Yosemite Slate Quarry

Yosemite National Park

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A million, two million years ago, glaciers come and go.  Between the glaciers is a lake.  After the last set of glaciers depart a few thousand years ago, Miwok settle.  Yos s e’meti (Central Miwok) originally referred to the Indian tribe that lived in Yosemite Valley.  Yosemite means literally “those who kill”.Daniel E. Anderson 

Naturally, an Army composed of European settlers kick out the Native American rabble and take the Valley for their own.  From them, the Federal government seize control, give it to California, then eventually acquire it back.

Currently one of the most visited parks in the country, Yosemite Valley nearly reverted into a lake in 2006.  Ferguson Slide came within feet of burying the Merced River’s exit from the valley.  Nature is fragile that way.  When The Big One hits and San Francisco drops forty feet, California’s Central Valley may return to inland sea.  The Sierra Foothills will become beachfront property.

Appreciate it while you can.  As Louis Prima famously sang in 1949, Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Thank You Think)  🙂

Photos by Bill King, naturalist, explorer, and local guide

Mariposa Slate • California

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cutting counterA YOUNG MAN WENT WEST.   He found the work scene different from back east.  Not so many taverns and restaurants, his typical clients.  But Mariam was opening Savoury’s, on Main Street in Mariposa, California.  Mariam wanted something different for her hostess station.  Her ears perked right up at the mention of custom stone work.  And she knew a local secret.

StoneCounter1Mariposa Flagstone Co/Yosemite Slate Quarry.  They had the goods.  And just the right piece, a monster leaning against a tree, waiting for the right pockets to come along and buy it.  The rest is history.  Dragged it home in the Ford, made a template, dry-cut the stone with a diamond wheel on a Craftsman grinder,  and dressed the edging. 

Savory’s moved down the block a few years later.  The stone was repurposed, as has happened since time immemorial.