Remembering Cedarbrook Inn
A fascinating new book on the history of this area is now available: To Yosemite by Stage; Raymond to Wawona and Remembering Cedarbrook Inn, by Zelda Garey Dubel. Zelda was once owner of the inn and has spent many years doing research on the areas mentioned in the title. The following is an excerpt from the “Cedarbrook Inn” chapter.
The elevation is 4131 feet. From Nipinnawasee we have traveled about four miles and climbed 1805 feet elevation. When we round the last bend in the road and cross Carter Creek, we immediately notice the tall pine and cedar trees, and the coolness hits us. The Latin name for incense cedar is ‘Libocedrus decurrens.’ Cedarbrook was aptly named. But we will not stop, because it [is now] private property and visitors are not solicited.
Will Sell, Jr. said in his interview: “Cedarbrook, in the early days, was owned by a man named Woodard; we used to know it as Woodard’s. He had an apple orchard there and that was about all. Woodard worked to hold the deed and did everything to keep the property, and then sold it, I guess to the Shaws. And they [the Shaws] changed its named to Cedar Brook and used it more or less of a summer home, although they developed the orchard quite a little bit. And then after Mr. Shaw died  they sold the timber off of it, too. Mrs. Shaw kept it until a few years ago  and now these Garee [Garey], they’re trying to run it. I think they’ve got a very difficult situation. They’re nice people.”
Cedarbrook Inn– 1956 TO 1964 – Garey Family
This chapter of Zelda’s book tells of her life at Cedarbrook. The family moved from Los Angeles, “Smog City, USA,” because they were “mountaineers” at heart.
…On April 8, 1956, Wilson and I stopped in at Jack Gyer’s realty office…and inquired. Hanging on the wall was an oil painting of Cedarbrook Inn and after much preliminary conversation, he ventured to tell us about the picture. He said, “Of course there is snow up there now. I don’t know whether we can get all the way up.” Jack borrowed a Jeep and we started up the mountain. After leaving the paved road, the three and a half miles before reaching Cedarbrook was a dirt road, and because nobody lived there, it simply had not been graded by the county road graders since the previous Spring. He finally hit a clay portion of the road and the poor Jeep would go no further. Thinking the Inn would be “just around the bend,” we all proceeded to hike up the mountain.
We built a fire in a wood stove…. It was a gloomy, dreary day and it couldn’t have looked worse, but we both just loved it. Robbers had broken in…and hauled away truckloads of things…enough to furnish an average house…. Spider webs clung to all the windows and thick dust covered everything. But with high hopes of developing a guest ranch, we went back to Los Angeles, and we bought it about May first.
To Yosemite by Stage… , 8 ½ x 11, 440 pages, $45 + shipping is available from Lulu
Enterprises, #10082415: http://www.lulu.com.
Kay Good, Coarsegold Historical Society/Historic Museum
31899 Highway 41, 559-642-4448.