Originally published 3/27/2023

By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (March 27, 2024) – In this special “REWIND” edition of Fun with Maps we look back one year ago FwM published March 27, 2023 for a historic view of an iconic U.S. National Park.


March 27, 1851 is the first recorded visit of Europeans to Yosemite Valley.  Unfortunately they did not come as tourists, or the usual wagon train headed west.

Mariposa Battalion, a volunteer militia group, is credited with the “Discovery” of Yosemite Valley.  Under the leadership of John Savage, the group was trailing Indians who had raided and destroyed trading posts of the California gold miners.

While it was just a retreat home for the Native Americans, it was the first glimpse of the majestic peaks, waterfalls, and natural beauty of the area for non-natives.

The Native Americans, eventually defeated, were relocated to reservations in the San Joaquin Valley.

Tourists began arriving in 1853, and in 1864 President Lincoln signed a bill setting the land aside in a public trust.  Yosemite became the second U.S. National Park, following Yellowstone, in 1890.

This humorous pictorial map of California by Ruth white prominently displays Yosemite National Park.  The map was issued in 1938.

California pictorial map – 1938 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.