Friday, September 28, 2012

Yosemite as a soothing place to heal?

You might not connect Yosemite National Park to the Civil War. But Frederick Law Olmsted, co-creator of Central Park, certainly did. Eyewitness to the horrific destruction wrought by the war when he served as general secretary of the United States Sanitary Commission, a Red Cross-like operation for the North, Olmsted despaired as the nation became, in his words, a "republic of suffering." In 1864, when he was briefly relocated to California, Olmsted envisioned the Yosemite Valley as a convalescent, even redemptive, site of national healing. • Column

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