From the Recollections of Life and Events in Wawona series

By Kathie Dunn


I actually learned much of the pioneer information because I was part of the first Volunteer in Park (VIP) program where the volunteers all manned the cabins down at the Pioneer History Center.

We were the very first living history utilized in the Park. The graveyard up the hill and across from the stables is quite interesting.

Of course, I also remember when I worked in the Park and dated one of the head cowboys for the Park. We’d come up to Wawona and take the horses out after hours for wonderful trail rides.

Speaking of horses – who can come up with all the uses for the now returning to meadow and the golf course? It hasn’t always been such. It was used for farming to supply the Hotel, served as a pasture for the stable horses (they kept a much larger herd of horses and rotated them in and out of the pasture during the summer – actually herding the horses across the highway and down to the barn and back) and, at one point actually had an airstrip.

I was a ski instructor at Badger Flats (oops Pass!), otherwise known as Bad Ass Flats, for 17 years.

What I’d love to see is a book on the ghosts of the Wawona Hotel …

But, back to our area. Piece of trivia. The Moores used to keep a list of renters who were interested in purchasing properties. My parents put us on it when I was just a baby. We rose to the top of the list when Norm Serra’s house was on the market. While we liked the house (I always thought a bear lived in the under house garage, LOL), my parents couldn’t reach an agreement with the owners with the budget we had. The Moores then said they had property available and it got to the point that we had to either buy #11 or a piece of property. Well, we bought the property and, Norm correct me, but I believe he may have bought the house at that time. I don’t think there has been another owner between then and now. We then waited 8 years to build our own home.

To add some boring detail – we commuted every weekend except for three between November of one year and July of the next from San Diego to Yosemite in order to build our home (leaving after my Dad got off work on Fridays and returning after a full day’s work on Sundays). I guess that’s why we take it a bit hard when “standardization” is raised. This home was a labor of love built by our family – the siding was stained down on our driveway in San Diego and brought up by rental truck and we quite literally camped out in our home while building it. Thankfully, it was a mild winter that year.


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