Foothill area history, discovered…
The question was, ‘Does anyone know anything about this map?’
Found at a thrift shop or on eBay, I can’t remember, I put this map in a frame in 2005, and loved how it provided a context to the setting of our new home in the foothills. The map clearly shows Bass Lake, where we vacationed for many years before we ever thought of moving here. Here it is:
To see even more detail:
A 1967 illustrated map of Yosemite region, Oakhurst, Bass Lake, Ahwahnee and more, this map is fun, colorful and labeled with many whimsical and old time names and landmarks. On the label or nameplate are these words:
Road Map – Place names – Historic Sites
Yosemite Region Portion of Madera County
OAKHURST – BASS LAKE – AHWAHNEE
NORTH FORK – COARSEGOLD
Historic Places (Not in Existence) Old Mine Sites
Who created this map?
There’s a tiny signature in top right corner that says J. Judd.
At the bottom in tiny letters, it says: “Copyright September 1967 by The Jays, Oakhurst, California 93644″
“The Jays,” Who were the Jays?
I asked on the local community Facebook page and the answer came right away,… Sheila said, “Janie Judd, an old time resident” Loris added, “Jane Judd married Jack Gyer and was well known local artist Jane Gyer. They were The Jays.”
Jane and Jack’s granddaughter, Terri confirmed, “Yes, everyone’s correct. That was my grandmother, Jane (Judd) Gyer.”
Many local residents here remember this well loved couple, Jane and Jack Gyer, both artists and residents for many years. Criss added more of the Gyers history, “…Jane and Jack’s studio was in the adobe building just off 426 across China Creek where the bridge is. My first husband, Brian, lived with Jack during school weekday in the 1950s. When he (we) moved back to the mountains from Fresno in late 1976, Jack turned his photography business over to Brian…hence the beginning of White Cloud Photography. Jack also started the Sierra Star. They were such wonderful people, both individually and together.”
Marcia remembered, “Mrs. Gyer taught third grade when I was going to Oakhust Elementary School. I was in higher grade and did some tutoring for her class!”
Memories began to flow…
People who live locally remember that these maps were sold at the lake and the 41 Trading Post when they were kids. They remember it as a cool old novelty map they’d see on their parent’s or friends walls and in local businesses.
Someone said “A similar map, painted by Jane Judd used to hang at the Minarets Pack Station showing local trails and landmarks of the Ansel Adams Wilderness…complete with mules! It was done in the 1950s and hung there for many decades.”
I wanted to know more! I took the map out of the frame and noticed it says this map was distributed by and compliments of the Eastern Madera County Chamber of Commerce. Robyn said, “I have had this print hanging in our den for 13 years..think it was purchased from Good Ole Daze approx 2003.”
Bill said, “My parents had a copy of this map. Every Mountain resident in the area probably had a copy in the 60s!” Marcia asked, Were they…’related to Mr.Judd our Oakhurst Sxhool bus driver? I believe my parents had one of those maps at one time.’ Karen said, ‘I have one!!! It is hanging in my garage and I knew Jane’s daughter Robin!’
Claudia remembered, “I worked at the Village Restaurant owned by Olive Barnett which was located where the RiteAid is today and she had this print made as placemats for many years.”
Doug wondered, I have two of Jane’s originals and four of her prints. I’m curious … did they assign ownership or stewardship of the copyright in their estate? Given the interest here, I suspect they might be popular items for sale again. I know I would love to purchase one or more.”
Old time place names
Someone noticed, ‘Wamello is Fresno dome.’ Amanda said, “Chinchilla capital of the world near Broadview Terrace? That’s pretty cool.” It is cool,…and I began to wonder which of all these places were still in existence and which were long gone.
About halfway through this post, when trying to list the place names, I realized that I needed a much better image of the map, took it out of the frame,…again,…and re-took the photos. On the map are some of the old landmarks we all know, the names of towns, mountains and creeks. Campgrounds (CG) are included as are old mines and logging camps.
Who knew that in the 60s, Oakhurst was the “Chinchilla Capital of the World?” Considering that chinchillas are close to squirrels and rabbits, they would seem to thrive here. But that’s a story for another post.
I became interested in these old names and have listed them here so you all, my readers, can maybe recognize them, and also so they will show up on Google searches historians may do in future.
Would ‘The Jays’ ever believe that people were still delighted by this old map? Who knows?! This vintage map is a part of our local Oakhurst area history. It would be nice to re-issue this map to be sold again by the Visitor Center or Chamber of Commerce, wouldn’t it?
If you have any information about this map, the place names or Jane and Jack Gyer, please add it in a comment…
I received an email, in July 2018 from Mickey De Witt:
“We knew Jack and Jane very well. My wife and I purchased their retail and wholesale photo business in 1969 when they were located behind Gill Whiteheads supermarket.
We changed the name from The Jays to De Witt Photo and Sound. Along with the retail store we were the exclusive distributor for Kodak, GE, Mallory and Polaroid in the Bass Lake, Fish Camp, and Yosemite Valley.
After a death in Family we sold out in 1978 and returned to Colorado to the family farm where we were until 2 years ago.
List of Oakhurst area place names
|Left side, top to bottom||Middle||Right side|
|Madera Sugar Pine Mill
Great Springs Hotel
Miami Mountain Lookout
Yosemite Stage & Turnpike Co.
Miami Creek Knolls
Hill View Estates
Twin Sisters (Mtns)
Lucky Bill Mine
Grub Gulch Mine
Rich Hill Mine
Texas Flat Mine
Five Oaks Mine
|“Old Betsy” (train)
Pioneer Yose. Hist. Ctr.
Yosemite National Park
Y.M. & S.P. R.R.
Lone Sequoia CG
Sugar Pine (town)
Country Club Acres
Chinchilla Capital of the World
Old Fresno Flats
General Box Mill
China Creek Knolls
Mt Raymond CG
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
White Chief Mountain
Big Sandy CG
Little Sandy CG
Nelder Grove Giant Sequoias
Nelder Grove CG
Wamello (Fresno Dome)
Fresno Dome CG
Kelty Meadow CG
Texas Flat CG
Grey’s Mountain CG
Stock Drive (cattle)
Edison Meadow CG
Little Shuteye Peak
Denver Church CG
Pine Slope CG
Bass Lake Heights
Pine Point CG
Rocky Point CG
Spring Cove CG
Pine Village Church
Lake Shore Park
Mammoth Pool Reservoir
Goat Mtn Lookout
Bass Lake Annex
Marina View Heights
American Forest Products Mill
If you have any information about this map, the place names or the Gyers, please add it in a comment…