From 1886 to 1907 most travelers to Yosemite used the railroad, stagecoach, wagons and horseback to arrive in Raymond, the terminus of the Southern Pacific railway and then continued by stage or horseback to Wawona. In Raymond’s heydey, the local granite quarry provided Sierra White, the densest white granite in the United States, to growing San Francisco and Los Angeles, anchored a prospering ranching culture and provided goods and services for the ever increasing gold mines. From grubstacker to homesteader, from Calvary Colonel to a US President, all passed on the roads leading to Raymond.
Gateway to Yosemite
Just one hour to the South Gate of Yosemite, a visit to our Museum will provide information about touring the many historical and recreational sites in the area. Start with a picnic, bring your own food or purchase items from our hundred year old General Store, sit on our porch or under the shade trees and study our many resources: maps, books, yearbooks, original family accounts of settling in the area, and our vast collection of old, local photographs. Be sure to chat with our knowleadegeable docents and soak up a bit of the Old West culture.
Tour the Museum
Whlie visiting, tour the first house built in Raymond in 1886 by Charles Miller, the first stage agent and Southern Pacific station master, featuring original furnishings and historical artifacts of the area, climb to the top of the restored red caboose into the cupola, and walk on the rail bed traveled by President Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir. Be sure to go through the original carriage house featuring antique wagons, buggies, Calvary tack, bridles, saddles, local branding irons and many more ranch items. View the massive granite saw, the oldest of its type this side of the Mississippi, and check out the extensive photographic record of the Raymond/Knowles quarries. We are also proud to display several wonderful local Native American items to honor the first inhabitants of our fascinating area.
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