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Sierra oakhurst location


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Found this, which suggests a different address, 48677 Victoria Ln Oakhurst, CA.


http://dosguru.tumblr.com/post/27268088 ... l-building


http://maps.google.com/maps?q=40033+Sie ... CBUQ8gEwAA


Neither show any hills behind like in the photo of the building. It might be possible to ask Al Lowe if he remembers the address, as he is about the most approachable of the old Sierra employees.

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I have emailed al lowe regarding pics of the building and unfortunatley he cant provide me with anything. However I just discovered interesting.


The sierra way address mentioned previously may not be the correct address.

Try using google maps to 48677 Victoria Lane Oakhurst, CA 93644


It comes up with a medical centre but the buildings roof looks alot more accurate.


As a result I have asked Al to confirm the address for us.

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For those wishing to clarify the where the "sierra" building is located the following is a quote that i recieved from Al Lowe via email


40033 Sierra Way 426 Oakhurst, CA was the "new" Sierra building, a steel barn that Ken bought when they ran out of room in 48677 Victoria Lane Oakhurst, CA 93644.


The redwood building is the place you're talking about. It's now a medical center. In fact, some doctors had offices there even when we were there. I remember we had a big weight loss bet and we used the scales in the doctor's office off the lobby every Friday to see who paid that week!


Thought that may interest some of you.

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wow, i've driven by that place at least a half dozen times (unfortunately after Sierra was gone) and never even noticed it. so close to the 41-49 junction too, would have never thought it was that far inside town. the pics always made it look like it was in the middle of nowhere, but then again most of Oakhurst is like that LOL


i'm going to have to roll in there if I'm that way again and snap some pix.

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There was a similar thread on SHP and Rudy of Sierra Chest, who has made contact with a number of old Sierra people, posted this:

Barry T Smith sent me this once, the coordinates of all Sierra buildings and other points of interest in Oakhurst.




Enter these coordinates into Google Maps and zoom in to see what there was of Sierra (and of interest) in Oakhurst.


37.330123,-119.646617 - The Sierra Online Building. Built in 1989-90. The "mothership" as it were.


37.327717,-119.659503 - The OLD Sierra Online building, used pre 1990 building and even after there were a few years overlap. It played prominently in one of the Space Quest games when you meet the Two Guys from Andromeda.


37.33261,-119.655039 - Home of Red Dog Studios, a Mac centric pilot project that was a response to the Living Books of Broderbund. We made "Slater and Charlie go Camping" there. We only made the one game before closing down and relocating the team back in the main building.


37.332844,-119.650552 - The world Famous Talking Bear. A Sierra staff favorite. He even has a Facebook page as Talking Bear (of course)."


37.334736,-119.649275 - I believe this building was the home of Sierra Studios, the video capture studio built for "Phantsmagoria", but used for many other games that required video captured walk cycles, actors and other elements.


37.322905,-119.577878 - Bass Lake. A favorite hang out of Sierra staff AND this particular beach I've marked out is what I believe to be the same lakeside area where we held the annual "Meat Blow Out". A bring your own meat BBQ the staff would throw each Summer. By the way, Bass Lake is also the same lake they filmed "The Great Outdoors" at, staring Dan Ackroyd and John Candy.


37.351663,-119.642242 - The "Old Barn". The Sierra Network was housed here as well as a few other pilot programs.




Although most Sierra staff has moved out of Oakhurst a long time ago, there are still a few who live there (or near there): Jim Walls (Coarsegold), Bill Shockley, Susan Norman, Bob Heitman, Jon Bock, Gloria Garland, Bill Davis, Teri Robinson, Brian and Deena Ellis, Tony Hernandez, Desie Hartman, Robert Fisher (Madera), and probably more.

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  • 6 months later...

Blade, Thanks for this. Most of the youtube video wasnt that much help but you were absoloutley right about ther being

a good shot of the building at the start.


Once again thanks.


Been poking around online myself trying to find out about the old Sierra building and how it looks today.

Got some resources for you all which I think you'll find interesting.


Here's a pic of the building in 2005




And here's an episode of Health Care Heroes which covers Community Medical Centre Oakhurst which stands there today.

There's a great view of the front of the building around 16 seconds in. You can view the vid in 720 HD for a better look.



Sadly I've found nothing on the 'new' building at Sierra Way. If anyone has any recent pics of that, I'd love to see them.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

Yeah Frans, compared to that photo, the old HQ does look flipped in SQ3.


So with new light shed by the commentary podcasts by the 2 guys, you can see on Google maps behind the older Sierra headquarters on Victoria Ln and Hwy 41 from SQ3 (37.327717,-119.659503) that high-end French restaraunt refered to by Scott, Erna's Elderberry House. Also, across the street from the post-1990 Sierra Way building (37.330123,-119.646617) is Sierra Telephone; it looks like Sierra Telephone now uses this building as mentioned by Ken Allen in the chatrooms. This is the steel barn building as seen in Chris Pope's 1996 photos, so that answers some people's questions about why the building wasn't a beautiful redwood building as seen in SQ3.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 years later...
  • 4 years later...

By unique circumstances, I ended up staying in Oakhurst just last night (after a long day of touring Yosemite).  I've been a Sierra adventure game fan since the mid-1980s, so this was quite a treat for me personally (especially having recently finished Ken's book released late last year).     This felt to me like some kind of pilgrimage to sacred grounds of the legend of Sierra.   

My visit was entirely impromptu.  We had only 4 hours to get to SF International Airport (from Oakhurst).  Sunrise was at 6:10am.  Long story short, all this meant I had only 45 minutes to pay my respects.  However, I did happen to have my King's Quest shirt with me - I toss that on and was out the hotel by 6:15am.

I'll work on a longer summary of events (and post a link reference when that is ready), to find a way to provide/archive higher resolution images.  But as a brief summary, here is an August 2021 status update on the two addresses mentioned earlier.

I organized the addresses like this, which is altogether a tour of about 1 mile apart:

A) "original" SQ address/Sierra HQ (but not the original above the photoshop store)
48677 Victoria Lane
Oakhurst, CA  98644

B)  steel barn, now SierraTel (I assume a local telephone company)
40033 Sierra Way 426
Oakhurst, CA

C)  highly recommend this hotel - the newer hotels next door were $254, while Yosemite Southgate was $164.  My wife is very picky about hotel rooms, and she was very pleased with Southgate.
Yosemite Southgate Hotel and Suites
40644 Hwy 41
Oakhurst, CA  93644

D)  Driving thru town on Hwy 41, you can't really miss this landmark...
Talking Bear
49015 Road 426
Oakhurst, CA  93644

Here are some highlights/notes:

- at the time of my visit (August 2021), two lanes of the road in the north east part of town along Hwy 41 appeared to be in the process of being replaced (they were all dirt, lots of construction)

- Talking Bears eyes seems to have been changed/upgraded within the past decade (just based on past videos - I believe at some point he had painted eyes, but now they appear as brown glass eyes)

- SierraTel now has a gate entrance.  I was there around 6:30am, service trucks were starting to enter (there is an open section in the chain link fence for these trucks, towards the left of the main entrance).   I don't believe this black gate was there in 2016 (it's like a typical apartment community gate: coded entry, and closes automatically).  

- The "other side" of the SierraTel steel buildings is Oakhurst Elementary school, which has quite a few buildings - the area the school is at seems to have been completely redone around 2012 (i.e. old buildings town down, new ones placed).

- after reading Ken Williams 2020 book about Sierra, it is somewhat fitting to me that there is a small "Sierra Chapel" in front of this steel building that is a crematorium.  My photo of this came out poorly, but I suspect it should be visible in any Google Earth drive-by.   [ when I first saw the "Sierra Chapel" sign, I truly did initially think that someone had created a little shrine to Sierra OnLine -- but no, that wasn't the case here ]

- the property further up the hill from Address A (the "SQ" building) is titled "Chateau du Sureau" / "Erna's Elderberry House" subtitle "In the classic tradition of old Europe" (looks like an up-scale spa)  [ no idea on the history of this proper, such as if it was a spa also back in the 1980s ]

- I am also attaching a view towards Oakhurst as you are leaving the "Sierra SQ building"

- The "SQ building" is still called "AdventistHealth", but the "Community Center" part of the title seems to have been dropped since 2016.


I have some additional photos, but I don't know the attachment limitations here.  Again, I'll try to prepare a longer description, and post a link to that here (which should hopefully also provision for full resolution images).


I realize these are just buildings now - but still, I was very honored to have this brief opportunity with what I consider to be computing history landmarks.












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If you are interested in additional angles or slightly higher resolution images of this building/area, refer to my notes at the bottom of this link...


My original are about 6000x3036 resolution.  The "two guys" forum host at 1200x607, while WordPress is resizing it to 2000x1012 (I understand these forums need to conserve bandwidth, and appreciate that they adjust to reasonable sizes for bandwidth reasons - that's the part that makes building these kinds of forums a bit tricky, detecting a users mobile vs hardline connection and on the fly transcoding as needed).


Thanks for still hosting this forum Al and crews.   Going on a little tangent here, I've been pondering the following:  an old timer in the 1980s would say "the world sure has changed a lot in the last 30 years"... and now, here in 2020, I can say exactly the same thing:  "the world sure has changed a lot in the last 30 years."  Both in technology and social customs.     There is an old StarTrek TNG episode where Troy loses her ability to "turn off" her telepathic abilities - and she becomes overwhelmed by hearing everyone's thoughts.  I tend to think modern society is dealing with the same situation - with social media and connected devices, it's no longer possible to really mind your own business.


Anyway, progress happens and things change - but I sure had more fun back in the 80's.  But I realize the same exact thing could have been said in the 1920s... an old timer then would have reflected: people used to just ride horses in the 1880s, and didn't need these complicated cars, street rules, licenses, insurance.... I had a dream years ago:  it was about self sustained cities in orbit, and the entire Earth surface had become a kind of National Park.   I imagine such orbiting cities will still need janitors 🙂


In honor of Sierra OnLine overall, I trekked to Glacier Point so I could provide an update on the Half Dome using a 24 megapixel sensor (taken 2 days ago Aug 10). 

Cheers to Living Legends!




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  • 1 year later...

Was searching for images to show a friend on Xbox from outta state.  We were talking Sierra games and I mentioned the HQ was directly behind the elementary school I was attending at the time.  Seems I was partly mistaken.  (Just got an account signed up and the friggin' power went out.  Gee dee it all.  XD )  

Anywho, I got a tour at the building behind the school.  Was probably about 12 or 13, maybe 14 at the oldest.  My Big Brother (from the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, not related to me) knew some guys that worked there and asked if he could bring me in.  They gave me a few souvenirs, told me they were working on a new game that wasn't out yet and wouldn't be out before my teenage brain had forgotten about it (QfG5: Dragonfire.) and I was all, "Uhuh, okay.  You got any other cool merch?"  XD  Clearly, wasn't able to appreciate something so intangible as an unreleased, in-development game.  I still had the tee shirt as recently as my return to my hometown from living of Stockton for nearly five years.  Saw it again maybe as little as four years back before it got lost in the closet again.  WAY too small to wear, obviously, albeit at the time I got it the thing was was baggy on me.

So, yeah, I'm living in Oakhurst again.  If I can help with current pictures of the buildings, I'd be happy to.  In fact, my ma works at the building that was evidently the original HQ.  The other one, the one behind my old school, was probably the one with the mountains in the background; Oakhurst sits in a kind of giant, rocky bowl.  The HQ was on the edge, too close to see mountains, but Oakhurst Elementary School is situated more in the middle, at least insofar as the vantage most pictures are taken from.  So the ridges of the mountain range would be visible in images taken of that building.

P.S.:  The talking bear used to talk.  To my understanding, it's been silent for years but then I've never had cause to get out of the car to check up on it since moving back.  That thing was an icon of the town my entire childhood, so it'd be pretty awesome if it got fixed up while my back was turned.  I'll see about taking some video capture on my phone if I remember next time I'm in town.

P.P.S.:  Actually, I think I have some images I took at the community park during a recent rain a few months back.  If I can find them now, I'll post them.  If not, I'll find them at some point and post them later.  (My phone is chalk-full of memes and I evidently have a phobia against organizing anything, so my images are all over the place.  XD )





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On 10/3/2016 at 11:27 PM, kinggraham said:

Hey this thread is old but still valuable! I stepped by the HQ last weekend and with great disappointment I found out that nobody built a Sierra theme park in Oakhurst yet. Let's kickstart the idea!

Thanks y'all for the hints!


A Sierra OnLine theme park?  Yes, please!  We already have a sorta theme park from when Oakhurst was a trading post but we can pave that over, right?  🤪

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