How the Chinese Built Yosemite (And Nobody Knows About It)

Author(s): Barbara Bane

Year: 2016


Many of the nineteenth century roads that enabled Yosemite National Park to become a national treasure – Wawona Road, Glacier Point Road, Great Sierra Wagon Road, and the Washburn Road to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias ‒ were built by Chinese workers. Chinese cooks, servants, hotel employees, and farm/ranch hands contributed to the park’s tourist services into the early 20th century. Today, few traces of this Chinese presence remain: stone walls, roadbeds, bridges, and a handful of archeological artifacts. How can we discover more about the Chinese presence in Yosemite? And how can we involve the public in that search?

This paper presents an overview of Chinese contributions to the early infrastructure and culture of the park and National Park Service Archeology and Interpretation outreach in partnership with the Chinese Historical Society of Los Angeles, Chinese scholars, and youth volunteers to investigate and commemorate the Chinese presence in Yosemite.

Cite this Record

How the Chinese Built Yosemite (And Nobody Knows About It). Barbara Bane. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434583)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 60