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Muir is Still Here:
A Marquette County Journal of Discovery

by Daryl Christensen and Kathleen McGwin

A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir by Donald Worster book cover

( from the book's back cover )
Muir is Still Here: A Marquette County Journal of Discovery by Daryl Christensen and Kathleen McGwin; 136 pages; Maps, Color Photography, Bibliography, softbound. Prepared for the Year of John Muir - Montello Historic Preservation Society, P.O. Box 473, 55 West Montello St., Montello, WI 53949. ©

When the renowned American naturalist John Muir was 11 years old, he traveled from his home city of Dunbar, Scotland with his father, brother, and one sister, across the Atlantic, to New York, over to Buffalo, through the Great Lakes to Milwaukee, overland by ox cart to Kingston, Wisconsin, and finally to Buffalo Township in Marquette County. The year as 1849. the landscape was wilderness with only blazed trails, inhabited by Ho Chunk INdians, then called Winnebago, being displaced by the influx of immigrants and Yankees encouraged to settle in the new state.

John Muir went on to become one of the greatest influences in America on saving wilderness for its immeasurable diversity of life and its great importance to the well being of man and womankind. But before he settled in California, before he embraced and saved Yosemite, before he took his 1,000 mile walk or climbed on Alaskan glaciers, he rejoiced in the flora and fauna of his boyhood home in Marquette County, Wisconsin.

That landscape, that wilderness connection, the meadow, the wet sedge orchids, the chattering bluejay that Muir loved, can still be found in Marquette County. Muir is Still Here describes important Marquette County influences on the young John Muir and gives locations where Muir birds, flowers, and even neighboring settler outpost history can be found. More importantly, the book Muir is Still Here leads the reader through his or her own journey in understanding the man Muir, his transcendental view of nature, and the reader's own connection to the wild world.

Muir is Still Here revisits and revitalizes the influences in John Muir's young life in Marquette County, Wisconsin that helped shape this great man's wilderness philosophy. It is a joyful book; a look at who was there with him in 1850s Wisconsin, what he read, what he saw and what he loved in the landscape around him. Not a biography, not a history text, this look into the past leads right into the present and takes the reader on a journey that will reconnect many to flora, human to fauna, and Muir's view of the universe with our own longing to feel one with the world. You don't need to walk the path of the corduroy road that Muir helped build to find your own threads from the past woven into the present but Muir is Still Here tells you where to find it if you want to. You can travel in your own county to find winged wonders that offer your soul a chance to fly free, but if you want to know where to see the birds that enchanted Muir as a boy, Muir is Still Here helps you find them, too. Part travel guide, part chronicle of the past, part guide to self discovery, Muir is Still Here is a fascinating read for anyone who loves nature, admires John Muir, seeks renewal, or enjoys local history.

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