Then – Ahwahnee, like many towns in the region, began when settlers arrived to find their gold nuggets. Instead, they struck pay dirt in the fertile fields, and began growing fruits and vegetables to sell to the mining camps ringing the area. When the railroad line to Raymond came through Ahwahnee, even President Theodore Roosevelt stopped to lunch here on his way to marvel at Yosemite. Newspaper stories reported every detail, including the fact the innkeeper told him to wash his hands in a tin buck out back before eating. She may have been one of the first citizens to complain about an error in the press – it was her best china basin, thank you!
Ahwahnee was also home to a tuberculosis sanitarium built at the turn of the century in hopes those suffering from the disease would benefit from the area's purer air quality. Later, it flourished as a home for boys.
Now – Today, Ahwahnee is a peaceful small community with a population of approximately 1,680 that strive to keep their rural atmosphere. It is home of The Wassama Roundhouse built by Miwok Indians, one of a few authentic roundhouses left in California. Ahwahnee will soon be home to the new Ahwahnee Regional Park with hiking trails, equestrian center, pentanque courts, cultural center, and more.
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