Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
No not today’s Jacksonville, Florida . . . but the old historic town of Jacksonville in the Sierra foothills. Never heard of it? Well, you’ll need scuba gear to see it now – it’s under the Don Pedro Reservoir. It was started as a trading post in 1849 supplying miners with goods at the height of the gold rush. It was on the Tuolumne River – named after Colonel Alden Jackson. Miners in this area used all kinds of novel ideas to get the gold out. In fact, they tried diverting the river and tributary streams to get right down to the river bed. Later, during the building of the Hetch Hetchy Dam, Jacksonville was a stopover for workers traveling between Stockton and the dam site. The town continued on a sleepy path until the 1960’s when Central Valley irrigation needs led to the expansion of he Don Pedro Reservoir. Water was allowed to slowly cover the remnants of the mining settlement.
The current Don Pedro is the 4th largest man-made lake in California. You’ll pass near the old Jacksonville site as you drive to Yosemite via Hwy 120 just west of the Priest grade area (discussed a couple days ago).
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Pure science is a most unmarketable commodity in California. Conspicuous, energetic, unmixed materialism rules supreme in all classes.”- John Muir, Feb, 1869
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com