Fresno Flats - Oakhurst - Hiking California

 

Fresno Flats is a historical town exhibit in Oakhurst, California, USA.

 

 

Every day, the return from hiking in the south-west part of Yosemite National Park, culminates at the accommodation and staging point in Oakhurst, California.

Each time, the trip passes a small, brown, roadside sign near accommodation points left and says 'Historical Site'.  This will need to be investigated.  

Following a long day of hiking, walking to a nearby park reveals the historical site is located elsewhere.  With a bit of help from local citizens, and one more crucial sign, arrival eventually occurs at the Fresno Flats Historical Park about 1⅝ miles (2 KM) later.

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA

 

In the small parking area near the entrance, an audio-equipped kiosk shows the layout of the Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park.

This heritage park is a relocation and reconstruction of pioneer dwellings which preserve the history and development of Fresno Flats. 

From Fresno Flats, in the latter half of the 1800's, the current city of Oakhurst was born around the intersection of Hwy 41 and 49 in the Sierra Nevada foothills and mountains of Central California.

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA

 

Touring the small heritage village proceeds in a counterclockwise direction, beginning from the Library Research Center (Miami Lodge Cabin).

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA Library Research Center - (Miami Lodge Cabin)

 

The next two, larger buildings are restored, one-room schoolhouses.

The Cunningham School was built at Nipinnawasee, about 12 miles (19.2 KM) north on Hwy 49, in 1913.  The school survived the tragic Harlow Fire in 1961 because 50 years of children running around the playground created a barren fire break.

These buildings at the Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park are still routinely used for community events.  Late in this day, all the historic buildings are closed.

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA Cunningham School from Nipinnawasee, California - Constructed in 1913

 

Past the Cunningham Schoolhouse and next to the Taylor Log House is the old jail which once served Fresno Flats.  The massive door shut in drunken prisoners and lawbreakers.

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA The old Fresno Flats jail

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA The Taylor Log House built in 1869

 

The 1869 Taylor Log House is built in the 'two pen dogtrot' style, an Ozark design common in William Taylor's home state of Kentucky.

The Taylors were farmers who raised cattle, hogs and hay.  Margaret Taylor (nee Newton) was the sister of Mary Laramore who lived in Laramore House, arguably the most prominent dwelling at Fresno Flats Historical Park.

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA One of the pens beside the Taylor Log House - Picnic area behind

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA

 

Several buildings relocated to the Fresno Flats Historical Park include the 1914 Dupzyk family homestead located higher in the mountains, the 1890 Raymond Jail, a recreated blacksmith shop, a print shop and a tack room.

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA Fresno Flats Printer

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA The Blacksmith Shop

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA The sturdy Raymond Jail built in 1890 using 1 x 6 timbers laid flat to form a nearly impenetrable wall.

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA The 1914 Dupzyk log barn

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA The traditional outhouse of the era

 

The opening to the outhouse is blocked by chicken wire so it is important to understand that racing in there may cause you to strain yourself. 

At the front and center of the Fresno Flats Historical Park is a gazebo with all the requirements for a fine picnic and barbecue.

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA

 

The two-story, yellow Laramore-Lyman House was built in the 1870's by pioneer merchant Robert Laramore.  The house was occupied from 1878 to 1975 and hosts a rich history.  The house was constructed without studs, common at the time. Robert was killed in a runaway buggy accident

Electricity came to Oakhurst and this historic home in 1942.

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA

 

The tour ends where it began at the Cedarbrook Lodge log cabin in the orange glow of the setting sun after an interesting and informative tour on a beautiful, late afternoon in Oakhurst, California.  There is not another soul in sight. 

 

Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park - Oakhurst, California, USA

 

Fresno Flats Historical Park provides evidence of the prolonged hard work and dedication of many generations of Oakhurst citizens.

The reconstruction is a testament to the fascinating past development of the region and a lot of time, investment and devoted energy has gone into construct this historical village and park.  If you happen to visit, please donate a little to help them in their effort. 

You can learn more about this impressive museum at Fresno Flats Museum.  It is an impressive collection of local artifacts and historical bond.  I have always believed our future has potential for greater success if we take the time to learn and preserve our past.  It is easier to know where you are going if you understand where you came from. 

The hike back to the Oakhurst Motel occurs at high speed after far more time than planned has been spent and THE place to eat in Oakhurst has been discovered.

 

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