Events Calendar


Yosemite: A Storied Landscape
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 6:00pm
We are CA: Glen Denny & Yosemite in the Sixties

Doors open 5:45 PM, Program begins 6:15pm
Free for CHS members, $5 General Admission

Glen Denny scaled the big walls of Yosemite Valley with many of the climbing icons of the 1960s, including Warren Harding, Royal Robbins, Tom Frost, Yvon Chouinard, Chuck Pratt, and Layton Kor. This small group of committed climbers made their home at Camp 4 after dropping out of mainstream society. They perfected their climbing skills and developed a unique social scene that made the sixties a golden age in the Yosemite Valley, an era of first ascents and all-night parties in Camp Four. Camera in hand, Glen captured both the gritty reality and the sunny optimism of those years on film. During this event, Glen Denny shares his insider's view of the classic ascents and colorful characters of this important era through images, stories, and anecdotes.

Thursday, July 24, 2014, 6:00pm
Ten Lions Talks: Kimi Kodani Hill on the Life and Art of Chiura Obata

Doors open 5:45 PM, Program begins 6:15pm
Free for CHS & Heyday members, $5 General Admission

Details coming soon.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 6:00pm
We are CA - Latino Outdoors Panel Discussion: Stories of Yosemite

Doors open at 5:30 PM, Program begins at 6:15 PM
Free for CHS Members, $5 General Admission

Join us for an event where amazing stories about Yosemite come to life! Various storytellers from Latino Outdoors will tell stories about their experiences in Yosemite and other National Parks. Learn about this organization and its mission to connect Latinos/as to the outdoors and to National Parks like Yosemite. Jose Gonzalez, founder of Latino Outdoors will moderate the discussion.

Speaker details to be announced soon.

There will be a pre-event reception from 5:30pm - 6:15pm and a post-event reception from 7:30pm - 8:00pm.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
MOTH Public StorySlam – Camping!

The Presidio

A MOTH public story slam all about camping! Join us in the beautiful Presidio for an evening Storyslam presented in collaboration with The Presidio Trust and California Historical Society.

More details coming soon.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 6:00pm
History Speaks - Ken Yager and the History of Climbing

Doors open at 5:45pm, Program begins at 6:15pm
Free for CHS members, $5 General Admission

Ken Yager, President of the Yosemite Climbing Association, will share the history of rock climbing in Yosemite. Discover what climbing was like beginning in the 1930s, view a presentation of items collected by the Yosemite Climbing Association, and hear about their efforts to create a museum dedicated to the unique history of Yosemite climbing.

Coffee, tea, and cookies will be served from 5:45pm - 6:00pm

Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Night with the Archivists: More Yosemite from the CHS collections

Free with RSVP:, $5 General admission at the door

Come see terrific late 19th century to early 20th century photographs of Yosemite from the CHS collections that are not on exhibit in Yosemite: A Storied Landscape. On view will be gorgeous images by Eadweard Muybridge, Carleton Watkins and George Fiske, personal trip albums, and some wonderful amateur photographs.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 6:00pm
All Roads Lead to Yosemite! (Well, not ALL roads, but quite a few!)

Doors open at 5:45pm, Program begins at 6:15pm
Free for CHS members, $5 General Admission

Join us for a panel discussion focused on the history of the roads into and within Yosemite. Panelists and more discussion details coming soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2014, 6:00pm
Ten Lions Talk –Gary Noy, author of Sierra Stories

Doors open at 5:45 PM, Program begins at 6:15pm
Free for CHS & Heyday members, $5 General Admission

The Sierra Nevada, with its 14,000-foot granite mountains, crystalline lakes, conifer forests, and hidden valleys, has long been the domain of dreams, attracting the heroic and the delusional, the best of humanity and the worst. Stories abound, and characters emerge so outlandish and outrageous that they have to be real. Could the human imagination have invented someone like Eliza Gilbert? Born in Limerick, Ireland, in 1818, she transformed herself into Lola Montez, born in Seville, Spain, in 1823, and brought to the Gold Country the provocative "Spider Dance"—impersonating a young woman repelling a legion of angry spiders under her petticoats. Or Otto Esche, who in 1860 imported fifteen two-humped Bactrian camels from Asia to transport goods to the mines. Or the artist Albert Bierstadt, whose paintings Mark Twain characterized as having "more the atmosphere of Kingdom-Come than of California." Or multimillionaire George Whittell Jr., who was frequently spotted driving around Lake Tahoe in a luxurious convertible with his pet lion in the front seat. These, and scores more, spill out of the pages of this well-illustrated and lively tribute to the Sierra by a native son.

About the author:
A Sierra Nevada native and current resident, Gary Noy taught history at Sierra College from 1987 to the present. A graduate of UC Berkeley and CSU Sacramento, he is the founder and director of the Sierra College Center for Sierra Nevada Studies and coordinator of the college's Sierra Nevada Virtual Museum. He is the author of Distant Horizon: Documents from the 19th Century American West. Visit his website at

Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 6:00pm
Vertical Frontier Screening and Panel Discussion

Free for CHS members, $5 General Admission
Doors open at 5:45pm, Screening begins 6:15pm

Join us for a special screening of Vertical Frontier followed by a panel discussion with filmmaker Kristi Denton Cohen and Dick Duane, lead attorney on the case to list Camp 4 on the National Register of Historic Places.

About the film: From John Muir in the 1860s to the super athletes of today, Vertical Frontier is the character-driven story of the art, sport and philosophy of climbing the legendary big walls of Yosemite.

Illustrated by spectacular old and new footage shot on those granite walls, the story is told by the climbers. Their ranks include David Brower, Royal Robbins, Yvon Chouinard, Jim Bridwell, Lynn Hill, Hans Florine, Dean Potter and many more. They climb with artistry and sheer determination. They hold a strong attachment to the climbing traditions established in the Valley and a deep respect for the climbers that created them and went on to influence climbing and mountaineering worldwide. Nowhere is the expression of this way of life more pronounced than at Camp 4. Looking east, toward Half Dome, the morning sun reaches Camp 4 before any other campground in the Valley. For the climbers, this dusty, boulder-strewn campground is their mecca, their gathering place...and often their home. In 1997, the "flood of the century" wiped out housing and lodging around Yosemite Valley. When Camp 4, the heart of early rebel rock climbing culture, faces development by the National Park Service, a dream team of veteran climbers joins forces to save it. The story concludes as the climbers celebrate Camp 4 being named eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. (Editor's Note: Camp 4 was officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places in February 2003.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2014, 12:30pm
Reel California - Fate of Heaven Screening

Doors open at 12:30pm, Screening begins at 1:00pm
Free for CHS Members, $5 General Admission

The Sundance Institute's and Yosemite Conservancy's 1989 documentary classic "Yosemite: The Fate of Heaven" is narrated by Robert Redford. This moving film evokes the spectacular, primeval Yosemite of 100 years ago and looks at the contrast of Yosemite today, a park that must accommodate over three million visitors a year. "The most beautiful valley in the world" is seen through the eyes of those who struggle day after day to preserve it - the rangers, trail builders, firefighters and naturalists - and from the perspectives of the backpackers, rock climbers, tourists and backcountry skiers who came to revel in its sheer ageless beauty. The result is a remarkable vision of Yosemite's past, present and future.

Originally released in 1989. Running time: 58 minutes

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Yerba Buena Art Walk


Experience the art and culture center of San Francisco's downtown in the Yerba Buena neighborhood. Start off the day with a pre-event champagne reception at the California Historical Society and visit Yosemite: A Storied Landscape. Join us for screenings of Ken Burns' A Gathering of Spirit throughout the day. Then check out other neighborhood participating galleries and institutions. Finally, end up at the Art Walk After Party for a prize drawing where you can mix and mingle with the art crowd. Experience Yerba Buena!

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:00pm
Reel California - Range of Light Short Film Festival

Doors open at 5:45pm, Program begins at 6:15pm
Free for CHS Members, $5 General Admission

View short films recently screened at Yosemite's first film festival, followed by a discussion with Steve Brumgardener, creator of the Range of Light Short Film Festival, and contributing filmmakers.

Screening: 50min
Discussion: 30mins

Thursday, November 6, 2014, 6:00pm
History Speaks - Yosemite's Big Trees, Past and Future with Jared Farmer

Doors open at 5:45pm, Program begins at 6:15pm
Free for CHS members, $5 General Admission

From inception in 1863, Yosemite National Park has included the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia in addition to Yosemite Valley. The Big Trees are fundamental to the past and future of the park. Join prize-winning historian Jared Farmer as he gives an illustrated lecture on California's most visited sequoia grove—home of two of the world's most famous plants, the Grizzly Giant and the Wawona Tunnel Tree—and provides an overview of contemporary management challenges relating to tourism, fire, and climate change.

Thursday, November 13, 2014, 6:00pm
History Speaks - John Muir's Continuing Inspiration

Doors open at 5:45pm, Program begins at 6:15pm
Free for CHS & Sierra Club members, $5 General Admission

Doug McConnell, of Bay Area Backroads, and Sierra Club historian Harold Wood will discuss the life and legacy of John Muir. More details coming soon.

Saturday, November 15, 2014, 12:30pm
Reel California - Youth in Yosemite Film Festival

Doors open at 12:30pm, Screening begins at 1:00pm
Free for CHS members, $5 General Admission

Join us for a screening of films from the Youth in Yosemite Short Film Contest. Listen to the filmmakers discuss their process and work in the midst of our exhibition, Yosemite: A Storied Landscape.

Thursday, December 4, 2014, 6:00pm
History Speaks- Norman Clyde: Legendary Mountaineer of California's Sierra Nevada

Doors open at 5:45pm, Program begins at 6:15pm
Free for CHS members, $5 General Admission

Historian and author Robert Pavlik discusses his new book, Norman Clyde: Legendary Mountaineer of California's Sierra Nevada. This riveting account of one of the most notable personalities of the mountain climbing world reconstructs the life of legendary mountaineer Norman Clyde (1885-1972). He made his mark on history with more than one hundred and thirty first ascents throughout western North America, and many believe he knew the High Sierra better than anyone else, including John Muir. Part of his mystique comes from participating in high-profile mountain rescues and recoveries, in which he is credited with saving a number of lives. Those who had the good fortune to meet him–often with a ninety-pound pack on his back that included an anvil for boot repair, fishing rods, cooking pots, and books in Greek and Latin–never forgot the experience. Biographer Robert C. Pavlik uses Clyde's own words, along with recollections from his family, friends, fellow climbers, and acquaintances, to capture the experiences of a remarkable man and a bygone time "between the pioneers and the rock climbers."

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