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Le Conte Memorial
Along the road on the south side of Yosemite Valley, there is a curious stone memorial to an early director of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club remains one of the largest and most vocal non-profit enviromental organizations in the world, but had a huge start with the attention it brought to the value of Yosemite as a natural wonder. Le Conte, a geology professor at UC Berkeley was a frequent visitor to the valley and died there in 1901 of a heart attack while showing the place to some students. In 1903, the memorial was built in the area of Camp Curry, but then later moved to it's present site. The building is of considerable architecture interest when one step inside and observes the timber framework, and thus it's national historical building status is well deserved. When moving the structure, stone masons erred a bit in their calculations though, and some supporting timbers do not rest so squarely on their supporting columns as they should have. Nevertheless, the building is stable, and the memorial serves as a library of resources about the Sierra Club and about other famous naturalists and luminaries of Yosemite's beauty, including John Muir and Ansel Adams. There is an excellent corner for children and the memorial hosts a variety of activites for youth. Donations are cheerfully accepted and used to not only maintain the memorial building, but also to extend the work of the Sierra Club throughout the world.
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