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Thank You, John Muir!

Case Statement for Proposed New Visitor and Education Center

On behalf of students, scholars, naturalists, conservationists, geologists, glaciologist, botanists, hikers of the world, and lovers of all natural things in the universe, the John Muir Memorial Association wants to say, "Thank you, John Muir, for your many contributions to these important areas." Our goal is to provide adequate space, resources, and access to let this Site reach its full potential as an interpretive and educational center. Private funds will be required.

I. Background. The central attraction of the John Muir National Historic Site is the 17-room Victorian ranch house that was Muir's home from 1890 until 1914. Finished in 1882 by Muir's father-in-law, Dr. John Strentzel, this home was the center of Muir's literary output, his family life, and the 2,600 acre Muir-Strentzel fruit farm ranch. The Site also includes the 1848 Martinez adobe and nearby Mt. Wanda (325 acres).

Visitor Center II. The Need. The current visitor center struggles in an undersized former veterinary clinic. It provides inadequate space for virtually every essential function. The Association wants to provide expanded visitor and education space; adequate parking; secure fixtures to exhibit prime examples of Muir's literary works; and adequate space for NPS administration and staff.

III. The Vision. Among the planned new components are:

  • Additional auditorium and administration space. (approx 1000 square feet additional). School classes (even two classes at a time) and local/regional community organizations will benefit from the enlarged auditorium. NPS staff will have improved office space. At present not all full-time staff even have a desk, and there is little storage space.

  • An education center. This space will store and provide access to important Site, local, and regional information including Muir, Strentzel, Martinez, and Swett family histories; Muir House and Martinez Adobe histories; and Muir-Strentzel fruit ranch facts. Tables, file cabinets, and computers will be provided.

  • Prime examples of Muir's literary works. The Association plans to acquire and donate examples of Muir's books, articles, memorabilia, and other artifacts which preserve and develop interest in his life and writing.

  • Secure display fixtures to exhibit personal, family, and literary artifacts. Existing material, now inaccessible due to limited space and security concerns and new material to be acquired, will be on public view.

  • Architectural features to remind visitors of Muir and his love for the outdoors. Rustic design, including wood and stone features will be emphasized.

We welcome your help as a contributor or as a volunteer on the project. Please call us at (925) 253-0769 or write to us at 99 Brookwood Rd., Suite 6, Orinda, CA 94563. E-mail: Fred Stickney
For more information: John Muir National Historic Site Capital Campaign Fund - offsite link

Help us say... "Thank You, John Muir!"

Source: adapted from a publication of the John Muir Memorial Association.

1998 January 24

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