that would bring people together, we're
times touted as something of a wilderness. Apostle was low
more about more personal, passionate in
visual connection to the land, rather than something to be shared with a group
Yeah man, vat standpoint was a little bit more in line with the modern thinking of the time. So that's why he kind of had a great appeal to a lot of people use it,
I would once again call Hutchings back, but before we talk about that, we're gonna pause one more time and have a word from one of our fantastic slaughters
It seems like it should be easy, but it's not just getting out of bed and getting your day started, trying to accomplish everything. You need to do in your day that to do list as a lot easier when you're getting news stories and music to lift your mood and preparing for the day ahead, get connected to the things that make you laugh and make you think or make you want to reach out and share with a friend every morning with us. It's Elvis Doran in the morning show listen to us on cue, one or two or anywhere in the world on the iron radio app.
In eighteen. Eighty dreams Hutchings return once again to Yosemite there.
strangers of the Yosemite and Mariposa Grove Land Grant had been removed from their position by the states. Eighteen, seventy eight
eighteen, seventy nine constitutional convention, as have the guardian
Yosemite and James Hutchings was appointed to fill that empty guardian position. But his time in the
didn't go very well, you didn't get along with people need can be really tactless, so he was let go after four years.
yeah. He was very direct. He did not hold anything back, not
easiest person to get along with, even though he felt he was very clear, headed and just telling things like they were
but early on and James Hutchings Time, as administrator as guardian of Yosemite, his daughter flow died. There
and the young woman was leaving a group of hikers in the air.
But what happened because cause her death has been accounted in pretty well.
We different ways in John where's writing about the incident because she was friends with whom she had climbed a rock to pick funds for the group that she was
then, when she slipped and fell into an adjacent stream
not a chill and became ill and died soon after, but other account say that she was struck by a bolder on the ledge trail, but in either,
She died very young. She was only seventeen when she passed
was buried in the Yosemite Cemetery, where people still go and visit her grave, Saint James Hatchings
nineteen or two he was
Yosemite. At the time on vacation with his third wife Emily when they were involved in a wagon accident, unlike Flow James, was buried in Yosemite Cemetery in it
The ties skin of a copy of in the heart of this year is that I was looking. Am I stumbled across this
I obituary clipping that some owner of the book appears to have pasted onto another early pages
and since its equipping it doesn't include the original sourcing, but it's interesting in that it characterizes.
Things is really a sort of father to Yosemite tourism. It reads this
were of Yosemite dead James Hutchings, who found the famous valley killed there by accident San Francisco November second year. Nineteen, it
was handwritten jam Hutchings who discovered
the Yosemite Valley and opened it for tourists was killed on Friday night by his team,
over the grade on his way into the famous valley, Mr Hut,
was nearly ninety years old and until recently, spent
winter in the Yosemite he had kept the seas.
The calaveras big trees hotel. So
This is interesting one in that it it doesn't get all factors
He didn't discover Yosemite, but why
Hutchings. Today, doesn't really get recognition
as Yosemites ambassador on the level that John, where does during his lifetime, he was clearly seen that way by at least some people certainly enough to make his obituary.
In, like he was the guy everyone associated with that area.
They give, including a lovely find that came up in research below that pasted. Obituary is
written. I remember meeting and talking with Mr Hatching from the Yosemite Valley at the time of my visit in eighteen. Ninety we had just arrived. My conversation with him was in the big tree room, pictured, opposite page three, forty nine. How he couldn't
make out the signature, but it is dated November fifth, nineteen o too, so it seems like it's probably
and he cut out and pace of that clipping into the black.
was just one of those wonderful things that you kind of stumble across in research in it gives an interesting piece of color to who James Hutchings was an expert Hutchings. First wife Elvis
her paintings of Yosemite actually gained her a certain degree of fame and praise, and she continued to paint images of the parks, incredible landscapes, even after she and James split. Although unfortunately, most of her work was lost in a fire in nineteen o six. She
eventually move to Vermont, to be with her daughter Gertrude and she died there in nineteen. Seventeen
the Yosemite Land Grant to set aside the land and protect it from development was really. The fur
of its kind in the United States, Yosemite was not the first national park. Remember we got into this topic because it
like literally everyone was asking, is saying about the founding of the national parks
honor actually goes to Yellowstone, which has made a national park in eighteen. Seventy two,
Yosemite wasn't made national park until eighteen? Ninety the act creating the National Park Service was signed by President Woodrow Wilson on August, twenty fifth of nineteen, sixteen so much later than their actual parks established
and in the United States you're. Seventy was not the first national park. Remember we got into this topic because it seems, like literally, everyone was asking a sack about the founding of the now.
As is the little village, that kind of grew up in the area, the alert,
development actually move to another site, the base of the tree,
the big tree room remains there and you can drive right by it. There are also some
whereas on the ground, where the corners of the big tree ream used to be an
The nurse now have their choice of lodging in the park. So not, though, that one kind of junkie hotel that needed lots of help
now there are some really amazing places to say there. The park has eight hotels and for campgrounds so far
cry from that two story: windowless sheets, instead of walls, hotel that the Hutchings by nineteen sixty four
So that is are our little response to it.
And he was no requests for a national park service episodes happy hundred birthday National Park Service in work.
glad you're here very cool there. Actually lots of national parks. That
that are related to various park asked that we talk about, but we ve done in the past, like we, we don't,
and then because there are a lot
and if we try to mention every single site that it goes along with something it will be. This never is never an English to places to visit that the National Park Service website has information on so many places you can visit, yeah
and four listener Manila have italian postcard. Let us from Fort Marian National Monument at Saint Augustine. Florida limits, the United States Department of the Interior National Park Service is the cute cute thing and it is from our listener Alice she's as high only in Tracy
big Fan of the show. I've been listening for just a few months, but I love learning more every day because of you. I'm Chaperonage group of teenage girl scouts on a travel camp to Saint Augustine, O Alice bless. You cause that.
ex patients. I would not have city, isn't deepden history and the celebrated its four hundred fiftieth anniversary last year when we visited the cats,
the same Marcos. I saw this postcard and I thought of you definitely worth a visit next time, you're in the sunshine state, thanks for the pod care
Thank you. So much Alice you accidentally time, such an absolutely perfect coastguard. For when I was preparing this episodes, I appreciate it and again I I always say it, but I want to say it. I am so grateful every time someone stops in the middle of their vacation and mail
something that's amazing in kind Sophia. Suddenly, if you would like to reach us, you can do so at history pie cast at house works, dot com were also at Facebook. Our com slash missed in history on twitter. Amidst in history instagram, I missed in history on tumblr,
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