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Yosemite at 150: Gorgeous images from Library of Congress

This week marks 150 years since Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Land Grant. The grant protected and preserved the park’s exquisite beauty for generations.

Yosemite has a very close relationship with photography. The park has been vital to the birth and growth of the art form since its birth.

In honor of Yosemite’s birthday, here is a selection of images from the Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Division:


Circa 1902: Nearly a mile straight down and only a step from Glacier Point and across valley to Yosemite Falls. (Underwood & Underwood/Library of Congress)

June 2013: Yosemite National Park spans eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in California. (Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress)

June 2013: Yosemite National Park spans eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in California. (Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress)

Circa 1871-1878: Section of the Grizzly Giant is 33 feet in diameter, Mariposa Grove, California. ( Carleton E. Watkins/Library of Congress)

Circa 1865: North Dome, Yosemite, California. (Carleton E. Watkins/Library of Congress)

Circa 1871-1878. ( Carleton E. Watkins/Library of Congress)

Circa 1903: President Theodore Roosevelt amid nature’s rugged grandeur on Glacier Point, Yosemite. (Underwood & Underwood/Library of Congress)

Circa 1865: Yosemite Valley, California. (Carleton E. Watkins/Library of Congress)

1991: Stoneman Bridge, spanning Merced River on Stoneman Crossover Road, Yosemite Village. (Brian C. Grogan/Library of Congress)

Circa 1902: The Valley from Eagle Peak, Yosemite. (Underwood & Underwood/Library of Congress)

1991: Stoneman Bridge, spanning Merced River on Stoneman Crossover Road, Yosemite Village, Calif. (Brian C. Grogan/Library of Congress)

Circa 1899: Panorama Yosemite (Library of Congress)

2001: Yosemite National Park Roads & Bridges. (Brian Grogan/Library of Congress)

Circa 1900: The fallen monarch, surrounded by Company F, 6th Cavalry U.S.A. at Mariposa big tree grove. (Library of Congress)

Circa 1910: Casket of Galen Clark and funeral party at grave site in Yosemite National Park. (Library of Congress)

Circa 1902: A party of camera “fiends” in Yosemite Valley. (American Stereoscopic Company/Library of Congress)

Circa 1902: Yosemite from Oak Flat grade, Boysen, Yosemite.(Library of Congress)

Circa 1901: Overhanging Rock at Glacier Point. (H.G. Peabody/Library of Congress)
Nick Kirkpatrick is the foreign photo editor at the Washington Post. Follow him on Instagram or Twitter.
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