Soda Springs Cabin

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Soda Springs Cabin
Soda Springs Cabin is located in California
Soda Springs Cabin
Soda Springs Cabin is located in the US
Soda Springs Cabin
Nearest city Lee Vining, California
Coordinates 37°52′44″N 119°21′56″W / 37.87889°N 119.36556°W / 37.87889; -119.36556Coordinates: 37°52′44″N 119°21′56″W / 37.87889°N 119.36556°W / 37.87889; -119.36556
Area less than one acre
Built 1885
Architect Lembert,John Baptiste
NRHP reference #


Added to NRHP April 19, 1979

The Soda Springs Cabin is a historic structure in Yosemite National Park in the USA. It was built about 1889 by John Baptist Lembert, the first European settler on the Tuolumne Meadows area of Yosemite. Lembert had filed a claim to 160 acres (65 ha) in Tuolumne Meadows in 1885 after spending three summers in the area with a flock of angora goats. Lembert built a log cabin directly over the largest soda spring in the area. Although the property was within the park boundaries, Lembert received a patent to the property in 1895. Lembert's cabin was along the Great Sierra Wagon Road over the Sierra Nevada, and he became a guide for tourists in the high country, gaining a reputation as a naturalist and entomologist. He spent the winter months in a place near Cascade Creek in the Yosemite Valley.[2]

The ruins of the cabin are located directly over the gaseous spring, and are thought to have functioned as a springhouse rather than as a dwelling, preventing livestock from fouling the spring. The cabin measures 9 feet (2.7 m) by 11 feet (3.4 m). Its walls extend to about 7 feet (2.1 m). There is no roof. The cabin had no windows, only a door in the north side. The logs are laid with V-notched joints.[2]

Interior of the cabin and spring

Lembert had spent his early life in New York, and had received a classical education, reading Latin. He was murdered in his Cascade Creek cabin in the winter of 1896-1897 in a robbery. His obituary appeared in Entomological News.[2] Lembert Dome was named in his memory.[3] The McCauley Cabin is located on Lembert's former winter property. The Soda Springs property was inherited by Lembert's brothers, who sold it to J.J McCauley in 1898. McCauley sold the Soda Springs property to the Sierra Club in 1912.[4] The site was operated as a private campground for Sierra Club members until 1972, when the club signed over the land to the National Park Service. The Park Service operated the campground for the public until 1976, when it was closed down.[5]

The cabin was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 19, 1979.[1]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c Hart, Leslie Starr (September 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Soda Springs Cabin" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Farquhar, Francis P. "Place Names of the High Sierra". Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  4. ^ Browning, Peter (2005). Yosemite Place Names: The Historic Background of Geographic Names in Yosemite National Park. Great West Books. pp. 79–80. ISBN 0-944220-19-3. 
  5. ^ Schaffer, Jeffery P. (2006). Yosemite National Park: A Complete Hikers Guide. Wilderness Press. p. 186. ISBN 0-89997-383-3. 

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