DATED HISTORY OF WAWONA
Contributed by Stanley Valim
1857 - Galen Clark first built west
of (present day) golf course's 7th green
1857 - Clark and Milton Mann discovered
and named Mariposa Grove.
1859 - Exact date unknown, but before
June, Clark moved to the present hotel area.
1870 - Clark took on partner, Edward
1875 - Clark and Moore sold out to
Washburn, Coffman, & Chapman.
1876 - New building, the "Long
White"--today known as Clark Cottage.
1877 - Johnny B. Bruce & J. J. Cook
enter partnership with Washburn; Coffman & Chapman
1878 - Fire destroyed remains of Clark
Station except for "Long White" which survived
1879 - The main building opened.
1882 - Johnny Bruce dies, leaving
ownership of the Wawona to Washburn & Cook.
1883 - Thomas Hill moves to Wawona.
1884 - "Little White" cottage
1885 - In April, John Washburn married
Estella Hill, daughter of Thomas Hill.
1886 - John and Estella's only child,
Clarence, was born in Oakland. First train arrives at new station
in Raymond; 50 or 60 passengers board stages bound for Wawona via the
Chowchilla Mt. Road.
1891 - Wawona Hotel Company
incorporates. 1894 - "Little Brown", known
today as Moore Cottage, was added to the Wawona Hotel
1898 - Twelve rooms were added to the
attic of Clark Cottage.
1899 - A one-story porched building was
added called "Long Brown." Today it is known as
1903 - President Theodore Roosevelt
1905 - Second floor was added to
1910 - End of railroad operations to Raymond.
1913 - Clarence Washburn's second
marriage to Grace Brinkop.
1914 - June 17 a baby girl, named Wawona
Washburn, born to Clarence and Grace.
1917 - On June 14, John Washburn died.
1918 - New Annex was opened, and was the
first building to have rooms with bathrooms.
1918 - The fountain that adorns the
front of the hotel today built to replace the earlier
1918 - Golf course and swimming pool
1918 - The main hotel added a new dining
room and a third floor along with six more guest rooms on
the second floor.
1920 - A women's dorm built back of the
1925 - Two Army pilots landed first
airplane at Wawona.
1926 - The women employee quarters,
located in back of the main hotel, were converted to make
the 38 room Sequoia Hotel which opened on May 27th.
1927 - The Merced and Wawona Airline
1937 - New school built in North Wawona.
1947 - Bathrooms were added to Clark
Cottage. The attic bedrooms were closed off and the 16
small downstairs rooms were changed into 8 larger rooms,
each with a private bathroom.
1948 - "Little White" became
the Manager's Cottage - in 1985 it reverted back to a
guest cottage, and at that time the upstairs main
building became guest rooms.
1952 -Bathrooms added to Washburn
1952 - "Little Brown Cottage"
was changed to Moore Cottage, "Long Brown"
changed to Washburn Cottage, and "Long White"
to Clark Cottage.
1953 - Old coffee shop torn down that
was built in the 1920s.
1954 - Grocery store and coffee shop
opened, later a gas station, too.
1955 - Flood destroyed Stella Lake and
damaged the covered bridge.
1956 - Old buildings moved to Wawona as
part of the Pioneer History Center.
1960s - Coffee shop changed into the
1977 - Arson fire burned the Sequoia
Hotel down on Thanksgiving Day.
1979 - 100th anniversary for the Wawona
Hotel main building celebrated.
Sources: Shirley Sargent's "Yosemite's Historic
Wawona", and plaques within the Wawona Hotel
The Wawona Hotel was named after an Indian word that
is thought to mean "Big Tree." At first, it was
just a trailside camp, operated by Galen Clark. Known as
Clark's Station, it served as an overnight stopping place
for tourists on their way to Yosemite Valley and the
Mariposa Grove of Big Trees.
In 1875, the Wawona road to Yosemite Valley was built,
and Washburn, Coffman, & Chapman bought Clark's
Station. They built most of the buildings of the hotel.
In 1987, the Wawona Hotel was designated a National