Rare photographs completed by R.C. Irvine, Marsden Manson, and J.L. Maude, as part of their work for the California Bureau of Highways during the first year of the agency’s existence. Irvine, Manson, and Maude surveyed and visited every county in the state as part of the newly-formed bureau. The recommendation for a 4,500 mile State Highway was the foundation for the same system that exists today.
The first photograph, captioned “Road Cut Through Tree” is accompanied with a description that reads, “On road to Yo-Semite Valley. This “tunnel” is cut through a tree of the Toulumne Big Tree Grove known as ‘the Dead Giant.’ The tree is now, after having been through several forest fires, 31 feet in diameter - Before this, the tree was 39 feet in diameter and 22 feet in circumference, species of tree - Sequoia Gigantea.” The second image, showing a stone retaining wall in Mariposa county, has an accompanying notion that the wall was “Built along road in Yo-Semite Valley, to protect from erosion of Merced River. Constructed of granite boulders laid dry. The lower portion of the Stone Wall is reflection in water.”