Nature’s Mountain Mansion: Wonder, Wrangles, Bloodshed and Bellyaching from Nineteenth-Century Yosemite

October 27, 2022
Gary Noy, author and Sierra College history instructor

New Anthology by Sierra College History Instructor Chronicles Yosemite in the 19th Century

A new anthology, entitled Nature’s Mountain Mansion: Wonder, Wrangles, Bloodshed and Bellyaching from Nineteenth-Century Yosemite, chronicles the often-surprising history of Yosemite in the 19th century. The book, edited by Gary Noy and published by the University of Nebraska Press, Sierra College history instructor, is the first anthology on Yosemite that focuses exclusively on the nineteenth century, the critical period in which Yosemite was “discovered” by an expanding nation and transformed into one of the country’s most visited national parks. While there are volumes that provide readings about Yosemite in the nineteenth century, few provide critical — sometimes even disparaging — eyewitness reflections on the Yosemite experience, and none include excerpts from the government documents that defined the future of the park, such as the Yosemite Valley Grant Act of 1864. That is, until now — with Nature’s Mountain Mansion

Nature’s Mountain Mansion collects selections from fiction, nonfiction, and government documents that demonstrate the glory, the brutality, and the controversies surrounding this extraordinary and much-loved landscape. Some selections have not appeared in print since their original publication, while others have not been republished or excerpted for decades. 

Nature’s Mountain Mansion also includes 45 historic photographs and drawings from 19th century Yosemite. 

Gary Noy has taught history at Sierra Community College, headquartered in Rocklin, California, for more than three decades. He is the author or editor of six books, including Distant Horizon: Documents from the Nineteenth-Century American West (University of Nebraska Press, 1999); Hellacious California! Tales of Rascality, Revelry, Dissipation, Depravity, and the Birth of the Golden State (Heyday and Sierra College Press, 2020) and the award-winning Sierra Stories: Tales of Dreamers, Schemers, Bigots and Rogues (Heyday and Sierra College Press, 2014), the recipient of the 2016 National Gold Medal for Best Regional Nonfiction from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. 

About the Author

A Sierra Nevada native and current resident of Loomis, Gary Noy is the son and grandson of Cornish hardrock gold miners. Gary was born in Grass Valley (Nevada County), California.  He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and CSU Sacramento.  In 2006, the Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA), a national historical society, selected Gary as “Educator of the Year.”  

Book Details

Information about Nature’s Mountain Mansion: An Anthology of Wonder, Wrangles, Bloodshed and Bellyaching from 19th Century Yosemite (University of Nebraska Press, 2022): 

  • Book release date:  November 1, 2022
  • Publisher:  University of Nebraska Press – Bison Books
  • Price:  Paperback – $29.95; eBook (PDF or ePub) – $29.95; Kindle – $14.99
  • Pages:  360 pages
  • Illustrations:  45 historic photographs and drawings
  • Availability: Available from all online vendors and brick-and-mortar local bookstores  

University of Nebraska Press webpages for Nature’s Mountain Mansion:  Nature’s Mountain Mansion : Nebraska Press ( 

Google Book Preview:  Nature’s Mountain Mansion: Wonder, Wrangles, Bloodshed, and Bellyaching from … – Google Books 

Gary is available for interviews by contacting or visiting  



About Sierra College

The Sierra Joint Community College District is rising to the needs of our community. Sierra College serves 3,200 square miles of Northern CA with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four-year universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills.  Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. More information at