Bradley Hut: Bradley Family History

Harold C. Bradley was the son of UC Berkeley professor Cornelius Bradley, a close friend of John Muir and found­ing member of the Sierra Club. As a boy, Harold spent much time exploring the San Francisco Bay Area. During summers, there were family camping trips to the Sierra Nevada. He graduated from the University of California in 1900, took a PhD in chem­istry at Yale, and accepted a po­sition at the University of Wisconsin, where he remained until retiring in 1948.

Going on outings with his family, such as one to Switzerland with his sons in which they stayed in a chain of huts in the Alps, inspired Bradley in the 1920s to write of a time when a chain of similar huts would link Echo Summit with Donner Summit in the Sierras. Thirty years later, Bradley proposed the fourth and final hut in the chain built by the Sierra Club as a memo­rial to his wife Josephine, who had died in 1952. Bradley Hut was built during 1957, the first of his two years as Sierra Club president.

Josephine Crane was a student at the University of Wisconsin when she met her future husband. Born deaf, she had remained functionally deaf, dumb, and il­literate until age eight when she came under the wing of Alexander Graham Bell. After learning lip reading, she quickly caught up academically, breezed through grade school and high school, became a gifted dramatist and conversational­ist, learned French and German while traveling with her father, and picked up American Sign Language so she could communicate with Helen Keller.

Josephine and Harold had eight children. The first, Mary, died at age seven; seven brothers followed and sur­vived her. Several became MDs or PhDs themselves; two, like their father, were inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame.

Tahoe World Article - Sept 1998