The charming LeConte Memorial Lodge was built of local granite and is the Yosemite home of the Sierra Club. Originally built in 1903 it is named for Dr. Joseph LeConte, a co-founder of the Sierra Club and one of the first professors at the University of California at Berkeley.
LeConte was a noted geologist and eloquent writer. In his journal of Ramblings Through the High Sierras of California he wrote: “Was there ever so venerable, majestic, and eloquent a minister of natural religion as the grand old Half Dome.”
His interest in the Sierra and Yosemite led him to become good friends with John Muir and soon to jointly co-found the Sierra Club in 1892. It was during a visit to his beloved Yosemite in 1901 that LeConte died of a heart attack and soon after a group of his friends donated money to build the LeConte Memorial Building in his honor.[sam id=1 codes=’false’]
The LeConte Memorial Building was first located in Curry Village and served as the first visitor center in Yosemite Valley. It was moved to its present location in 1919. For a time in the 1920s Ansel Adams was the building’s caretaker.
The LeConte Memorial building is open to the public and features a library and exhibits about the history of the Sierra Club. It also offers evening programs on weekends in the summer.