Chapter

The Uses of the Valley

Robert W. Righter

in The Battle Over Hetch Hetchy

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780195149470
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199788934 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149470.003.0002
The Uses of the Valley

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Miwok Indians from the Central Valley and Piute Indians from east of the Sierra Nevada were the first peoples to inhabit the Hetch Hetchy Valley. They were transient inhabitants, spending the summer and fall hunting and fishing, and harvesting acorns and grasses. The first Euro-Americans to see the valley were associated with the California Gold Rush. They found no gold, but a rather lush, long meadow useful for sheep grazing. But the beauty of the valley attracted naturalists such as John Muir, painters, and explorers. However, compared to its sister valley, Yosemite, in 1900 Hetch Hetchy was virtually unknown.

Keywords: Miwok Indians; Piute Indians; California Gold Rush; John Muir; Yosemite Valley

Chapter.  7387 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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