During the tenure of Colonel Charles Young at Sequoia National Park, roads in Giant Forest were constructed, livestock grazers were evicted, and trails were built including a route to Mount Whitney that the National Park Service plans to restore as a national historic trail. Young also took an option on the Marion Griffes ranch in Three Rivers (later the Thorn Ranch on North Fork Drive) but was reassigned so he abandoned his plans to become a local landowner. Memorial
As a tribute to Colonel Young (1864-1922) and his enduring legacy, a three-mile stretch of Highway 198 from Salt Creek Road to the Park’s gate was renamed the Colonel Charles Young Memorial Highway. What distinguished the local dedication ceremony was those who attended now become actors in history — the history of Three Rivers, Sequoia National Park, and the modern-day civil rights movement. Coung Memorial
Shelton Johnson, who has devoted his career as an interpretive ranger in Yosemite National Park to telling the story of the Buffalo Soldiers, told Monday’s gathering that the world is finally catching up to Charles Young.
“Captain Young I like to call him because I’m a historian and that’s who he was when he came to Sequoia,” Johnson said. “He was not just fighting for his country but simultaneously he was fighting for his people.”
To get this highway dedication done it took the cooperation from key stakeholders all across the country from Ohio (Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument) to Washington DC (NPS) to Sacramento (Cal Trans and the State Assembly). The driving force was the Charles Young Foundation. The Foundation’s CEO and Charles Young descendant Renotta Young summed up what that simple green highway sign will mean to all who see it. Colonel Charles Young Memorial
“There will be those who pass the sign and say ‘Charles Young… who is that?’ and they will Google him,” Young said. “Then there will be those who say we know who that is and they will be proud.” Colonel Charles Young Memorial