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Charles Fletcher Lummis

1859 - 1928 Charles Lummis - Photograph courtesy of Southwest Museum of the American Indian
  • Journalist, author, magazine editor, museum founder, librarian, photographer, folklorist, and ethnographer
  • Lummis founded the Southwest Museum of Los Angeles, devoted to the culture of native Americans of the American Southwest.
  • Like Muir, Lummis took a 1,000 mile walk, from Ohio to California, arriving in Los Angeles on February 1, 1885, where he became the first city editor for the Los Angeles Times. He gained a national following with weekly letters about his escapades along the way, later published as a book, A Tramp Across the Continent (1892).
  • Lummis loved, studied, and recorded the southwest Native American and Spanish California culture. Lummis pursued a lifelong crusade to win basic rights and simple respect for Native Americans.
  • Thumbnail of John Muir portrait by Charles F. LummisAs the editor of Land of Sunshine and Out West he sought after John Muir to contribute articles.
    As a pioneeering photo journalist, he produced a sensitive portrait of John Muir.
  • In the Arroyo Seco portion of Los Angeles, he built a home to last 1,000 years, El Alisal (off-site link - photo gallery by Harold Wood). He built this home with his own hands, over a twelve year period starting in 1898 and ending in 1910. At El Alisal, Lummis entertained many famous visitors, including actors, writers, historians, poets, and artists, including John Muir, who signed his guestbook in 1903.
Photo of Charles Lummis courtesy of The Southwest Museum of the American Indian.

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