The Grandeur of Yosemite

Today in History, March 27: 1851 – “The grandeur of the scene was but softened by the haze that hung over the valley — light as gossamer — and by the clouds which partially dimmed the higher cliffs and mountains. This obscurity of vision but increased the awe with which I beheld it, and as I looked, a peculiar exalted sensation seemed to fill my whole being, and I found my eyes in tears with emotion.” – Dr. Lafayette Bunnell of the Mariposa Battalion upon first seeing Ahwahnee Valley for the first time from Old Inspiration Point. The Battalion was chasing Native Americans who’d had conflicts with gold miners. As they camped that night, they agreed with Dr. Bunnell’s suggestion to call the magnificent place “Yosemity”, which they thought was the Native American name for it (mistakenly). The Ahwahnechee they were pursuing had lived in the valley for as long as 7,000 years.

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