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Yosemite exhibit will feature early park visitor photos

June 14, 2010 |  1:19 pm

Historic photograph of Yosemite visitors in the 1880s I find myself enthralled by photographs from bygone days, drawn to vintage images of people and their trappings who have traveled to places before me.

So I hope to make it to Yosemite National Park to check out a new exhibit opening Wednesday.

Entitled "View & Visitors: The Yosemite Experience in the 19th Century," the exhibit features early park visitor photographs, souvenirs, paintings, prints, artifacts and ephemera and will be on display in the Yosemite Museum.

Made possible through a grant from the Yosemite Conservancy as well as funding from the National Park Service, a highlight of this unique exhibit is a historic hotel register, called the "Grand Register of Yo-Semite Valley," that was used at the Cosmopolitan Bathhouse and Saloon, located in Yosemite Valley from 1873 to 1884. 

The register contains more than 800 pages of entries, weighs more than 100 pounds and contains more than 18,000 signatures, including those of four U.S. presidents: Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes, and James Garfield.

A reception will be held Tuesday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Yosemite Valley Museum. There is no cost to attend and food and drinks will be served.

The Yosemite Museum is located in Yosemite Valley next to the Visitor Center. The exhibit will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 31.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Historic photograph of Yosemite visitors in the 1880s taken by Gustav Fagersteen. Credit: National Park Service

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