From the Recollections of Life and Events in Wawona series

By Judy Hiltbrand


We visited Yosemite for the first time in 1965. We stayed with friends in the Wawona area and fell in love with it. We had just moved to San Luis Obispo and our dream was to own a mountain cabin. We came back six months later and rented a cabin from Camp Chilnualna. At that time, we started asking about buying property.

We were referred to Dick Moore at the Redwoods. He told us they had a long waiting list for lots but he let us sign up on his waiting list. We kept checking to find out if we were moving up on the list but no answer. We were going to Idaho in the summer of 1967 and decided to stay in the Redwoods, one night, on our way. We went to find Dick Moore. He said he had two lots for sale, we could choose either one if we could pay that day. $6700.00.

We didn’t have that kind of money. We called our bank and told them our situation. They agreed we could write a bad check which they would honor for the two weeks until we returned. At that time, we had to find a way to repay. Borrowed on insurance etc.

The agreement to purchase the lot also stated that Dick Moore Construction had to build the cabin within two years. We had the cabin started within a few months with most materials provided by Moore Lumber Company (located where the library is today). We needed to use a plan from a book they provided. The agreement also stated that we must rent cabin through the Redwoods. We were in our early 30’s and not very knowledgeable about how business worked. We were so anxious to have a cabin that we just said yes to everything.

We took possession on Thanksgiving 1968. We arrived with 6 small children in the middle of a bad snowstorm. Power was out for the next two days. It was scary for the kids, no lights and using a flash light to find the bathroom etc. There was a lot of banging and funny noises that night. (We later found that a group of deer were sleeping under the edge of our deck to get out of the storm).

We have always been happy we made those foolish mistakes and took a risk. We hope the cabin will be used by our family for many more years.


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