We remembered our fantastic national parks a few weeks ago with a promotional quiz based on this photo. It’s an old stereograph, produced by the thousands in the days before glossy travel magazines, and you can even browse through the Online Archive of California’s impressive online collection. The person in the picture is standing on top of Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park, though nowadays there’s a railing and a big sign to tell you that trying to stand where this woman is standing is a VERY bad idea.
Most folks identified the park and the even the exact spot pretty easily, though the exact type of photo format–a stereograph–was a bit harder. But hardest of all was perhaps the most important question, which is who we should be thankful to for first trying to protect what is now Yosemite park from commercial development, and the answer is not John Muir, as most folks thought. It’s a much lesser-known figure named Galen Clark, who successfully lobbied President Lincoln to set the Yosemite valley’s lands aside.