Last in the STONEMAN HOUSE SERIES- compiled by Tom Philips

August 29th, 1896
Mariposa Gazette


The State Hotel in the Yosemite

Wiped out by Fire.

At about two o'clock last Monday morning the Stoneman House in Yosemite Valley was discovered on fire. The steward who was sleeping up stairs was the first to discover the flames. He was awakened by the crackling of the fire and when he awoke he rushed down stairs to awaken the other sleepers.

After awakening the occupants of the building the steward went back up stairs to try and put out the flames, but the fire had gained such headway that the hose could not be reached and the flames rapidly spread to the lower stories.

There were but few people in the building at the time of the fire. The season's travel was about over and the hotel formerly closed its doors for the season last Saturday. At the time of the fire the only occupants were J. J. Cook, the proprietor, Doc Lincoln and wife, L. F. Starks, the clerk and two guests, Miss Becht of San Francisco and Miss Fannie Bruce of Wawona.

So rapid was the spread of the flames that the people had all they could do to save themselves and what personal effects were at hand. The post office, express and telegraph officers were all situated in the building and all

were destroyed.

All the express matter and letters in the post office were saved. The coin and hotel books were also saved. The building was a State institution and was rented to J. J. Cook at a yearly rental of $1,200. The building was situated at the upper end of the Valley and commanded a fine view of many of the most prominent points in the Valley. It was erected in 1887 at a cost to the State of $40,000, this was only the first cost for the State spent an additional $20,000 in repairs and completing the building. The water works alone cost $10,000. The furniture belonged to J. J. Cook, the lessee, and was insured for $15,000. What the State will do is not yet known, but as matters stand there is hardly enough accommodation in the Valley for a large crowd of tourists and if another building is not erected by the State or other parties the accommodations for next years run will be rather limited.