As a special Centennial project in 2004, the Sierra Club hosted a temporary Wildflower Exhibit
to digitally re-create the original 1907 wildflower show held at the
LeConte Memorial Lodge.
The 1907 Wildflower Show
LeConte Memorial Lodge
On the afternoon and evening of July 18, 1907, at the suggestion of Mr. Charles
S. Greene, poet and former editor of the Overland Monthly, and
influential Librarian of the Oakland Public Library, a flower exhibit of the
wildflowers of Yosemite Valley and the vicinity was conducted at LeConte Memorial
Lodge. Wildflowers from throughout Yosemite Valley and from trails above the
Valley were brought to the Lodge for classification and exhibition. Ora Boring,
from Stockton High School, and her assistants carefully grouped and classified
the wildflowers, ferns, trees, and shrubs. One hundred and eight varieties,including
flowers and ferns, trees and shrubs, were shown. Download
the list (PDF format).
An evening reception was held during which Charles Greene spoke about Joseph
LeConte, Yosemite Valley, and the Sierra Club. Charles
Keeler, poet and friend of Joseph LeConte and John Muir, read his poem "To
Joseph LeConte," and concluded with a short talk fitting the occasion of
the Wildflower Show.
photographing the wildflowers
In 2003, approximately 100 wildflowers, ferns, shrubs, and trees were selected
from the original 1907 list .. Professional photographer Stephen
Joseph began photographing from this list in May 2003, and continued
through the 2004 season. In the 2003 season he photographed about 60 plants
and trees, and approximately another 40 over the
the wildflower survey
Curator Bonnie Gisel surveyed the original
list of Yosemite Flowers compiled by Ora Boring. It is our hope to provide
for our visitors information about the similarities and differences in the botanical
landscape of Yosemite Valley and Yosemite National Park as it occurred in 1907
and 2004. How has the Valley changed? Field botanists and plant ecologists including
specialists from the Jepson
Herbarium at UC Berkeley have been enlisted to help with this project.
exhibition of stephen joseph's botanical photographs
Leconte Memorial Lodge
Since we are not able to collect the flowers from their natural environment in
Yosemite National Park, LeConte Memorial Lodge created a photographic herbarium
of flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees. During the 2004 Centennial year,
Stephen Joseph's photographs were on exhibit at LeConte Memorial Lodge as
well as available for viewing
online. A notebook was available at the Lodge for visitors to review,
as well as the original
list of YOSEMITE FLOWERS from the 1907 exhibition [PDF]. A complete index
of the wildflowers, ferns, shrubs, and trees as identified in 2003-04 both with
common and Latin names were also available. Comparing the 2004 and the 1907 list help us better understand changes over the past near-century.
The invitation to bring to life the Wildflower Show of 1907 is an opportunity to better understand the wildflowers that thrive and/or are endangered in the Valley today.
LeConte Memorial Lodge gratefully acknowledges the photographic genius of Stephen Joseph who has contributed the series of digital images for this project. More images of the Yosemite Wild Flower Project are available on his website.
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