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Taking You Back in History: A Simple Sidewalk Memorial - Part 2

By Kathy Brown, Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum/Southern Tuolumne County Historical Society

James and Clarissa Lumsden family

The first part of this article about Charlie Baird and his hotel mentioned that Charlie ran a stage-line in addition to owning the Hotel Baird. The hotel was torn down in 1933, when there was no longer a need for housing for Hetch Hetchy workers. The pool hall, in the back of what was once the stage depot that was part of the hotel complex, remained in use until the late 1940's when it was also demolished. With the hotel gone, its restaurant was no longer needed and shortly after that it became the home of Selina Lumsden. Since then the building has been known as the Selina Lumsden House.

The Lumsden name is an easily recognizable one. James J. Lumsden and brother Dave originally came to the area as gold miners before turning to road, bridge and flume building. In 1878 they carved out the Tunnel Tree in the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. Hewn from a previously burned out tree, it was a tourist attraction that stage coaches, and then cars, drove through along the original Big Oak Flat Road that ran through the grove to Yosemite. James and Clarissa Lumsden had nine children, eight of whom were boys. The family lived in the Spring Gulch area off Priest Coulterville Road. Calvin was one of their sons.

Selina Goldsworthy, whose parents were early miners, married Calvin Lumsden in 1910. Cal was also a miner and later ran a cattle and turkey ranch in Groveland. In the early 1910s, Selina's sister Louisa Goldsworthy married Charlie Baird which made Selina Lumsden Charlie Baird's sister-in-law. This is no doubt how she ended up living in the remaining building of the Baird Hotel complex after her husband's death in 1951.

Selina reigned as the Queen of Groveland's Old West Days (forerunner of the 49er Festival) in 1975. She called Groveland and the white house that was once the Baird Hotel Restaurant home until she passed away in 1983 at age 96.


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