Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Chapel

Latitude, Longitude: 37.740944, -119.591668

In the spring of 1878, the California State Commissioners of the Yosemite Grant received an application for permission to erect a chapel in the Yosemite Valley. The application was granted and church was erected the following year near where the present Four Mile trailhead is located today. The chapel, which is the oldest structure in Yosemite Valley, was designed by Charles Geddes, an accomplished church architect from San Francisco. Mr. E. Thomson, also of San Francisco, erected the building at a cost of between three and four thousand dollars. Originally the chapel, designed in a New England style that seated 250 people. It consisted of only one room, 26-by-50 feet long, with inside stud walls and rafters left exposed. Eventually an addition was added to the back of the church. By 1901, the surrounding Lower Village had nearly disappeared, so the chapel was relocated to its present location in the Old Village. In 1965 some interior restoration was completed, and the foundation was raised 3 feet to help protect the structure from periodic flooding. In spite of these efforts, the chapel sustained damage during the 1997 flood and required further restoration.