Submitted by Anne Driscoll
OAKHURST – Two local authors will be on hand at Branches Books & Gifts in Oakhurst this week, touting new works that hit home for fans of Yosemite area history, and Sierra National Forest Firefighters and firefighting.
Historian and author Leroy Radanovich will be at the bookstore on Sunday, Mar. 29, from 1:30 to 3 p.m., to celebrate the launch of his newest book, Legendary Locals of Yosemite and Mariposa.
Author Marcia Penner Freedman will appear at the same location on Wednesday, Apr. 1, with her book Fighting Fire in the Sierra National Forest.
Execerpts from Legendary Locals of Yosemite National Park and Mariposa Valley by Leroy Radanovich
In 1846, Thomas Larkin, American council general to the Mexican government in California, purchased a Mexican land grant, Las Mariposas, for Col. John C. Fremont. The grant consisted of 10 square leagues of grazing land located near the Merced River and west of the Sierra. In 1848, when California became the possession of the United States, the treaty called for the recognition of preexisting grants. Gold was discovered in the foothills of the Sierra that same year. Fremont floated his questionable Mexican grant into the gold discovery region. With the formation of the State of California in 1850, one of the original counties was named Mariposa, Spanish for “butterflies.”
Located within the county was the Fremont grant and much of the yet undiscovered Yosemite region of the Sierra. Encounters with Native Americans near the mining camps lead to the formation of the Mariposa Battalion, and a search for the natives led to the American discovery of Yosemite Valley. Thus, it was custodians and photographers such as Charles Leander Weed, Carlton E Watkins, J.J. Riley, George Fiske, Ansel Adams, and many others that interpreted and introduced Yosemite to the world.
About the Author: In this volume, historian and photographer Leroy Radanovich presents the legendary locals and their stories that crafted the rich history of Mariposa County and Yosemite National Park.
Fighting Fire in the Sierra National Forest by Marcia Penner Freedman
On Wednesday, Apr. 1, author Marcia Penner Freedman will be talking about details in her new book, Fighting Fire in the Sierra National Forest. Freedman’s talk is from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Both authors have other published titles that will be available for purchase.
To live in the foothills on the periphery of the Sierra National Forest is to live with the certainty of summer wildfires. Each year, from April forward, Californians watch the sky and sniff the air for telltale signs of smoke. While fire remains a constant threat, the strategy for combating it has evolved with the understanding of its beneficial role in the forest environment. Marcia Penner Freedman traces the history of firefighting and fire management from the forest’s early years through the policy shifts that began in the 1960s and the measures used today.
About the Author: For fifteen years Marcia Penner Freedman split her career between writing and teaching psychology and child development at community college. Since her retirement she has devoted herself exclusively to writing, which has allowed her time to devote more energy to her activities as a board member of the Coarsegold Resource Conservation District (CRCD). This project has led to her interest in developing a community fuels reduction program through the CRCD.
Branches Books & Gifts is a locally owned, independent bookstore featuring regional titles, bestsellers, local authors, guidebooks, cards, journals, toys, games and more. They are located at 40282 Highway 41, Suite 14, in Oakhurst.