In the heart of the Sierras[.] The Yo Semite Valley, both historical and descriptive: And scenes by the way. Big tree groves. The High Sierra, with its magnificent scenery, ancient and modern glaciers, and other objects of interest; with tables of distances and altitudes, maps, etc. Profusely illustrated. By J. M. Hutchings, of Yo Semite. Yo Semite Valley: Published at the Old Cabin. Oakland, Cal.: Pacific Press Publishing House, 1886. 21.5 x 15 cm (octavo), pp. [1-4] [i] ii-xii 13-496, 29 inserted plates, 123 illustrations in text, 3 maps, one folded, original pictorial olive cloth, front and spine panels stamped in black and gold, grizzly bear stamped in blind on rear panel, white endpapers with floral pattern printed in green. First edition, first printing. This is one of a few copies of the first printing with the sample Bierstadt Glacier Point view opposite the pictorial "Key to the High Sierra from Glacier Point Hotel" on page . The three other "early" plates made by Gutekunst, Bierstadt, and the Heliotype Co. are present as well. This copy has the rare inserted map, "Topographical Map of the Yosemite Valley and Vicinity" with the "Heliotype Printing Co. Boston" imprint, sometimes found in copies of the first and fourth printings. Apparently few were printed, as the map more frequently encountered in all printings bears the imprint "Britton & Rey S. F." James Mason Hutchings (1818-1902), an early Yosemite Valley resident and hotel keeper and one of the first Sierra Nevada mountaineers, was a pioneer publicist of northern California. A native of England, Hutchings arrived in California in 1849 and for several years lived in the mining regions. In 1853 he began publishing letter sheets. Encouraged by his initial venture, the popular The Miner's Ten Commandments, Hutchings published other letter sheets including The Mammoth Trees ... By the end of 1854 he had conceived the idea of a monthly illustrated magazine devoted to California life and scenes. In June 1855 Hutchings visited Yosemite Valley with artist Thomas A. Ayres and two other companions to examine and record its wonders for his forthcoming periodical. In the pages of Hutchings' California Magazine (1856-1861) he published extensive early descriptions of Yosemite Valley and the giant sequoias. In 1860 material from the magazine was incorporated into his book, Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity in California, a popular work which described California's natural attractions and helped focus public attention on the Yosemite region. In 1864 Hutchings took up year-round residence in Yosemite Valley. He bought homesteads from San Francisco creditors, Sullivan and Cashman, including the Upper Hotel, which became known as "Hutchings' House." The Yosemite Grant was established by Congress in 1864 and a few years later the Yosemite Commissioners commenced legal action to expel Hutchings from the valley. In 1875, after much litigation, the will of the commissioners prevailed. For several years thereafter Hutchings lived in San Francisco but continued his association with Yosemite. He delivered frequent lectures on Yosemite and the big trees and ran a tourist agency. In 1877 he published the first of his separate pocket guides to the Yosemite region. In 1880 Hutchings was appointed to a four-year term as guardian of the Yosemite Grant and again took up residence in the valley. Upon the expiration of his term as guardian, Hutchings returned to San Francisco and operated a travel agency at 19 Montgomery Street. From the season of 1900 through 1902, Hutchings leased the Mammoth Grove Hotel. In October 1902 he was killed in a horse and buggy accident while descending the Big Oak Flat Road to visit his beloved Yosemite Valley. In the Heart of the Sierras was Hutchings' most ambitious literary undertaking. It covers, more fully than other works of the period, every aspect of the Yosemite Valley and big trees that could be considered of general interest to visitors. The work is an important primary source for information on the early human history of the region. Hutchings is still considered an authority on early climbs in Yosemite and his accounts of these ascents are of great value. Some inaccuracies and omissions detract from its overall usefulness, but the work is nevertheless an important contribution to the literature on the Sierra Nevada. Farquhar 18. A leaf from Hutchings' handwritten manuscript is laid in. A fine copy. Rare in this condition. (#166009).
No statement of printing.