October 13, 2017

Grant Grove Village - Page 4

(Continued from previous page.)
Pages:  1 Intro & Index  2  3  4  5  6  7
Photos taken November 2008 unless noted.

Meadow Camp. The area where the Rustic Cabins are located is called Meadow Camp. (See previous page for descriptions and photos of the Rustic Cabins.) This building (shown above) is the old restroom building at Meadow Camp, the exact year of construction is not known. It is shown on a survey map from 1930, so we can assume it was built prior to then. Originally this building was the Meadow Camp Office and Registration desk. In 1936 it was remodeled into a bathhouse. A former porch was enclosed to create a shower room and the area with the windows became a small housekeeping office and storage area. New shower facilities were added to Meadow camp in 2009. Unfortunately this historic building was torn down.

This is the new Meadow Camp bath house built in 2009, photo taken in 2009. It more or less blends in with the surrounding historic buildings, it has vertical siding (matches the cabins but not the old bathhouse), a gable roof, and a double course of shingles on the roof every 5th row like the cabins have. The timber bracing with iron straps on the porch matches that on the nearby John Muir Lodge and looks rustic-- even if there is nothing like it on any of the historic buildings. What's missing? The long side of the building really needs some architectural detail to break it up. Almost every historic building in the Village has outlookers, it would have been nice if they incorporated a side gable with outlookers into this building.
 This is an outlooker with a diagonal brace.


Wormwood Seasonal Employee Cabins.

Wormwood.  There are a number of historic buildings in the Grant Grove Village area in addition to the lodging cabins. In this photo you can see a few of the summer-employee cabins found in an area known as Wormwood. They are located on the hill behind the Camp Cabins and are definitely of historic vintage. Wormwood has been a concession employee housing area since at least 1924, but the early structures were all tent cabins. The exact date of construction of these cabins in the photo is unknown, but they are believed to have been built, or at least extensively rebuilt, in the 1970's. Based on the foundations, I would assume these were probably tent cabins that were enclosed. The windows also appear to have been salvaged from older tent cabins. Notice the board and batten is set diagonally under the gables. They also still have flue pipes, meaning they still have the wood heating stoves that all the cabins had at one time. If you are thinking they look like they are in bad shape, you are right! In addition to these cabins there are also several duplex employee cabins in the Wormwood area as well as an employee bathhouse, all of which were built during the 1960's.

 Historic employee cabins behind the John Muir Lodge.



 Historic warehouse building adjacent to the John Muir Lodge.



Gas Station in 2009 above.
Gas Station in October 2017 showing modifications.

The Standard Oil Gas Station.  This is the historic gas station building in Grant Grove Village, built by Standard Oil Company in 1936. The porte-cochere covering the former fuel pumps was added in 1940. The office area is in the center, most of the windows are now boarded up, but you can see the very top of the windows still visible if you look closely. On each side of the office there was originally a service bay for auto repairs, the bay door for the service bay on the far side was walled in to create a room for product storage. The building was used for ski rentals after the Lodge burned down in 1993, more recently ski rentals moved to the Market and the old Gas Station was used for storage.  In 2016 it was used as a temporary food service area (with food trucks serving as the kitchen) while the Restaurant was being replaced.  During that time modifications were made to remove windows and replace the remaining historic garage door.  Sadly the modifications were not in keeping with the historic structure.  Hopefully the gas station can be restored and a new adaptive use found for it. It would make a great coffee/deli/ice cream shop with outdoor patio under the old porte-cochere!  Sadly, the 2016 modifications when coupled with earlier minor modifications may allow for the building to now be labeled as "having major modifications which alter the historic fabric" which will allow for it to be torn down.

Historic restroom building adjacent to the gas station.  Photo date 2017.


March 2008 

March 2009
The Gamlin Cabin is down the road a short distance from Grant Grove Village, it is the only structure actually located among the Giant Sequoias in Grant Grove (not in the Village with is several blocks away from the actual grove of Big Trees.)  The Gamlin Cabin was built in 1872 by Israel Gamlin. He and his brother Thomas filed a timber claim for 160 acres and built this one room cabin in Grant Grove. They grazed cattle instead of logging, sticking around for 6 years. The cabin is built of squared logs. The areas under the gables are filled with planks, the ax marks are still visible showing they were shaped with an ax. The roof is "shingled" using 3 courses of huge split-face planks, notice how thick and long they are. The shingles are supported by round beams which extent through the end walls (you can see the ends of them just below the roof in the photo above.) There are 2 side-by-side doors (I have no idea why there are double doors, the second door may have been added later when the building was used for storage?) and a rock fireplace and chimney are directly opposite the doors on the far side. There are small windows in both of the side walls, the floor is dirt.  That's my wife Julie and granddaughter in the photo.

Inside the Fallen, hollowed out Sequoia at Grant Grove, March 2009.

When the park was created in 1890 the army was assigned to protect the area, and they used the then 18 year old Gamlin Cabin as a storehouse. A near-by hollowed-out fallen Sequoia tree trunk served as a stable for the horses (see photo above.) The cabin was moved to the Grant Grove Village area in 1892, it was placed about where the current Visitor Center is. In 1914 when the park service took over supervision of the park from the army the first park ranger lived in the cabin. When a new ranger residence was built in 1921 the cabin probably became storage space or a visitor center. In 1932 the Gamlin Cabin was moved back to the Grant Tree Grove, where it is still located. It's difficult to say how much of the cabin is original when it has been moved twice. The rock fireplace likely had to be rebuilt to some extent each time it was moved. Currently the cabin floor is dirt, I'm guessing it was wood at one time.

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