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John Muir National Historic Site

John Muir House, Martinez, California, Photo by Krista Kennell, Copyright 2001
Photo Copyright © 2001 Krista Kennell

The John Muir National Historic Site is located in Martinez, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Site preserves the Victorian residence and a part of the fruit ranch where the naturalist John Muir lived from 1890 to his death in 1914. While living in Martinez, Muir laid the foundations for the creation of the National Park Service in 1916. Visitors today can tour the home, see Muir's "scribble-den" where he wrote his campaigning conservation articles and books, and stroll the orchards.

The newly-added Mount Wanda area, 325 acres in size, historically owned by the Muir family, where Muir used to take frequent walks with his daughters, includes the John Muir Nature Trail, featuring spring wild flowers, abundant bird life, and scenic vistas of the Carquinez straits.

John Muir's gravesite was acquired by the National Park Service in 2000, but public visitation is awaiting repair work of damaged roadways and construction of parking spaces or a shuttle service.

Official National Park Service Websites

Features of the Historic Site

Photos of the Historic Site

Videos of the Historic Site

Historic Site Publications

  • Chronology of Important Events in the Life of John Muir
  • The Importance of John Muir
  • 26 Most Often Asked Questions -
  • Environmental Living Program - for classroom groups by advance registration
  • Muir Ranger Fact Sheet - For children ages 8 - 12.
  • The Martinez Adobe - Fact Sheet about the 1849 Land Grant structure located near the Muir House, on the grounds of the Historic Site.
  • John Muir's Gravesite - Description and Photo.
  • Wildflower List
  • John Muir NHS Landscape Management Plan (off-site link)
  • John Muir N.H.S. Self Guiding Tour Booklet - Detailed, step-by-step guide to the John Muir National Historic Site. Available for $1.00 from John Muir Bookstore.
  • Rubbisow, Ariel, John Muir National Historic Site (Tucson, AZ: Southwest Parks and Monuments Association [now Western National Parks Association], 1990). 15 pp. $3.95. A brief, highly readable biographical sketch of Muir, with color photographs of his residence in Martinez, California, now a National Historic Site operated by the National Park Service. Available from John Muir Bookstore.
  • Maruca, Mary, A Kid's Guide to Exploring John Muir National Historic Site (Tucson, AZ, Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, 2000). 14 pp., illustrated, paperback, $3.95. Multiple color photographs and graphics on each page enhance this beautiful little booklet. Despite the book's title, the book is primarily a very brief biography about John Muir, with just the last one-third emphasizing his fruit ranch home in Martinez. The author and designers did a great job of making Muir a friendly, human person of interest to kids. Available from John Muir Bookstore.
  • Kelley, Janice, Through the Eyes of John Muir: A Multi-disciplinary Approach to Looking at our World
    This interdiciplinary curriculum guide presents numerous lessons covering a broad spectrum of topics: various aspects of John Muir's life, agricultural and immigrant history, urbanization of farmland, nature-based investigations, storytelling, what makes a healthy forest and more. The curriculum can be used for field studies to conduct at either the John Muir National Historic Site ranch site or other farm site or nature area as an outdoor classroom, and concludes with lessons and practices to help students became stewards of the environment and "champions" in their own community. This curriculum, aligned to both Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, can be applied in and outside the classroom for students to learn how to see through the eyes of John Muir - as environmental stewards, scientists, historians and advocates. These Standards apply to grades 3 and 4. Most activities are applicable to or can be modified to meet the needs of older students.

Location and Contact information:

John Muir National Historic Site
4202 Alhambra Avenue,
Martinez, California 94553
925-228-8860


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