The Yosemite Park and Curry Company Collection contains the business records of one of the largest and longest operating concessioners
in the national park system. The Yosemite Park and Curry Company (YP&C C) was organized in 1925 when Yosemite National Park’s
two largest concessionaires, the Yosemite National Park Co. (previously the D.J. Desmond Co.) which operated the Yosemite
Lodge and other smaller enterprises at Yosemite, and the Curry Camping Co. which operated Camp Curry, merged. Creation
of the new company was the culmination of a decade-long effort by NPS Director Stephen Mather to consolidate services at Yosemite
to better serve the visiting public and more efficiently develop visitor services in the park. YP&CC eventually acquired
rights to the Wawona Hotel concession (1923) as well as the Degnan Family’s Valley concession (1974). YP&CC remained a Curry
Family controlled corporation until the death of Mary Curry Tressider in 1970. After several ownership changes, MCA, Inc.
took control of YP&CC in 1973, operating the concession until the NPS awarded a new contract to Delaware North Company in
During its sixty-eight years of operation, YP&CC interactions with the NPS set many precedents for concessionaire operations
in the national park system, and played an influential role in the development of tourism in California. Among the Company’s
most significant activities was the development of a strong winter sports infrastructure and tradition at Yosemite including
construction and operation of Badger Pass, California’s first down-hill ski area; establishment of the Yosemite Winter Club;
and creation of the Bracebridge Dinner. Among other accomplishments, the company also expanded the High Sierra Camps and
created the Yosemite Mountaineering School .
MCA donated the YP&CC archives to the National Park Service in 1990, and accretions to the collection have continued. The
collection includes company papers of the Desmond, Yosemite National Park Co., Kings River Camping Co., Curry Camping Co.,
and YP&CC, consisting of a large assemblage of documents, photographs, ephemera, architectural drawings, motion picture film,
and audio cassettes. Subjects: Operations, facilities, services, and promotion of the YP&CC (and preceding concessionaires)
at Yosemite, including such activities as: transportation of visitors, construction and maintenance of structures, personnel
activities, staff at work (including such notable employees as Ansel Adams and Dana Morgenson), and special events.
Yosemite Park and Curry Company
The Yosemite Park and Curry Company (YP&CC) was the primary park concessioner at Yosemite National Park for nearly 70 years
(1925-1993), making it one of the longest operating concessions in any National Park Service (NPS) area. The operation of
YP&CC and the issues confronted and decisions made by the NPS at Yosemite had a great impact on the development of concession
policy for the entire park system.
Prior to the creation of the YPCC in 1925, numerous small businesses had operated within the boundaries of what would become
Yosemite National Park, beginning as early as 1856. By the time the National Park Service took over
1899 David and Jenny Curry est. Camp Curry in Yosemite Valley
1911 Curry Camping Co. incorporated – all stock owned by the Curry Family
1915 D.J. Desmond Co. granted permit to operate hotel and camp under the name Camp Yosemite
1916 D.J. Desmond Co. granted 20 year concession contract; purchased Camp Lost Arrow, Camp Ahwahnee, Yosemite Transportation
Co., Sentinel and Glacier Point Hotels (built new hotel at GP in 1917). Started Big Trees Lodge in 1919.
1920 Desmond Co. reorganized as Yosemite National Park Co.
1932 Washburn Family sold their interests assets at Wawona to the NPS; YP&CC leased Wawona Hotel from NPS as part of concessions
1935 YP&CC completed construction of Badger Pass Ski Lodge
1941 Ostrander Lake Ski Hut built by NPS CCC Crews; operated by YP&CC?
1976 YP&CC purchased Degnan’s Deli and Bakery
1993 Delaware North Company of Rochester, NY, granted 15-year concession contract by the National Park Service; YP&CC owned
by DNC, but now called Yosemite Concession Services.
Scope and Content
The collection contains not only the corporate records of YPCC, but business records of several other concession operations
which predated the creation of YPCC in 1925. Records of Camp Ahwahnee, the Kings River Park Company, the Desmond Hotel Company,
the Washburn Family, operators of the Wawona Hotel until 1932, are all found in the collection and date as early as 188?.
However, the bulk of the material is from the two companies – the Curry Camping Company and the Yosemite National Park Company
– which merged to form YPCC in 1925.
The collection consists of records pertaining to all aspects of company operation, including administrative, financial, facilities
maintenance, and marketing and advertisement; photographs; motion picture film Within the administrative materials are the
business papers of Mary Curry Tressider – president from 19?? until her death in 1970. Materials in the collection
The majority of the materials came to the Yosemite Archives in 199?, following a donation by the other materials trickled
in after being stored for a number of years in corners of the park, such as the Gore House in Wawona.
In 1980, the YPCC obtained an appraisal of its records as part of the negotiations to donate the materials to the NPS, but
the final donation did not occur until 1993.