Yosemite National Park to dedicate recently restored cemetery

Yosemite National Park officials say they have restored the Yosemite Cemetery through a grant from the Yosemite Conservancy.

To commemorate the restoration, Yosemite National Park and California State Parks will conduct a dedication ceremony. The ceremony will also celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Galen Clark, the first “guardian” of Yosemite Valley and the first California State Park ranger, according to a news release from the National Park Service.

The event will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. March 3 in the Yosemite Cemetery and include remarks by National Park Service, California State Parks and Yosemite Conservancy representatives. The cemetery is in Yosemite Valley, near the visitor center.

Special guests include Lita Karlstrand and Jim Karlstrand, great-great-granddaughter and great-great-grandson-in-law of Clark.

The Yosemite Cemetery is a tangible link to Yosemite’s American Indians and iconic Yosemite stewards such as Clark and James Mason Hutchings. Work on the cemetery was completed by the park’s Historic Preservation Team. It included restoring historic headstones and wooden monuments, repairing wrought-iron fencing and improving walkways through the cemetery, the release said.

The park would like to hear from any descendants of people who are buried at the cemetery. They are: Clark, Sally Ann Castagnetto, May Tom, May Dick, Susie Sam, Lucy Brown, Bill Brown, Lancisco Wilson, Johnny Brown, Pete Hillard, Louisa Tom, Henry Eddy, Frank Bockerman, William Atkinson, James, Augusta and Florence Hutchings, Effie Maud Crippen, Laura Milner Cannon, Thomas Glynn, Agnes Armour Leidig, Albert May, James Lamon, George Fiske, Caroline Paull Fiske, Hazel Caroline Mayer, Gabriel and Rose Souvulewski, Leonius Whorton, John Hamilton, George Anderson, David Woods, G.B. Cavagnaro, John C. Anderson, “infant Coyle,” Albert Glasscock, James and Mary Morgan, Sadie Schaeffer, Forest Townsley, John Bennett (a boy), Etienne Manet (a Frenchman), Henry Woolcott (or Woolcock), George Boston, M.C. McKenzie and A.W. Madden. If you are a descendent of any of these people, please call historical landscape architect Kevin McCardle at (209) 379-1418 or email him at

This event is part of the California State Parks training conference, “The Heritage of Parks in California,” taking place in Yosemite in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant and the California State Parks. The Yosemite Grant Act was signed by Abraham Lincoln and set aside Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove.

The cemetery restoration project was funded by the Yosemite Conservancy, with support from Tauck Tours, Heller Foundation of San Diego, Sumar Foundation and many individual donors.