The Hodgdon Cabin
August 16, 2013
Wawona is home to the Pioneer Yosemite History Center, a collection of historic buildings that have been relocated from all over the park. Each building tells a different story about Yosemite's history. A visit to the Pioneer Yosemite History Center provides the opportunity to look into the lives, homes, and workplaces of the people who shaped and were shaped by Yosemite in centuries past.
Perhaps the most striking of all the buildings in the PYHC is the two-story log cabin with an inviting, shady porch out front. This is the Hodgdon Homestead Cabin, the home of a family that lived and worked in the park for generations. Built in 1879, this beautiful cabin belonged to Tom and Lizzie Hodgdon, who herded cattle and worked in the stage coach industry. The Hodgdon cabin was originally located in Aspen Valley, a peaceful and idyllic meadow several miles northeast of Hodgdon Meadow. For over a decade the Hodgdons used their property in Aspen Valley as summer grazing land for their cattle, which they drove up each year from their winter home in the foothills. The family's way of earning a living changed dramatically, however, when Aspen Valley and the area around it became part of the brand new Yosemite National Park in 1890. Although the Hodgdons were allowed to keep their property, they were no longer allowed to graze their cattle there or drive their herd through the park.
As you enjoy the multitude of amenities found in Yosemite, imagine what it would have been like to carve out a living here before there were cars, electricity, restaurants, or grocery stores. And as you take in the expansive and pristine condition of many parts of the park, think about the sacrifices that were required of homesteaders like the Hodgdons, who paid the price for the preservation of this breathtaking landscape.
Pictured: Original site of the Hodgdon Cabin in Aspen Valley
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Did You Know?
In 1984, 83 miles of the Tuolumne River were added to the Wild and Scenic Rivers System by Congress with an amendment to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. This included 54 miles of the river within Yosemite National Park.