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Chronology (Timeline) of the Life and Legacy of John Muir

From his birth to 2019


For a detailed Chronology focused on Muir's life itsself, including all of his travels and times with friends and family, see the University of the Pacific's John Muir Life Chronology. (off-site link)

The following chronology, originally created in 1997, is intended to especially illustrate Muir's legacy since his death in 1914 through the present.

Note: We are aware that a number of the off-site links on this page are broken because those websites failed to put in re-directs to their own publications. Use at your own risk. We hope to update this page in the future but perhaps at a new location.


  • April 21 : John Muir is born in Dunbar, Scotland, the son of Daniel and Ann Gilrye Muir. Siblings are Margaret (b. 1834) and Sarah (b. 1836) .

Historical Context

  • Muir was born a year after Queen Victoria assumed the throne of the United Kingdom
  • Morse patents the telegraph
  • Martin Van Buren is President of the U.S.A.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 1 year old
  • John and his family move from Muir's birthplace at 126/128 High St., Dunbar, next door to 130 High St., where the family remained until Muir was 11 years old.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 2 years old
  • Brother David born. Fearing for his baby brother's safety as the doctor was vaccinating the infant, Muir bites the doctor's arm. Doctor and mother both respond with laughter.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 3 years old
  • Enters primary school at the age of three


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 4 years old
  • Muir's love of nature awakens in early childhood


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 5 years old
  • Brother Daniel born


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 7 years old
  • Enters Dunbar Grammar School: taught Latin, French, English, mathematics, and geography
  • Reads about natural history in school reader, is especially fascinated by America's fauna as described by John Audubon and Alexander Wilson. Spends much time wandering the local coastline and countryside.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 8 years old
  • Twin sisters Mary and Annie are born


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 11 years old
  • February : The Muir family emigrates from Glasgow to New York, the trip taking six weeks by sailing ship, then via the Great Lakes and wagon to Fountain Lake , Buffalo Township, Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Historical Context

  • California Gold Rush
  • Howe invents the sewing machine


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 12 years old
  • From age 11 to 21 John Muir works as his father's unpaid farm laborer
  • Receives no formal schooling but teaches himself mathematics, geometry, literature, and philosophy
  • Sister Joanna born


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 16 years old
  • Becomes greatly interested in literature and poetry
  • Muir constructs clocks, barometers, hydrometers, table-saws, and other such items


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 18 years old
  • The Muir family moves from Fountain Lake farm to Hickory Hill farm nearby
  • Muir nearly dies from choke-damp while digging a well


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 22 years old
  • September : Muir leaves home at age 22 to exhibit his inventions at the State Fair in Madison, Wisconsin. He receives his first public recognition in An Ingenious Whittler -- an 1860 newspaper account of his exhibited inventions.
  • Meets Jeanne Carr, a judge of the exhibits and wife of Ezra Carr , a professor at University of Wisconsin.

Historical Context

  • Abraham Lincoln is elected President of the U.S.A.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 23 years old
  • February : Enrolls at the University of Wisconsin and attends for almost 2 1/2 years (5 trimesters); teaches school in winter
  • Learns about geology from Dr. Ezra S. Carr . Carr's wife, Jeanne, becomes his mentor
  • Invents a study desk that retrieves a book, holds it in place for the prescribed period of time, and then automatically replaces it with another book
  • Muir has his first informal lesson in botany from from Milton S. Griswold, a classmate, beneath a black locust near North Hall, the student residence hall where he was then living. As a result, Muir experienced a major epiphany about the orderliness of botany, which changed his life.

Historical Context

  • The U.S. Civil War (1861 - 1864) begins


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 24 years old
  • Muir becomes consumed with an interest in botany.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 25 years old
  • Leaves the university; returns home at periods awaiting possible draft for the American Civil War. In her article based on extensive research of original documents, John Muir and the Civil War, historian Millie Stanley refutes the common accusation that John Muir was a draft dodger. (Published in University of the Pacific, John Muir Newsletter, Vol. 12, No. 4, Fall, 2002). For a summary of this and other research see Was John Muir a Draft Dodger? by Harold Wood.
  • One of the earliest photos of John Muir was taken in 1863.  It is how he would have looked when he lived at Hickory Hill and when he left for first the Wisconsin State Fair with his whittled inventions in 1860 and then to the University of Wisconsin in 1861.  He came back to visit Hickory Hill and the neighbors several times including in 1863 at the time of the photo. 
  • Takes first botanical foot journey along the Wisconsin River to the Mississippi


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 26 years old
  • Travels to Canada and remains there for two years.
  • Before leaving Canada, he attempts to save a portion of Fountain Lake Farm for its beauty alone -- presaging his major contribution to the formation of the national park system
  • Works at Trout's sawmill and broom and rake factory at Meaford, Ontario. (off-site link)
  • Botanizes in Ontario, discovering the rare orchid, Calypso borealis, the subject of his first published writing.

Historical Context

  • President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill giving Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Big Tree Grove to California as state park lands; this is the nation's first act of wilderness preservation. (Note that Muir had nothing to do with this, although later he would go on to advocate establishing the Yosemite National Park.)


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 27 years old
  • Uses his inventive abilities to improve manufacturing efficiency at Trout's factory.
  • When asked to teach Sunday school class, offers his students lessons in botany instead of the Bible as a means of understanding creation.
  • Begins correspondence with Jeanne Carr

Historical Context

  • President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated.


  • February 22 : The Meaford, Ontario factory where Muir had been working burns down.
  • Muir returns to the USA
  • April 21 : John Muir turns 28 years old
  • Employed as foreman and engineer at a carriage factory in Indianapolis, Indiana; he automates the machinery there
  • December : Muir's first published writing, "The Calypso Borealis", is published in the Boston Recorder .


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 29 years old
  • March 5 : Blinded in a factory accident. After weeks of agony, cared for by Catharine Merrill, his sight returns. Muir decides to leave factory work to study nature.
  • September 1 : After recuperation and an extended visit at home, Muir sets out on a 1000 mile walk to Florida and Cuba, with South America as his ultimate goal
  • September 12: Muir passed through Kingston, Tennessee. After crossing what historians believe is either the Little Emory River or the Emory River, Muir spent some time in what he described as a "grand rock dwelling" filled with mosses, birds, and flowers, declaring it to be the "most heavenly place I ever entered." He wrote: "There is nothing more eloquent in Nature than a mountain stream, and this is the first I ever saw. Its banks are luxuriantly peopled with rare and lovely flowers and overarching trees, making one of Nature's coolest and most hospitable places." (Chapter 2, A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf). (150 years later, Roane County Tourism and the City of Kingston would celebrate this event with a "Muir Fest," - see entry under 2017).



  • April 21 : John Muir turns 31 years old
  • Spends "first summer in the sierra" as a summer shepherd at Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra Nevada Mountains.
  • Starts to hike, climb and study the Sierra ranges and glaciers
  • Makes the first ascent of Cathedral Peak in what is now Yosemite National Park .


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 32 years old
  • Muir winters in Yosemite Valley and works at James M. Hutchings ' sawmill
  • He begins guiding tours of Yosemite
  • Muir meets Joseph LeConte on a geological expedition in Yosemite , joining the 'University Excursion Party" organized by student Lester Leander Hawkins. LeConte wrote an account of the trip called "Ramblings Through the High Sierra" in which he describes Hawkins as "the most indispensable man in the party" and "the soul of our party". Similarly, John Muir made a strong impression of professor LeConte, as he wrote: "Mr. Muir is a gentleman of rare intelligence, of much knowledge of science, particularly of botany, which he has made a specialty. He has lived several years in the valley, and is thoroughly acquainted with the mountains in the vicinity. A man of so much intelligence tending a saw mill!—not for himself but for Mr. Hutchings. This is California!"... He is a most passionate lover of nature. Plants, and flowers, and forests, and sky, and clouds, and mountains, seem actually to haunt his imagination. He seems to revel in the freedom of this life. I think he would pine away in a city or in conventional life of any kind. He is really not only an intelligent man, as I saw at once, but a man of strong, earnest nature, and thoughtful, closely observing and original mind."


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 33 years old May : Ralph Waldo Emerson visits Muir in Yosemite
  • Autumn : Muir's first visit to to Hetch Hetchy valley, which he calls the "Tuolumne Yosemite."
  • December 5 : New York Tribune publishes Muir's first article from California, titled "Yosemite Glaciers"
  • Muir makes second, unsuccessful attempt, to buy a portion of Fountain Lake Farm for preservation


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 34 years old
  • Spends winter working on his writings about Yosemite
  • Muir's articles "Yosemite Valley in Flood" (April), "Twenty Hill Hollow" (July), and "Living Glaciers of California" (December) are published in The Overland Monthly
  • Asa Gray, Professor of Botany at Harvard visits Muir in Yosemite
  • Makes first ascent of Mount Ritter (13,000 ft.) via the north face.
  • Meets the artist William Keith, who becomes his life-long friend.

Historical Context

  • Yellowstone becomes the first U.S. national park


  • March 25: Boston Weekly Transcript publishes The Hetch Hetchy Valley, the fifth of Muir's newspaper columns to appear in print.
  • April 21 : John Muir turns 35 years old
  • Muir winters in Oakland and begins writing articles on Yosemite
  • Solo-climbs Mount Whitney (14,500 ft.), the first recorded ascent by an eastern route
  • First excursion to Kings River Canyon
  • First visit to Lake Tahoe in October-November.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 36 years old Solo ascent of Mount Shasta (14,400 ft.)
  • Explores the Modoc Lava Beds (now a National Monument) just south of the Oregon border in northern California.
  • San Francisco's The Overland Monthly starts publishing Muir's series, Studies in the Sierra
  • Through Jeanne Carr, meets the woman who will become his wife, Louie Wanda Strentzel, the 27-year-old daughter of Louisiana Irwin Strentzel and Dr. John Theophil Strentzel, a prosperous Polish immigrant who owns a large fruit farm near Martinez.
  • Forms close friendship with State Superintendent of Schools John Swett and his wife, Mary Tracy Swett


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 37 years old
  • Lives in Bay Area writing magazine articles
  • Climbs Mount Shasta and Mount Whitney
  • Takes three-month mule trip to southern Sierra Nevada "hunting big redwoods."


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 38 years old
  • Begins to write and lobby in public for forest protection and conservation
  • Gives first public lecture, to the Literary Institute of Sacramento. See "The Importance of John Muir's First Public Lecture, Sacramento, 1876" by Steve Pauly and reconstruction of lecture in John Muir Newsletter, Vol. 9, no. 1-3.
  • Sacramento Record-Union publishes his article, "God's First Temples", urging government protection of the forests


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 39 years old
  • Leads Professor Asa Gray of Harvard and Sir Joseph Hooker of England's Kew Gardens on expedition to the Shasta region
  • Becomes life-long friends with John and Annie Bidwell of Chico
  • October: Floats from Chico 200 miles down the Sacramento River from to Chico on a small boat, initially named the Spoonbill but re-christened by Muir after some repairs as the Snagjumper, due to its prowess in navigating obstacles in the river. A brief side trip involved climbing the highest of the "Marysville Buttes" (now called the Sutter Buttes) which he measured as "eighteen hundred feet above its base, ... nineteen hundred and fifty feet above the river, ... or in round numbers two thousand feet above tidewater."
  • November: After exploring Kings Canyon and high regions of the southern Sierra over 12,000 feet in elevation, he returned to Hopeton (near Snelling), built a small raft, and floated some 250 miles down the Merced River to the San Joaquin River, past Stockton and through the tule region into the bay" near Martinez. There he briefly visited the family of his future wife, Louie, and her parents Dr. & Mrs. Strentzel, before climbing Mount Diablo and returning to Oakland. [Sources: Life & Letters, Ch. 12, John of the Mountains, pp. 236-244]
  • May: Guides U.S. Geodetic Survey in Utah mountains, visits Salt Lake City, the Great Salt Lake, and meets Mormon families
  • Explores the San Gabriel Mountains of southern California
  • Reports of these excursions were sent to the San Francisco Evening Bulletin and later published in Steep Trails.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 40 years old
    • Muir's essay on the California Dipper, then known as the water ouzel , published in Scribners Monthly with the title "The Hummingbird of the California Water Falls."
  • September - October: Guides U.S. Geodetic Survey in Nevada and sends reports to the San Francisco Evening Bulletin, later published in Steep Trails.
  • Publishes Lake Tahoe in Winter in San Francisco Bulletin, later reprinted in Sierra Club Bulletin,Vol. 3, No. 2, May, 1900, pp. 119 - 126.
  • Muir begins corresponding with the Strentzel family


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 41 years old
  • Muir becomes engaged to Louisa Wanda (Louie) Strentzel
  • Exchanges information with early mountain climber P.C. Renfrew living near Eugene, Oregon. Renfrew urged Muir to explore the Cascades with him. He also provided Muir with information about tree species of the Pacific Northwest
  • First trip to Alaska, with S. Hall Young
  • Meets Robert Moran, who later donates land for Moran State Park on Orcas Island, Washington, inspired by Muir.
  • Discovers Glacier Bay and Muir Glacier; names Geikie and Hugh Miller Glaciers


  • January: Visits Portland, Oregon, on the return from his first trip to Alaska. He had planned to explore the Columbia River Gorge but became "entangled in a snarl of lectures" about his Alaska travels. See John Muir in Portland - Exhibit by Anton Vetterlein - Museum of the City, Portland, Oregon (no longer online - try Internet Archive Wayback Machine).
  • April 21 : John Muir turns 42 years old
  • In January, spends a month in Portland, Oregon and gives first public lectures about his travels and discoveries in Alaska. Has first meetings with many pioneer mountaineers and conservationists in Pacific Northwest
  • April 14 : Muir marries Louisa Wanda (Louie) Strentzel, age 33
  • July : makes second trip to Alaska, adventure with Stickeen


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 43 years old
  • Third trip to Alaska, aboard the Corwin
  • March 25 : birth of daughter Wanda Muir
  • John Swett buys ranch adjoining Muir holdings


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 44 years old
  • Construction of Martinez mansion, home of Muir's father and mother-in-law
  • Muir's article "Bee-Pastures of California" is published in Century magazine in two parts, later to be published in his book Our National Parks.
  • Muir becomes a rancher and fruit farmer for eight years


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 45 years old.
  • Several of Muir's articles are re-printed in school readers.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 46 years old
  • Muir takes Louie (his wife) to Yosemite


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 47 years old
  • Travels through Portland en route to see family in Wisconsin. Makes brief stop in Columbia Gorge and at Multnomah Falls.
  • Muir visits and writes about Yellowstone National Park
  • Muir has a premonition that his father is dying; he gathers up his siblings for one last visit. Daniel Muir (his father) dies in Kansas City, Missouri with John at his bedside. Daniel is buried in the Elmwood Cemetery, and Muir writes an obituary about his father.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 48 years old
  • January 23 : Birth of his second child, Helen Muir


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 49 years old
  • Muir begins work as editor and author on Picturesque California
  • May: Muir showed Muir Woods to noted British evolutionist Alfred Russel Wallace, who commented that he went to the foothills near San Francisco: "to see the remains of the Redwood forest that once covered them, but which had all been ruthlessly destroyed to supply timber for the city and towns around. Our companion was Mr. John Muir, whose beautiful volume, The Mountains of California, is, in its way, as fine a piece of work as Mr. Hudson's Naturalist in La Plata." (Alfred Russel Wallace, My Life: A Record of Events and Opinions, Vol. 2., Dodd, Mead & Company, 1905).


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 50 years old
  • Trip to Puget Sound and Mount Shasta ; climbs Mount Rainier (14,500 ft.)
  • Camp Muir on slopes of Mt. Rainier named by Edward Ingraham who was the leader of this climb. The site was named in Muir's honor because he discovered the camp site at 10,000 feet based on the presence of pumice which indicated a shelter from strong winds
  • Circumnavigates Lake Tahoe by sail with a man named Parry.
  • Visits many sites in Pacific Northwest, including Portland Oregon, Columbia Gorge, Mount Rainier, Snoqualmie Falls, Spokane Falls and Crater Lake. While in Portland he had planned to climb to the summit of Mt. Hood, but illness kept him from that plan. He managed to hike up the Tualatin Mountains instead where he gained panoramic views of the region and mountains. This trip provides material for articles about Oregon and Washington published in Picturesque California (Also in Steep Trails ).
  • Meets many prominent mountaineers and conservationists of the Pacific Northwest, including William Gladstone Steel (founder of Oregon Alpine Club and later the Mazamas and Philemon Van Trump(the first to climb Rainier)
  • Picturesque California , in two volumes, is published; Muir is editor and contributor



  • April 21 : John Muir turns 52 years old.
  • Fourth trip to Alaska ; 10 day solo-expedition by sled across Muir Glacier.
  • Muir's articles on Yosemite, The Treasures of Yosemite and Features of the Proposed Yosemite National Park published in Century magazine , which greatly aid the campaign to establish Yosemite National Park.
  • Yosemite becomes a National Park.
  • Muir campaigns for Kings Canyon National Park, which would take another 49 years, and for Sequoia National Park, and sees the establishment of Sequoia National Park, and corresponds with George Stewart, known as the Father of Sequoia National Park.
  • Muir's father-in-law John Strentzel dies; Muir family moves into ranch house to care for Mrs. Strentzel.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 53 years old
  • Muir's eldest sister Maggie and her husband John Reid move to Alhambra Valley, and John Reid assumes many of the duties of ranch management, freeing Muir for writing and exploration
  • Muir visits Kings River region of the southern Sierra Nevada.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 54 years old
  • Muir co-founds the Sierra Club ; serves as its President for the rest of his life. Samuel Merrill reported that "I had never seen Mr. Muir so animated and happy before... the happiest day in his life, I venture to say, was the day in San Francisco in the summer of 1892, when he found himself the center of a devoted and loyal group of citizens who organized themselves into the Sierra Club and made him President." See Personal Recollections of John Muir by Samuel Merrill (1928)
  • John's brother David and his family move to the Martinez ranch from Portage , relieving his brother of the burden of ranch management. Muir is completely free to return to the wilderness and his efforts to save it.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 55 years old
  • May: Muir takes East Coast trip
    • Muir stops for nearly a week at the Chicago World's Fair; finding it "a cosmopolitan rat's nest." (In Wolfe, Son of the Wilderness). In a letter to his wife Louie, he expanded on his assessment: "I ...have seen the best of it though months would be required to see it all. You know I called it a cosmopolitan rats nest containing much rubbish & common place stuff as well as things novel & precious. Well, now that I have seen it, it seems just such a rats nest still, & what do you think was one of the first things I saw when I entered the nearest of the huge buildings. A huge rats nest in a glass case about 8 feet square, with stuffed wood rats looking out from the mass of sticks & leaves etc. natural as life. So you see as usual I am [always?] right! I most enjoyed the art galleries. There are about eighteen acres of paintings by every nation under the sun & I wandered & gazed until I was ready to fall down with utter exhaustion. The art gallery of the California building is quite small & of little significance, not more than a dozen or two of paintings all told – 4 by Keith, not his best, & 4 by Hill not his best, & a few others of no special character by others except a good small one by Yelland. But the national galleries are perfectly overwhelming in grandeur & bulk & variety... The outside view of the buildings is grand & also beautiful. For the best architects have done their best in building them while Frederick Law Olmstead laid out the grounds. Last night the buildings & terraces & fountains along the canals were illuminated by tens of thousands of electric lights arranged along miles of lines of gables, domes & cornices with glorious effect. it was all fairyland on a scale & would have made the Queen of Sheba & poor Solomon in all their glory feel sick with helpless envy." Letter from John Muir to Louie[Strentzel Muir, 1893 May 29.
  • In New York, Century editor Robert Underwood Johnson takes Muir on a succession of luncheons and champagne dinners in his honor. Muir remarks in a letter home: "I had no idea I was so well known, considering how little I have written."
  • Through Robert Underwood Johnson, meets Henry Fairfield Osborn, the paleontologist, along with Charles S Sargent, Charles Anderson. Dana, Mark Twain, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Charles Dudley Warner, Rudyard Kipling, George W . Cable, and Nicola Tesla.
  • June 8 : Visits Concord, Massachusetts and lays flowers on Thoreau's and Emerson's graves; visits Walden Pond
  • June: Meets John Burroughs for the first time.
  • Trip to Europe: Edinburgh, Dunbar, London, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, France, and Italy.
  • Upon his return from Europe, goes with Robert Underwood Johnson to Washington, D.C., to lobby the Secretary of the Interior Hoke Smith, and other governmental leaders, including Senator Perkins..
  • Campaigns for creation of Mount Rainier National Park.




  • April 21 : John Muir turns 58 years old
  • Joins the U.S. Forestry Commission in July, chaired by Charles Sargent, on a survey of the forests of Yellowstone, the Black Hills in South Dakota, the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming, and forests in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
  • Visits Portland, Oregon, again in 1896, 1899, and 1908. Meets with L.L. Hawkins, William Steel, and other members of the Mazamas mountaineering club. By that time the Mazamas and the Sierra Club were working together on numerous conservation activities.
  • Later surveys the Cascades, the Santa Lucia coast ranges, the mountains of southern California, the Grand Canyon and the southern Sierra Nevada.
  • Fifth trip to Alaska, with Henry Fairfield Osborn
  • Muir feels a strong premonition about the health of his mother; travels east to Wisconsin, whereupon on June 23 : Muir's mother, Ann Gilrye Muir, dies.
  • Receives Honorary A.M degree from Harvard University, 1896.
  • June 26: John Muir visits John Burroughs at Hyde Park; their second meeting. The next day Burroughs writes a journal entry about John Muir and their meeting.
  • Muir makes third attempt to buy land at Fountain Lake for preservation
  • August 5: John, along with his brother David, register to vote in Contra Costa County, stating his occupation as "geologist" and his basis of citizenship "by virtue of father's naturalization."
  • Receives honorary A.M. degree from Harvard University

Historical Context

  • William McKinley is elected President of the U.S.A.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 59 years old
  • Awarded honorary L.L.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin
  • Sixth trip to Alaska; 5 weeks via Banff and Canadian Rockies
  • Muir's articles on forest preservation, published in Harper's Weekly and Atlantic Monthly , create popular support for protecting forests


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 60 years old
  • U.S. Forestry Commission survey of North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, and Delaware
  • Visits Washington D.C., to lobby and sightseeing.
  • Muir Visits Roan Mountain astraddle the Tennessee/North Carolina border - see Muir, Michaux, And Gray On The Roan By Bob Fulcher - reprint from The Tennessee Conservationist, September-October, 1998, about Muir's 1898 botanical excursion to Roan Mountain
  • John Muir Visits Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina (offsite link)
  • Muir also tours Montreal, St. Lawrence River, Maine, and Vermont mountains
  • Muir visits Florida, visited his old friends the Hodgson family, who had tended him during his life-threatening bout with malaria in 1867..
  • Writes "The Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West" article which promotes Mt. Rainier National Park along with other places


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 61 years old
  • Mount Rainier National Park is established
  • Visits Portland, Oregon, again in 1896, 1899, and 1908. Meets with L.L. Hawkins, William Steel, and other members of the Mazamas mountaineering club. By that time the Mazamas and the Sierra Club were working together on numerous conservation activities.
  • Muir's seventh trip to Alaska, with the Harriman Alaska Expedition to Wrangell, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Prince William Sound, and the Aleutian Islands and beyond. In 1899, railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman organized a summer voyage to the wilds of Alaska: He converted a steamship, the George W. Elder, into a luxury "floating university," populated by some of America's best and brightest scientists and writers, including John Muir. Those aboard encountered a land of immeasurable beauty and impending environmental calamity. This was Muir's seventh trip to Alaska, to Wrangell, Glacier Bay, Sitka, and Prince William Sound. Muir made many friendships on the vessel, and would later write stories about this trip, about the people on board, and the Natives. See: Looking Far North: The Harriman Expedition to Alaska, 1899 by William Goetzmann and Kay Sloan (Viking, 1982). See entries for 2001 and 2018 below for narratives of retracing of this famous expedition.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 62 years old
  • Muir works on a series of articles about parks and forests
  • Revisits his old haunts in the Sierra Nevada in the headwaters of the Truckee, Carson, Mokelumne, Stanislaus, Calaveras, Walker, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers, in the company of C. Hart Merriam


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 63 years old Our National Parks is published
  • The city of San Francisco begins a campaign to build a reservoir in Hetch Hetchy. Valley.
  • Leads first annual Sierra Club trip to the mountains, guiding nearly 100 Sierra Club members around Yosemite for a month.
  • Muir's good friend, the geologist Joseph Le Conte, dies on the Yosemite outing.

Historical Context

  • Theodore Roosevelt becomes President of the U.S.A.
  • Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom, dies.



  • January 13 - Muir left on the train for Arizona; visits the Grand Canyon..
  • January - Muir contemplated writing no fewer than 6 new books: (1) A small one, "Yosemite and Other Yosemites," (2) a "California tree and shrub book," (3) "a mountaineering book--all about walking, climbing, and camping, with a lot of illustrative excursions," (4) "Alaska--glaciers, forests, mountains, travels, etc.," (5) "A book of studies--the action of landscape-making forces, earth sculpture, distribution of plants and animals, etc. My main real book in which I'll have to ask my readers to cerebrate. Still I hope it may be made readable to a good many," (6) "Possibly my autobiography which for ten years or more all sorts of people have been begging me to write. My life, however, has been so smooth and regular and reasonable, so free from blundering exciting adventures, the story seems hardly worth while in the midst of so much that is infinitely more important. Still, if I should live long enough I may be tempted to try it. For I begin to see that such a book would offer fair opportunities here and there to say a good word for God."
  • Spring - Muir reported in a letter to Professor Sargent that he had to describe the Colorado Grand Cañon - "the toughest job I ever tackled, strenuous enough to disturb the equanimity of even a Boston man." He and Sargent begin to plan "a journey through the forests of Siberia and Manchuria" which eventually turns into his world tour of 1903-1904.
  • John Muir's moving tribute to Catharine Merrill, "Words from an Old Friend," is published in The Man Shakespeare and other Essays By Catharine Merrill With Impressions And Reminiscences Of The Author By Melville B. Anderson, And With Some Words of Appreciation From John Muir, (Indianapolis, The Bowen-Merrill Company, 1902).
  • Muir writes to Sir Joseph Hooker at Kew Gardens, London, England
  • April 21: John Muir turns 64 years old
  • July - Muir joined the second Sierra Club outing, to King's River canyon and, for some, the high country, Mt. Brewer and Kearsarge Pass.
  • Following the Club Outing, Muir explored the Kern River Cañon.
  • Explores the Giant Sequoia of the Converse Basin, measuring them with a steel tape-line; he lamented "the horrible destruction of the Kings River groves now going on fiercely about the mills."
  • September - "Now I'm at work on a little Yosemite book."
  • Crater Lake National Park is established.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 65 years old
  • April 28: John Muir becomes a naturalized citizen of the United States
  • May 15-17: President Theodore Roosevelt spends 3 days and nights camping alone with Muir in Yosemite
  • 1903-1904 - World tour: London, Paris, Berlin, Russia, Finland, Siberia, Korea, Japan, China, India, Egypt, Ceylon, Australia, New Zealand, Malaya, Indonesia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Hawaii
  • At age 65, Muir climbs the Mueller Glacier on Mount Cook, New Zealand


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 66 years old
  • May 27: Muir returns home at the end of his World Tour.
  • Intensifies campaign to return Yosemite Valley back to federal control


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 67 years old
  • With William Colby, Muir actively lobbies in Sacramento for state legislation to return Yosemite Valley back to federal control
  • Daughter Helen is ill; she travels with Muir to Arizona for recovery
  • The Mazamas and the Sierra Club hold a joint summer outing and climb of Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier. Steven Mather , later the first director of the National Park Service, is on this outing. Early Sierra Club activists Edward Parsons and William E. Colby were also members of the Mazamas which established friendships that later provided support for Muir's efforts to protect Hetch Hetchy.
  • Muir studies the Petrified Forest and campaigns for its protection
  • August 6 : Muir's wife, Louie Strentzel Muir, dies


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 68 years old
  • Petrified Forest proclaimed a National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt
  • June 11: President Roosevelt signs federal legislation to return Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove to become part of the Yosemite National Park, after a 17 year campaign by John Muir and the Sierra Club.
  • Muir's daughter Wanda marries Thomas Hanna

Historical Context

  • The great San Francisco earthquake and fire occurs, fueling the city's desire to dam Hetch Hetchy. for a new water supply. The Muir home in Martinez is slightly damaged.



  • April 21 : John Muir turns 70 years old
  • Grand Canyon National Monument is established
  • Theodore Roosevelt proclaims Muir Woods National Monument , named after Muir by request of the donor of the land, William Kent , who later becomes a U.S. Congressman
  • Muir dictates his autobiography, as a guest of Edward H. Harriman, at Pelican Bay, Oregon (on Klamath Lake)
  • Visits Portland, Oregon, again in 1896, 1899, and 1908. Meets with L.L. Hawkins, William Steel, and other members of the Mazamas mountaineering club. By that time the Mazamas and the Sierra Club were working together on numerous conservation activities.
  • Muir continues the battle for Hetch Hetchy.


  • April 21 : John Muir turns 71 years old
  • Stickeen is published
  • October - Muir leads President Taft through Yosemite; guides Secretary of Interior Ballinger through Hetch Hetchy.
  • Meets John Burroughs at the Grand Canyon; later joins him in Yosemite


    • April 21 : John Muir turns 72 years old
    • Muir's daughter Helen marries Buel A. Funk
    • Muir spends several months writing and visiting his daughter and friends in Los Angeles
    • Muir takes the Osborn family on a trip to Yosemite, and J.D. Hooker on a short trip to the Grand Canyon.
    • Back home in Martinez, Muir wrote to a friend on December 17, 1910 that "I've been reading old musty dusty Yosemite Notes until I'm tired and blinky blind, trying to arrange them in something like lateral, medial, and terminal moraines on my den floor. I never imagined I had accumulated so vast a number... I thought that in a quiet day or two I might select all that would be required for a [Yosemite] guidebook; but the stuff seems enough for a score of big jungle books, and it's very hard, I find, to steer through on anything like a steady course in reasonable time."


    • April 21 : John Muir turns 73 years old
    • Spring: Muir travels to New York, Washington, Garrison, Boston, and New Haven.
    • May 13: Muir travels to Rochester to visit Harriman
    • May 21: Muir is interviewed in the Boston Herald before speaking to the Appalachian Mountain Club.
    • June: Muir's My First Summer in the Sierra is published
      • Book Review by Marion Randall Parsons (January, 1912 Sierra Club Bulletin)
    • June 17 : John Muir makes a speech to the American Alpine Club in New York, eventually published in Sierra Club Bulletin (Jan., 1924).
    • June 21: Muir is awarded an honorary Litt. D. degree by Yale University
    • July: Muir spends time at Osborn's summer house in Garrison, New York, working on editing the final proofs for The Yosemite.
    • August 12 : Leaves New York for a year-long trip to South America and Africa, fulfilling his 40 year dream to explore the Amazon and the Araucaria forests of Brazil and Chile.
    • September : Travels up the Amazon River as far as Manaus, Brazil; studies rainforest plants.
    • October : Explores forests of Araucaria braziliensis in southern Brazil.
    • November : Travels to Chile; explores forests of the rare monkey-puzzle tree, Araucaria imbricata (now A. araucana) in southern Andes Mountains.
    • December : Spends most of month at sea between South America and South Africa, stopping December 26 at Tenerife in the Canary Islands.


    • January : Continues voyage to South Africa, arriving Cape Town January 13.
    • January 20 : Studies Baobab trees near Victoria Falls.
    • February : Travels in East Africa to the headwaters of the Nile River.
    • March : Continues travels from East Africa, then via ship to New York via Suez Canal and Naples.
    • March 27 : Arrives in New York after his thirty-week, 40,000 mile-long voyage.
    • April 21 : John Muir turns 74 years old
    • Muir continues the fight against the destruction of wilderness by lumber, mining, and power barons, including the plan to inundate Hetch Hetchy Valley.
    • Muir joins the Sierra Club's annual summer Outing to the Kern River Canyon country, where the group meets a family outing led by Stephen Mather, who later became the first director of the National Park Service.
    • Muir's book The Yosemite is published.


    • April 21 : John Muir turns 75 years old
    • The battle for Hetch Hetchy is lost; Hetch Hetchy Valley is granted to San Francisco for a water reservoir
    • Story of my Boyhood and Youth is published
    • August: visits the Harriman family as their guest at Harriman's Idaho ranch retreat near Island Park, now a state park: Harriman State Park - Today, a trail at the park has been named for Muir, the John Muir ADA (American Disabilities Act) Compliant Interpretive Trail and fishing platform - -a three-quarter-mile loop trail inspired by John Muir's August 1913 "Island Park" journal.
    • On the way to Island Park, Muir visited the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City where he heard "memorable organ music," especially "Nearer, my God to Thee," which he described as "so devout, so sweet, so whispering low." (John Muir's August 1913 "Island Park" Idaho journal.)
    • Muir is awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of California
    • October 4 - The Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club builds a lodge in the Big Santa Anita Canyon above Sierra Madre and Pasadena, and names it the Muir Lodge in honor of the Club's still-sitting President.  Judge Claire Tappaan presided at dedication ceremonies. A Sequoia tree sapling was planted as part of the ceremony. This tree is still growing on the site, although the building was destroyed by a flood in 1938. Although John Muir never lived to see the Lodge, he sent in $50 to help fund its construction. For 25 years this "mountain home of the Sierra Club" was a center of the southern California chapter activities, ranging from hikes to parties of various sorts.


    Historical Context

    • World War I begins in Europe.


    • Travels in Alaska is published by Muir's literary executor, William F. Badè
    • Letters to a Friend consisting of letters written to Jeanne Carr by John Muir between 1866 and 1879 is published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    • S. Hall young publishes Alaska Days with John Muir in which he recounts two journeys of discovery taken in company with Muir in 1879 and 1880. Young describes Muir's ability to "slide" up glaciers, the broad Scotch he used when he was enjoying himself, and his natural affinity for Indian wisdom and theistic religion. Here too, is the first mention of Muir's special insight with Young's dog, Stickeen.
    • The Sierra Club wins passage of California legislation appropriating the first $10,000 for construction of the John Muir Trail




    • Steep Trails is published
    • On the University of Wisconsin campus, Muir Knoll is designated as a memorial to John Muir; red granite "Muir Knoll boulder" placed. Muir Knoll was officially dedicated with a ceremony on June 18, 1918. Dr. Charles H. Vilas delivered the dedication address. Judge Milton S. Griswold (who as a classmate had given Muir his first lesson in botany under a black locust at the site) and Muir's North Hall roommate, Charles E. Vroman, also spoke. See University of Wisconsin John Muir Park Cultural Landscape Study, 1915 (PDF) (off-site link)


    • The National Parks Association (re-named the National Parks Conservation Association in 1970) is founded with the personal and financial support of Sierra Club member and Park Service Director Stephen T. Mather. Retiring Park Service Education Division chief Robert Sterling Yard becomes its first leader.
    • The tree on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, where John Muir first had his epiphany about the orderliness of botany, is officially designated as the "Muir Locust."


    • Muir's previously unpublished article, "Save the Redwoods" is published in the Sierra Club Bulletin.


    • Robert Moran donates land for Moran State Park on Orcas Island, Washington. Moran attributes his interest in conservation to his 1879 meeting with Muir






    Historical Context

    • Calvin Coolidge is elected President of the U.S.A.


    • Pupils at the John Muir School in Seattle compose a John Muir Pageant and a book including essays by the students and quotations from Muir



    • John Muir's account of visiting Mt. San Jacinto appeared first in Frederick, K. P. (1926) Legends and History of the San Jacinto Mountains. Muir was reported to exclaim, ""The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!" See Heald, Weldon F. (July, 1963) "The Lordly San Jacintos," in Westways, as reported in the Wikipedia entry for San Jacinto Peak.


    • S. Hall Young of Alaska... The Autobiography of S. Hall Young is published, which recounts an accidental meeting with his old friend John Muir when boarding the steamer to Alaska at Seattle in 1897 when Muir was on his sixth trip to Alaska with Charles S. Sargent and William M. Canby.
    • Nature Magazine publishes John Muir by John Wright Buckham - Nature Magazine, November, 1927 (off-site link to John Muir Global Network)


    • Samuel Merrill publishes "Personal Recollections of John Muir," in Sierra Club Bulletin, XIII, 1, Feb., 1928, page 24, excerpted in Gilliam, Ann, Voices for the Earth: A Treasury of the Sierra Club Bulletin 1893-1977 and reprinted in John Muir: His Life and Letters and Other Writings, ed. by Terry Gifford (The Mountaineers Books, 1996), pg. 892.

    Historical Context

    • Herbert Hoover is elected President of the U.S.A.


    • The Nature Singer by Charles Kellogg is published, recounting the author's meeting John Muir, and discussing Muir's views on Hetch Hetchy and the thirty years it took him to write Stickeen


    • The Sierra Club builds John Muir Memorial Muir Shelter (aka as "Muir Hut") (on Muir Pass on the John Muir Trail) in the summers of 1930 and 1931  under the leadership of then-director Will Colby [founder of the Club's High Trips] to commemorate John Muir. Today it is the only building conceived and erected by the Sierra Club to honor its first President and co-founder, John Muir, since the Angeles Chapter's Muir Lodge in the San Gabriel Mountains burned down many years ago. Many years later, on the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, August 15, 2016, the John Muir Memorial Shelter was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the Sierra Club and the National Park Service. A wonderful ceremony to dedicate the newly-designed commemorative plaque, held on August 25, 2016, for the Shelter is described in this photo essay: "Trulli Inspired" by Tom Valtin (Sierra Club Planet, December 5, 2016).
    • The Los Angeles Public Library System builds the "John Muir Branch Library" in south-central Los Angeles, naming it for the famed naturalist. Designed by architect Henry F. Withe, the brick structure had an entry built with Indiana limestone.




    • September 26, 1931 - A Redwood Tree dedicated to John Muir is planted in Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland, California, by the California Writers Club, joining memorial trees dedicated to many other well-known authors.
      The following undated newspaper clipping includes this poetic tribute to the tree:

      "They are Planting a Tree"

      They are planting a tree for old John Muir,
      Muir of the trees,
      Muir of the mountains,
      Planting it up where Joaquin stood
      Full in the face of the Western breeze.

      May they plant it well in the hope that it grows,
      set it out on
      The hill's high rim,
      and let it speak to passing men,
      "All of the Trees Remember him."

      - A. B. Schuster, in the Lantern


    Historical Context

    • Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected President of the U.S.A.


    Historical Context

    • Civilian Conservation Corps is established.


    • The Sierra Club publishes A Guide to the John Muir Trail, by Walter Starr
    • April 27 : Fred Peake organizes a "John Muir Pilgrimage" from Lafayette to Wanda Muir's home in the Alhambra Valley.


    • Grace S. Lindsley writes Recollections of John Muir, (off-site link) recalling visiting John Muir in his room on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison in the early 1860s. She describes how he had invented a combination bed/alarm clock that tipped him onto the floor each morning, and how he dumped her and her young brother out of it. She also briefly recalls a visit he made to Madison in 1896, and his opinion of receiving an honorary degree from an East Coast university.



    • Mrs. H. J. Taylor (Rose Schuster Taylor), one of the founders of the Yosemite Museum and was its librarian and a docent for many years, publishes a book Yosemite Indians and Other Sketches, which includes brief biographies of both the natives and the white pioneers, include a chapter on John Muir.
    • The latest in a series of annual pilgrimages to John Muir's Gravesite organized around 1930 by Linnie Marsh Wolfe is held. "In April, 1936 about three hundred pilgrims gathered at the Hanna Ranch near Martinez. Scotch Bag Pipers, in colorful plaids and kilts, played Scotch music and a descendant of Annie Laurie sang that favorite song. At the close of the program all join hands about the tree as they sing "Auld Lange Syne." From the distant hills are heard the buglers' taps. Slowly the Pilgrims depart." (from John Muir, a chapter in Yosemite Indians and Other Sketches (1936) by Mrs. H. J. Taylor.). A newspaper report from 1936 reported that the the committee in charge of that 1936 pilgrimage included Mrs. James Kinney, of Antioch, district chairman of History and Landmarks; Mrs. Thomas Hanna (Wanda Muir), daughter of John Muir; Mrs. Harry Leonard, president of Contra Costa County Federation of Hebrew Congregations, and others. The event included The Bagpipers of Piedmont High School.

    Historical Context

    • Franklin Roosevelt is elected to a second term as President of the U.S.A.


    • The 100th anniversary of the birth of John Muir
    • Linnie Marsh Wolfe publishes John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir
    • Construction of the John Muir Trail is finally completed
    • Muir's life is celebrated in Yosemite and national parks around the United States
    • March - The Sierra Club's Angeles Chapter's beloved Muir Lodge, built and dedicated in 1913, was destroyed by flood. Today only the dedication Sequoia tree, grown to 50 feet in height, remains on the site, a short walk from the busy suburb of Sierra Madre.
    • April: The Yosemite Natural History Association publishes a special issue of Nature Notes: "John Muir Number Commemorating the Hundredth Anniversary of His Birth April 21" (PDF) (off-site link)
    • Pupils of Seattle's John Muir School publish another book, John Muir, A Pictorial Biography
    • The "John Muir Association" in Berkeley joins the campaign for protection of the Redwood Mountain Grove of Giant Sequoias, which in 1940 was included within the boundaries of Kings Canyon National Park.


    • Ansel Adams publishes his first book, Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail


    • Kings Canyon National Park is established, dropping the original title, "John Muir-Kings Canyon National Park", contained in the 1939 bill and incorporating much of the area that Muir had originally proposed for a Kings Canyon National Park decades earlier

    Historical Context

    • Franklin Roosevelt is elected to an unprecedented third term as President of the U.S.A.



    • Wanda Muir Hanna (Muir's first child) dies at age 60
    • Muir's book, Travels in Alaska , is translated and published in Japanese
    • Keith, Old Master of California by Brother Cornelius is published, including many letters written by John Muir to his good friend the artist William Keith.
    • December 31: December 30 - The Liberty Ship SS John Muir is completed at Marinship, Sausalito, California, and serves throughout World War II. It survived the war, and was eventually scrapped for metal in 1966.


    • The Sierra Club Bulletin publishes "The Creation of Yosemite National Park: Letters of John Muir to Robert Underwood Johnson" , the first time in print for these six lengthy letters.

    Historical Context

    • Franklin Roosevelt is elected to an unprecedented fourth term as President of the U.S.A.



    • Ansel Adams publishes Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada , which contains Adams' photographs and selections from the works of John Muir, and a brief Biography of John Muir by the book's editor, Charlotte E. Mauk

    Historical Context

    • Harry Truman is elected President of the U.S.A.



    • September: Adolph D. Sweet publishes a story about his first-hand "Meeting John Muir in King's Canyon" in the Tulare County Historical Bulletin [later Los Tulares], wherein Muir complains about the slovenly camp-craft of artist C.D. Robinson, who himself wrote a quite different version of the event which occurred in 1891.

    Historical Context

    • Dwight Eisenhower is elected President of the U.S.A.


    • The "Muir Locust" on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, where John Muir first had his epiphany about the orderliness of botany, was dying and had become a safety hazard. The University Board of Trustees ordered it cut down. President E.B. Fred arranged for wood from the tree to be turned into mementos, such as letter openers and gavels. In subsequent years, Muir Locust gavels were presented to members of the Board of Regents and to various alumni groups.



    • The Sierra Club film Two Yosemites [YouTube] compares the damming of Hetch Hetchy to plans to dam Dinosaur National Monument


    • The John Muir Memorial Association is organized April 27 in Martinez , California, its purposes being "to perpetuate the memory of John Muir and his contributions to mankind, to apply his principles to the conservation of our natural resources, to cause his home in Martinez to become a public shrine and to educate school children and adults in the love of nature, to preserve and protect the forests, streams, and mountains of America". For some years prior, an informal group, including William E. Colby , met annually on Muir's birthday for a memorial at the Muir-Strentzel gravesite in Martinez.

    Historical Context

    • Dwight Eisenhower is elected to a second term as President of the U.S.A.


    • John Muir Memorial Park , at the site of Muir's boyhood home, Fountain Lake Farm , is established near Montello, in Marquette County, Wisconsin, on May 5. A marker of Montello red granite commemorates Muir's role as father of our national parks.


    • John Muir Memorial Park , at the site of Muir's boyhood home, Fountain Lake Farm , is established near Montello, in Marquette County, Wisconsin, on May 5. A marker of Montello red granite commemorates Muir's role as father of our national parks.
    • At the University of Wisconsin, the seven-acre wooded area which Muir had written about, formerly known as Bascom Woods, was named in honor of John Muir by the Regent of the University. Today, John Muir Park continues to serve as an outdoor laboratory for students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


    Historical Context

    • John Kennedy is elected President of the U.S.A.


    • Sierra Club awards its highest honor, the firstJohn Muir Award to William E. Colby


    • September 3 : John Muir House in Martinez, California , is designated by Congress as the John Muir National Historic Site
    • Helen Muir (Muir's second child) dies at age 78
    • The Sierra Club publishes, as an Exhibit Format book, Gentle Wilderness: The Sierra Nevada , with photographs by Richard Kauffman and most of the text from My First Summer in the Sierra , edited by David Brower
    • U.S. Post Office publishes a commemorative, 5-cent postage stamp: "John Muir, Conservationist"
    • The U.S. Wilderness Act passes; the John Muir Wilderness Area is established as one of 54 Wilderness Areas
    • On the University of Wisconsin campus, the seven-acre "John Muir Park" is officially dedicated as a natural botanical laboratory not to be disturbed by future university development.

    Historical Context

    • Lyndon Johnson is elected President of the U.S.A.


    • Pathway in the Sky: The Story of the John Muir Trail , with text and photographs by Hal Roth, is published
    • John Muir is inducted into the Conservation Hall of Fame by the National Wildlife Federation (offsite-link)


    • April: Originally called Second College, John Muir College is chosen as the name for the second college at the University of California, San Diego. This liberal arts college began to organize in 1964 and was scheduled to accept its first students in the Fall of 1967.


    Historical Context

    • Richard Nixon is elected President of the U.S.A.


    • A historical marker about Muir is dedicated at a wayside park on Highway 22 in Marquette County, Wisconsin, a few miles from Fountain Lake farm.


    • The Muir-Hanna families transfer the John Muir Papers to the custody of the University of the Pacific.

    Historical Context

    • April 22 : The first "Earth Day" hosts teach-ins and demonstrations on behalf of the environment


    • The Smithsonian Institution sponsors an exhibit on Muir at the National Portrait Gallery
    • Wisconsin Governor Patrick J. Lucey launches ceremonies for "John Muir Ecology Week" in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin .
    • Shirley Sargent publishes John Muir in Yosemite , containing many fine black and white photos of Muir and an excellent summary of Muir's Yosemite years.


    • The John Muir Memorial Association begins publishing its newsletter, The View from John Muir's Window
    • December 17: Formal dedication of John Muir's Martinez home as a National Historic Site.
    • Boise State College in Idaho publishes "John Muir" by Thomas J. Lyon as the third entry in its Western Writers series. The 48 page booklet does a fine job of summarizing Muir's life and especially his thoughts.

    Historical Context

    • Richard Nixon is elected to a second term as President of the U.S.A.


    • Norman S. Berg reprints Letters to a Friend, comprising the letters John Muir wrote to his mentor Jeanne C. Carr between 1866 and 1879, first published in 1915.
    • Country Beautiful publishes The American Wilderness in the Words of John Muir, including color and black and white photos with Muir quotations.




    • John Muir Chosen the Greatest Californian by the California Historical Society in a poll of its membership
    • John Muir Country Park is designated in Dunbar , Scotland
    • National Geographic Society publishes John Muir's Wild America by Tom Melham, notable for many photographs and artwork accompanying a biography of John Muir which puts his life in context with "wild America" and following Muir's travels from Scotland to Wisconsin, Canada, Appalachians, Florida, California, Washington, and Alaska.
    • Running Hill Press reprints Muir's Picturesque California in a huge paperback titled West of the Rocky Mountains (Philadelphia: Running Press, 1976).
    • National Park Service approves its Final General Management Plan for John Muir National Historic Site.
    • A highly historically inaccurate motion picture directed David O'Malley, by based on the life of Galen Clark (played by Denver Pyle), Guardian of the Wilderness (aka Mountain Man), does an extremely poor representation of John Muir, portrayed by John Deyner, depicting him as a Scottish dandy, so unlike the reality.

    Historical Context

    • James (Jimmy) Carter is elected President of the U.S.A.





    • November 13-15 : The University of the Pacific sponsors its first national conference on Muir, "The World of John Muir". The conference proceedings are published in 1981.

    Historical Context

    • Ronald Reagan is elected President of the U.S.A.


    • John Muir House, Birthplace Museum opens at 128 High Street, Dunbar, Scotland
    • Martinez, California , proclaims Dunbar , Scotland its sister city


    • The Muir-Strentzel ranch house in Martinez is 100 years old


    • The John Muir Trust is founded in Scotland to conserve wild land, and is named in Muir's honor.
    • April 21 : Writer and actor, Lee Stetson, begins production of "Conversation With a Tramp -- An Evening with John Muir" in Yosemite, a one-man play that is still performed there and on tour around the world every year.


    • The John Muir National Historic Site celebrates its 20th anniversary with the reconstruction of the carriage house at the site. Festivities include speeches and a music event during the day attended by some 450 people, and in the evening about 725 persons attend Lee Stetson's performance of "Conversations with a Tramp -- An Evening with John Muir".
    • Dr. D. Bruce Means retraces John Muir's 1,000 Walk to the Gulf of Mexico, and was heartsick to discover that virtually none of Muir's wilderness remained along the route.

    Historical Context

    • Ronald Reagan is elected to a second term as President of the U.S.A.


    • April 12-13 : The University of the Pacific sponsors its second Muir conference, "John Muir -- Life and Legacy". The proceedings are published with that title in a special issue of The Pacific Historian , Summer/Fall 1985
    • John Muir Inducted as the first inductee in the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. (off-site link)


    • The John Muir Papers , 1856-1957 are published on microform by Chadyck-Healey, Inc. Guide to the John Muir Papers Microform Edition is also published by Chadwyck- Healey, Inc
    • Second edition of John Muir: A Reading Bibliography by William F. and Maymie Kimes is published (Davis, CA: Panorama West Publishing)
    • Lee Stetson begins production of "Stickeen and Other Fellow Mortals"


    • U.S. Interior Secretary Don Hodel proposes tearing down O'Shaugnessy Dam and restoring Hetch Hetchy to its pristine state
    • The John Muir Trust in Scotland makes its first purchase, 3,000 mountain acres at Li and Coire Dhorrcail in Knoydart, on the wild shores of Loch Hourn, including the summit of Ladhar Bheinn (1020 metres)


    • The World Wilderness Congress, meeting in Estes Park, Colorado, calls for appreciations in honor of Muir's 150th anniversary
    • The first Scottish editions of Story of my Boyhood and Youth and My First Summer in the Sierra are published by Canongate Publishing, Edinburgh
    • The U.S. Congress declares April 21st John Muir Day in honor of 150th anniversary of Muir's birth.
    • The California State Legislature adopts Concurrent Resolution No. 96, first proclaiming John Muir Day in California.
    • The John Muir National Historic Site sponsors special 150th anniversary celebration events. Dozens of newspaper stories throughout the U.S. recognize Muir's life.
    • The John Muir Chapter of the Sierra Club erected a sign in Muir Park near Montello, Wisconsin, that is still there. It reads,  John Muir, the father of American's National Parks, lived on the northeast side of this lake from 1849 to 1855.  Although he traveled all over the world, Muir never forgot this land, and tried several times to buy and preserve parts of it, remarking "…even if I should never see it again, the beauty of its lilies and orchids is so pressed into my mind I shall always enjoy looking back at them in imagination, even across seas and continents, and perhaps after I am dead."

    Historical Context

    • George H. Bush is elected President of the U.S.A.


    • April 21 is proclaimed John Muir Day on an annual basis by the State of California in A.B. 476 , following several years of gubernatorial proclamations and the legislature's commemorative Resolution in 1988.
    • Eco-Troubadour Bill Oliver sings "Muir Power to You" at California Wilderness Conference (celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Wilderness Act; October 19-22) in Alisal to honor Assemblyman Bob Campbell for sponsoring the John Muir Day legislation
    • Galen Rowell publishes The Yosemite combining his photographs and Muir's words from The Yosemite (Sierra Club Books)


    • April 19-22 : The University of the Pacific sponsors its third Muir Conference, "John Muir: Citizen, Environmentalist, Scholar"
    • Shell Oil Co., marks its 75th anniversary in Martinez by dedicating a six-foot tall bronze statue of John Muir by sculptor Phillip Levine, in a Martinez city park near the John Muir National Historic Site
    • The John Muir Center for Regional Studies at the University of the Pacific begins republication of its John Muir Newsletter (new series)
    • Lee Stetson begins production of "Spirit of John Muir."
    • The U.S. celebrates the centennial of Yosemite and the twentieth anniversary of Earth Day


    • The U.S. government purchases a 325-acre addition for the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez , incorporating the hills where Muir frequently roamed with his daughters Helen and Wanda
    • The John Muir Trust of Scotland purchases 5,000 acres of land at Torrin, Isle of Skye


    • The Sierra Club celebrates its centennial
    • In 1992, Lee Stetson received a special Sierra Club Centennial Award. As he did not attend the annual Club banquet to receive it, Harold Wood, as Webmaster of the John Muir Exhibit website, was asked to present it to him in person that summer at Wawona Lodge in Yosemite National Park (see photo on that page).
    • The John Muir Trust purchases 11,000 acres of remote Sandwood Bay, Sutherland, Scotland
    • First British publication of The Eight Wilderness Discovery Books , edited by Terry Gifford

    Historical Context

    • William (Bill) Clinton is elected President of the U.S.A.


    • Proceedings of the 1990 University of the Pacific John Muir Conference are published as John Muir: Life and Work , edited by Sally M. Miller.


    • June : The John Muir Exhibit website goes on-line on the World Wide Web, created by Harvey Chinn as webmaster, and Harold W. Wood, Jr. as content editor, hosted by the Information Center for the Environment at University of California, Davis.
    • July 27 : Dunbar's John Muir Association is founded in Scotland. the group in 2009 became Friends of John Muir's Birthplace.
    • The John Muir Trust purchases 15,000 acres of Strathaird and Bla Bheinn, Cuillin Hills, Skye, Scotland


    • The U.S. Board on Geographic Names approves the request to give official status to Mount Helen and Mount Wanda, named for Muir's two daughters
    • Dunbar's John Muir Association launches its efforts establish a John Muir Centre in Dunbar as Scotland's premier institute for environmental education and sustainability
    • Sierra Club California publishes the John Muir Day Study Guide - a K-12 curriculum guide for teachers, in print and simultaneously on the World Wide Web.


    Historical Context

    • William (Bill) Clinton is elected to a second term as President of the U.S.A.




    • The John Muir Birthplace Trust announces its purchase of John Muir's Birthplace in Dunbar, Scotland.
    • Scotland - Edinburgh City Art Centre and the East Lothian Council Museums Service presents "An Infinite Storm of Beauty," a major exhibition on the life and achievements of John Muir, to mark the 150th anniversary of his emigration to the United States, 31 July 1999 - 2 October 1999. This first international exhibition on Muir emphasizes his Scottish origins, and seeks to reclaim him as an environmental icon for the country of his birth.
    • Sacred Summits: John Muir's Greatest Climbs, a compilation of commentaries by academics and climbers on Muir's mountain-climbing achievements, as well as Muir's own mountaineering essays, edited and introduced by Graham White, is published in Scotland.
    • The John Muir Memorial Association releases the John Muir Tribute CD - a compilation on compact disk of Muir quotations and music evocative of Muir's contribution to wilderness preservation.
    • The John Muir Exhibit website launches a virtual stamp collection display of John Muir Stamps and Covers, containing over 100 pages of photos and text.
    • Peter Lang Publishing publishes John Muir in Historical Perspective, edited by Sally M. Miller, a collection of the most outstanding papers presented at the 1996 John Muir Conference at the University of the Pacific.
    • Elizabeth Pomeroy publishes John Muir in Southern California (Pasadena: The Castle Press, 1999).
    • A new video and DVD, Yosemite: The Storm of Beauty, narrated by Lee using the writings of John Muir, is published by Panorama International Productions, Inc.
    • A new organization, Restore Hetch Hetchy, is formed to focus public attention on the benefits of restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley, the place John Muir called "a wonderfully exact counterpart of Yosemite Valley . . . a grand landscape garden, one of Nature's rarest and most precious mountain temples."


    • January 17: On the Trail of John Muir by Cherry Good is published in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is later published and distributed in U.S. as well.
    • March 18: Concord John Muir Festival presents a series of live performances by and about John Muir,including workshop performances for the upcoming "Mountain Days: The John Muir Musical."
    • April 15: John Muir's vision was behind the Presidential Proclamation of Giant Sequoia National Monument, a process which John Muir was instrumental in starting nearly 100 years ago by urging President Theodore Roosevelt to protect America's treasures under the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906. Then-President Bill Clinton quoted Muir in proclaiming the new National Monument: "These majestic trees will continue to 'preach God's forestry fresh from heaven.'" President Clinton proclaims a , believed by many at the time to have effectively completed John Muir's dream of preserving all the Giant Sequoia Groves throughout their range, from the Kings River to the Kern River of the southern Sierra. But the battle continues as the Forest Service continually refuses to follow the principles outlined in the Proclamation, requiring correction by the courts in litigation brought by the Sierra Club.
    • Lee Stetson establishes a website featuring his John Muir Productions.
    • Eco-Troubadour Bill Oliver makes his first classic song of John Muir inspiration, Muir Power to You, available for free download on the Internet in MP3 format.
    • October 12: World Premiere of "Mountain Days: the John Muir Musical." at Chronicle Pavilion in Concord, California.
    • The National Park Service acquires John Muir's grave site from The American Land Conservancy, which had held the cemetery for a period of five years to enable purchase by the government for inclusion in the John Muir National Historic Site.
    • Noted outdoor educator and author Joseph Cornell publishes John Muir: My Life With Nature, an "autobiography" largely using John Muir's words but simplified for young people.
    • Chris Highland publishes Nature's Temple: Daily Wisdom from John Muir.
    • The National Geographic Society publishes its second book about John Muir in the twentieth century, John Muir: Nature's Visionary by Gretel Ehrlich.
    • The Canadian Friends of John Muir, the John Muir Memorial Association, and other groups worldwide devoted to John Muir launch The Global John Muir Network website.

    Historical Context

    • George W. Bush is elected as President of the U.S.A.



    • Texas A & M University Press publishes God's Wilds: John Muir's Vision of Nature, by Dennis C. Williams
    • Points of Light Foundation announces John Muir as an Honoree on THE EXTRA MILE - Points of Light Volunteer Pathway (Washington, D.C.).
    • A John Muir-Yosemite design is among the top 20 semi-finalists, out of 8,000 submissions, for the California Quarter Program.
    • On John Muir's birthday, April 21, 2002, the Sacramento Bee proclaimed that "Today, the idea of restoring the Hetch Hetchy Valley doesn't feel so wacky. It conceivably fits into a new era of water plumbing and water policy. It may be feasible to replace the water for the Bay Area -- even make the supply more reliable -- by connecting some plumbing that already exists with some new projects that are already within the comfort zone of California's contentious water politics."
    • May 11: U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer announced introduction of the proposed "California Wild Heritage Wilderness Act of 2002," which if enacted would protect approximately 2.5 million acres of public lands in 81 different areas across California. Muir said, "In God's wildness lies the hope of the world - the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness." Muir's call has long been an inspiration for wilderness preservation efforts.
    • In her article based on extensive research of original documents, John Muir and the Civil War, historian Millie Stanley refutes the common accusation that John Muir was a draft dodger. (Published in University of the Pacific, John Muir Newsletter, Vol. 12, No. 4, Fall, 2002). For a summary of this and other research see Was John Muir a Draft Dodger? by Harold Wood.


    • On January 7, 2003, Lee Stetson, the actor well-known to Yosemite visitors with his portrayals of John Muir, was sworn in as a Mariposa County Supervisor, generating news reports in newspapers throughout California and national attention on PBS and other news outlets nation-wide.
    • April 28: California Governor Gray Davis recommended five design concepts - including a John Muir-Yosemite coin - to the U.S. Mint as part of the Fifty State Commemorative Coin Program.
    • August 9: - The John Muir Birthplace on High Street, Dunbar, Scotland, re-opens to the public after a two-year renovation project. The house as viewed from the High Street is as it was in the mid-19th century. Inside on the ground floor exhibits tell the story of John's boyhood, his family and how the people of the town lived in those times. On the middle floor we travel to America to discover Wisconsin, Canada, the 1000 mile walk and California. The upper floor is John's world travels and his conservation message and vision, and how you can follow in John Muir's footsteps. As an interpretative center, THE JOHN MUIR BIRTHPLACE is designed to help educate all visitors about Muir's life, especially UK citizens who know little about him.
    • August 8: John Muir's Mountain Days returned for its fourth season in Martinez, California. It is now considered California's Biggest Outdoor Musical! The 2003 season ran August 8 - 31, 2003 at the John Muir Amphitheater, Martinez, CA. Learn more or purchase tickets for next season.
    • The John Muir Festival Center is formed as a nonprofit corporation, representing a unique collaboration between the City of Martinez, the National Park Service, the John Muir Memorial Association, the Willows Theatre Company and the Martinez historical Society.
    • Michael Muir, a great-grandson of John Muir, and the President of United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc., took
      a 1,000 mile journey in a horse drawn cart, following the route taken by John Muir
      in his first great wilderness adventure, The Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf. Starting in Louisville, Kentucky on September 22, 2003, the Journey went through Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida to arrive at Cedar Keys on the Gulf of Mexico on December 11, 2003.
    • On September 2, 2003, BBC Radio in the UK ran a feature on Muir, John of the Mountains: Following in the footsteps of John Muir which observes, "John Muir was a man whose life was nothing short of inspirational. His writings are clear, vibrant and full of prophetic wisdom - he was one of the first to realize that all species are interconnected and "hitched together." (Includes Real Audio - Off-site link)
    • September 2: BBC Radio broadcasts a program: John of the Mountains: Following in the footsteps of John Muir (Real Audio - Off-site link)
    • November 18: The U.S. Mint Citizens Coin Advisory Committee reviewed five California quarter designs, and recommended two designs: a simple design illustrating waves and the sun, and the Yosemite Valley design with John Muir against a mountainous landscape. See the designs and read the article at: California Sun Wins Favor (off-site link).
    • November: The Indiana Historical Bureau unanimously approves the application for a state historical marker commemorating John Muir's time in Indiana. A marker will be designed for the site and a suitable dedication ceremony will be performed. For more information, see:
      • Indiana - John Muir- from John Muir Gobal Network
      • John Muir in Indiana (PDF) by Harold W. Wood, Jr. - research paper submitted to Indiana Historical Bureau in support of the Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter request for a commemorative historical plaque in Indianapolis.
      • "Muir Historical Marker in Indy May Be a Reality ", The Indiana Sierran, Fall, 2001. (off-site link)
      • Indiana State Historical Marker Program (off-site link)
    • Restore Hetch Hetchy publishes a documentary video Hetch Hetchy: Yosemite's Lost Valley narrated by Shari Belafonte to promote a win-win solution for restoring the valley in Yosemite National Park treasured by John Muir.
    • December 11 - Michael Muir, a great-grandson of John Muir, and the President of United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc., complete a 1,000 mile journey in a horse drawn cart, following the route taken by John Muir in his first great wilderness adventure, The Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf. Starting in Louisville, Kentucky on September 22, 2003, the Journey went through Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida to arrive at Cedar Keys on the Gulf of Mexico on December 11, 2003.


    • March 29: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announces the selection of the John Muir-Yosemite design for the California State Quarter
    • April 21: John Muir's birthday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "Nearly 90 years after his death, the evocative reflections of conservationist John Muir continue to inspire citizens of our state and nation to appreciate and protect our natural heritage."
    • On April 21, 2004, John Muir's birthday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "Nearly 90 years after his death, the evocative reflections of conservationist John Muir continue to inspire citizens of our state and nation to appreciate and protect our natural heritage."
    • May: The Muir-Hanna Family Trust contributes a headstone for Muir's father Daniel Muir at the historic Elmwood Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri.
    • July 2 - The Indiana Historical Bureau and the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club dedicate a new State Historical Marker - John Muir in Indiana.
    • August 4: Former President Bill Clinton said, with reference to a very misguided proposal to roll-back the Road less Rule for our National Forests made by the Bush Administration, "One of the Americans who inspired Theodore Roosevelt to conserve our nation's forests was the naturalist John Muir, who once said, "Everybody needs beauty as well as bred - places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." In today's fast-paced, high-tech world, Muir's words are even more compelling."
    • On November 8, 2004, California Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman announced the State would conduct a review of the possibility of restoring Muir's beloved Hetch Hetchy Valley.

    Historical Context

    • George W. Bush is re-elected as President of the U.S.A.


    • January 31: The U.S. Mint releases the John Muir-Yosemite design for its State Quarters program. United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore joined Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver at the California State History Museum in Sacramento to launch the California State Quarter for the press.
    • February 9: The University of the Pacific sponsors a celebration of the John Muir California Quarter at a special program and reception, open to the public and attended by many Muir descendants. Concept designer Garrett Burke presented a slide show about his family's involvement with developing the John Muir California State Quarter concept.
    • April 1: Opening of "The Life and Legacy of John Muir" exhibit and film produced by the Clan Currie Society at the at Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island National Monument.
    • April 23: John Muir Birthday/Earth Day Celebration at John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez.
    • John Muir National Historic Site features a new visitor orientation film.



    • May 3, 2007 - Sierra Club Sues University of Wisconsin Over Coal-Fired Power Plant, saying the university is failing to live up to its progressive tradition by illegally operating a 53-year-old power plant that is a major source of pollution, emitting thousands of tons of pollutants that contribute to global warming, respiratory illness and mercury-polluted lakes. With its lawsuit, the Sierra Club is targeting the school where its founder John Muir studied in the 1860s. Muir once credited his education at the university for helping inspire his environmentalism. But now, according to the Sierra Club's lawsuit, the university is violated the Clean Air Act by failing to install modern pollution controls when it performed several upgrades to keep the polluting power plant built in 1954 in operation.
    • A 2007 Time magazine special on "The Greening of the Pentagon" reported: "In a recent paper, former CIA Director James Woolsey imagined a dialogue between John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club, and General George Patton on climate change. In Woolsey's telling, Muir cares about the environment, and Patton about security, but in subject after subject -- alternative energy, increasing efficiency, improving the electrical grid -- they come to the same green conclusion, if for different reasons. 'It just happens that the two ideas produce the same outcome,' says Woolsey. 'There is something there for everybody.'"
    • July 18, 2007: The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awards a grant of $80,000 to Global Village Media in support of their new documentary, "John Muir in the New World."
    • November 7, 2007 - The play "Forces of Nature" by Stephen Most premiered at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, Connecticut. It has since been performed elsewhere in New England. The plot of the play follows Pinchot and Muir as they exchange views on conservation and speak with President Roosevelt about conserving land. The conflict between conserving natural resources for human use and preserving nature from human interference came to a head over the issue of whether to dam the Hetch Hetchy Valley to provide power and light for San Francisco.


    Historical Context

    • Barack Obama is elected as President of the U.S.A.



    • January - The Montello Historic Preservation Society begins "The Year of John Muir in Marquette County," the boyhood home of John Muir in Wisconsin. Events over the year included publication of a book, Muir is Still Here, a special exhibit by the same name at the Historic Preservation Museum in Vaughn Hall, Montello, and a series of Muir-related outings and lectures.  The local Thyme Shares Master Gardeners planted lilacs in honor of the Muir family at all the  Town Halls, Village Halls and Montello City Hall, just like Sarah Muir had planted at the Muir Home.
    • Lee Stetson releases a new DVD/BluRay, the Voice of John Muir. This documentary not only covers Stetson's remarkable career, but shows how Muir's eloquent words, written a century ago, continue to inspire and influence our attitudes to nature today.
    • April 5 - Scotland's Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning and former minister for the environment, Michael Russell in an editorial, Prizing the Power of the Sea said, "Muir was never deterred by those naysayers who thought his idealism misplaced. He won many battles, and some he lost. But he built movements for change that inspired millions, forced political leaders to join his cause and changed not only hearts, but minds. Muir was always more than an idealistic naturalist; he was a persuasive advocate, as adept as any politician at winning public support. Muir would have been excited by the prospect that the natural resources around us may actually be the key to solving the climate crisis. The potential of wind, solar and wave energy to produce renewable, clean sources of power and reduce our dependency on methods that damage our environmental future should be at the top of our list of solutions. Read more....
    • April 9 - The Scottish Government and Sierra Club held a special tree planting ceremony for A Celebration of the Treasured Life and Legacy of John Muir- Honored Son of Scotland and Sierra Club Founder at the Dr. Edgar and Peggy Wayburn Redwood Grove, The Presidio, San Francisco, followed by a special presentation on John Muir’s Legacy in a Climate-Challenged World with featured speakers Carl Pope, Chairman of the Sierra Club, and Michael Russell, Scotland's Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning and former minister for the environment.
    • April 21 - Celebrating John Muir’s 172nd Birthday, Sierra Club unveils revamped John Muir Exhibit website. See Press Release - Celebrating Environmental Pioneer John Muir’s 172nd Birthday Sierra Club Unveils Revamped Muir Historical Website (See also local file: Press Release on John Muir Exhibit
    • April 22-24 - John Muir: Naturalist and Scientist Symposium at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California.
    • June 5 - Both Mariposa and Tuolumne counties have designated Highway 132 from Coulterville to Highway 120, a major route into Yosemite National Park, as the John Muir Highway. A dedication ceremony was held on Saturday, June 5, 2010 in Coulterville. - For more information, see and Yosemite Highway Dedicated to John Muir- Press Release by Yosemite/Mariposa County Tourism Bureau. A musical play written and directed by Nancy Robichauds with music by Ann Schafer, "The Wild Adventures of John Muir" also premiered.
    • June 19 - Montello Historic Preservation Society exhibit "Muir is Still Here" opens to celebrate John Muir's boyhood ties to Marquette County, Wisconsin. A series of special events were held along with the exhibit over the course of the year celebrating "The Year of John Muir" in Marquette County, including guest speakers, book signings, field trips, hikes, and a special book, Muir is Still Here, by Daryl Christensen and Kathleen McGwin.
    • August 29 - Book signing in Montello, Wisconsin, of a Limited Edition reprint of Heart of John Muir’s World by Millie Stanley. This book has been out of print for several years.


    • Sculptor William Pettee creates two bronze sculptures of John Muir. The first, Mountain Muir, is installed at at the Holt Atherton Library at University of the Pacific. The second, Nature's Prophet, is installed at the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California. Later the same year, Pettee creates small-scale versions of these sculptures, and a series of John Muir busts, all available to the public for purchase.
    • February: The Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, California, opens the first of a series of traveling exhibits of Nature's Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muir's Botanical Legacy. based on Bonnie Gisel's book by the same name.
    • August 6, 2011, the famed Oakland Museum of California opens a new temporary multi-media exhibit spotlighting the life of John Muir as well as eight Modern Day Muirs. A Walk in the Wild: Continuing John Muir's Journey.
    • Appleseeds Magazine features John Muir (April, 2011)
    • Publication of My First Summer in the Sierra: 100th Anniversary Illustrated Edition of the American Classic by John Muir with Photographs
      by Scot Miller, Foreword by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns. Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the book's original publication, "My First Summer in the Sierra" is illustrated with Scot Miller's stunning photographs, showcasing the dramatic landscape of the High Sierra plus John Muir's illustrations from the original edition and several previously unpublished illustrations from his 1911 manuscript. A video Book Trailer on YouTube is available.
    • John Muir's Literary Science is published by Terry Gifford, in The Public Domain Review (June 9, 2011) (Off-site link)
    • April 18 - the film documentary John Muir in the New World premieres on the American Master television series on PBS. The home DVD is released later in the year.
    • Saturday, April 21 - John Muir Birthday - Earth Day at John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez, California celebrates John Muir’s 174th birthday and the 42nd Anniversary of Earth Day!


    Historical Context

    • Barack Obama is re-elected as President of the U.S.A.


    • January 14, 2013, Sierra Club publishes a quiz, How Muir Are You? - Take a Sierra Club quiz to find out just how similar to our beloved Sierra Club founder, the Father of National Parks, you are.
    • April 3 - June 3, 2013 - John Muir Exhibit at Federal Hall, NYC - As part of Scotland Tartan Week 2013,the American Scottish Foundation hosted a photographic exhibition "In The Footsteps of John Muir" by renowned Scottish photographer Ken Paterson.
    • April 8, 2013 - A project is launched to document in three-dimensional digital format Scottish conservationist John Muir's homes, his birthplace in Dunbar, Scotland, and his long-time home in Martinez, California.
    • May 17, 2013, a concert band piece "A Dauntless Soul" by composer William Camphouse, premiered at John Swett High School in Martinez, California.
    • June 7 & 8, 2013 - Fourth Annual John Muir Festival in Coulterville, California.
    • A stage play performed in Gaelic celebrates 175 years since the birth of the naturalist John Muir and the Year of Natural Scotland, titled Seonaidh a’ Mhonaidh (John of the Moors), to celebrate the Year of Natural Scotland.


    • Scotland was in its element in 2014, when the proud nation celebrated its Year of Homecoming, the Commonwealth Games, and the 100th anniversary of environmentalist John Muir’s death. In April, Muir’s homeland unveiled the John Muir Way, a trail that snakes 105 miles from his hometown of Dunbar, passing through gorgeous, Gothic Edinburgh, the dramatic Highlands, the mythical Loch Lomond, and ending in the resort town of Helensburgh.
    • Kim Heacox publishes John Muir and the Ice That Started a Fire: How a Visionary and the Glaciers of Alaska Changed America (Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press, 2014).
    • March 21-22, 2014, the John Muir Symposium sponsored by the University of the Pacific's John Muir Center. Join Muir enthusiasts on the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant, the 100th anniversary of Muir’s death and the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon, and the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Wilderness Act to revisit John Muir’s life and legacy. University of the Pacific will host the 60th California History Institute on its Stockton campus from Friday, March 21, through Saturday, March 22, 2014. Expect to hear papers by new Muir scholars currently working Muir’s legacy, as well as several familiar names who have become regulars at Muir symposia. Plenary sessions and keynotes will be given by three scholars now living in the U. K.: Terry Gifford, Graham White and Andrea Wulf. A special exhibit on the history of the Muir Papers and their present locations is planned, as well as coordinated field trips before and after the symposium. If interested in presenting or attending the conference, please contact :
    • April 13, 2014 - "Urban chamber music" group "Chance" premieres John Muir - University of the Wilderness, a narrative concert for voice and string quartet. Subsequently there was a 10 performance run in the Mid-West, a 2015 tour to Scotland, and in 2016, 32 performances across 12 states, covering 26,000 miles in celebration of the centennial of the National Park Service. The group contemplates further world-wide performances in the future.
    • May 31, 2014 - 5th Annual John Muir Festival sponsored by the John Muir Geoutourism Center, of Coulterville, California, Lake McClure Horseshoe Bend Recreation Area...a place that JM journaled about.
    • Fountain Lake Farm in central Wisconsin, the boyhood home of Sierra Club founder John Muir, was purchased for protection by a Wisconsin land trust. The newly protected area will adjoin the John Muir Memorial County Park and be part of a larger 1,400-acre natural preserve. In Sierra Club Vice-President Spencer Black's remark, he noted that the reason America's mountains are not over-developed like the Alps in Europe are is because "we had Muir. "Read Sierra Club Vice-President Spencer Black's complete remarks at the celebration of the purchase of Fountain Lake Farm. (PDF).
    • November - Controversy arises when at a conference titled "A Century Beyond Muir," held at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) investing the University's first "John Muir Memorial Chair" in Geography several academics assert "Muir's a dead end... It's time to bury his legacy and move on." Harold Wood wrote a summary of the debate and a rebuttal on this website at John Muir's Legacy is Alive and Well in a World That is "One Great Dewdrop."
    • December 24, 2015 - John Muir fans around the world commemorate the 100th anniversary of Muir's passing. Numerous books, newspaper and magazine articles, and websites noted the date, many reprinting a passage from the December 25, 1914 issue of Los Angeles Times: ""John Muir is dead. Up through the far-flung reaches of the Yosemite, the Sequoia, the Muir Woods and all the mountain wilds of the West will ring the mournful echo of that message, for the birds, and the beast and all living things have lost a friend." - Los Angeles Times, December 25, 1914. At the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California, a commemorative celebration of Muir's life was held. National Park Service rangers paid tribute to his life, and one read the eulogy that William Frederick Badè delivered as Muir's body lay in its casket in the house he lived in until his death 100 years ago. Elsewhere, special events commemorated the anniversary, such as a September concert in Yosemite National Park, symposia at universities, bookstore presentations, and other activities.


    • The year 2015 was tagged as the "Year of Muir" by the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter in order to commemorate the 100 years that John Muir has inspired the modern environmental and outdoor adventure movements since his life's walk through nature's wonders ended in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve, 1914.
    • The Sierra Club Angeles Chapter publishes an new photo book as a love letter to John Muir and Southern California's mountains, titled Southern California Mountain Country: Places John Muir Walked and Places He Would Have Loved to Know. Buy Now from the Angeles Chapter.
    • May 3, 2015 - Bruce Hamilton, deputy executive director of the Sierra Club, was the keynote speaker at the Angeles Chapter Awards Banquet. His presentation was titled John Muir: A man full of wonder and joy and is available to read on the Angeles Chapter website.
    • May 16, 2015 - - 6th Annual John Muir Festival John Muir sponsored by the John Muir Geoutourism Center, Coulterville, California.
    • April 18, 2015 - John Muir Birthday- Earth Day Celebration held at John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez, California.
    • November 17, 2015 - The National Park Service and the United States Mint announces three designs for commemorative coins honoring the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS). One of the three designs, the $5.00 gold coin obverse (heads side), features John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt with Yosemite National Park's Half Dome in the background. See the design and read about it here:
    • November 21, 2015 - Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune publishes an essay All the Colors of Nature telling what John Muir did on Thanksgiving and "Black Friday." (clue: not shopping #optoutside)


    • April 6, 2016 - September 5, 2016 - Ellis Island - "Life and Legacy of John Muir Exhibit." For the entire summer of 2016, the Clan Currie Society reprises the exhibition it produced in 2005 about John Muir at the Ellis Island National Monument, to celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service. The program opens to the public on Wednesday, April 6 (Tartan Day) and will run through Labor Day, 2016.
    • March 24, 2016 - National Park Service Centennial $5 Dollar Commemorative Coin Featuring John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt go on sale.
    • To celebrate the National Park Service Centennial, the Sierra Club Online store sold a very attractive t-shirt depicting John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt.
    • Wisconsin's John Muir - A Traveling Exhibit and Reading Program - During 2016 the Wisconsin Historical Society provided a free exhibit to local public libraries and historical societies in 25 communities around the state. "Wisconsin's John Muir" explores Muir's youth in Wisconsin, his advocacy for national parks, and his views on environmental issues such as logging, hunting, and climate change. Its eight panels share facsimiles of images and manuscripts from the Society's library and archives alongside Muir quotes and interpretive texts. Each community also receives enough free copies of Muir's memoir The Story of My Boyhood and Youth so they can host a book club. To put that memoir in context, the Society compiled an anthology of primary sources called Wisconsin's Environmental Tradition: A Reader to give them, too. Society staff are also available to give a presentation about Muir or to lead a book discussion at each venue. The "Wisconsin's John Muir" website also includes links to download Muir's book in free ebook and audio book format from the Internet Archive, the John Muir Exhibit, and other resources, and links for historical newspaper articles about Muir in Wisconsin and his manuscripts at the Wisconsin Historical Society.
    • "The Most Important Camping Trip in U.S. History" - movie trailer. Watch trailer on YouTube. (2015)
      Watch how MacGillivray Freeman Films will take moviegoers back in time to watch the camping trip that led to the creation of the U.S. National Parks.
      MacGillivray Freeman IMAX Film (original working title was America Wild; now re-titled National Parks Adventure) will take moviegoers back in time to watch the camping trip that led to the rapid development of the National Parks. To bring this history to life, MacGillivray Freeman Films turned to actors Joe Wiegand and Lee Stetson. Wiegand is well known for his work as President Theodore Roosevelt, while Stetson has portrayed the character of John Muir in Yosemite National Park for more than 30 years, and was featured in the acclaimed Ken Burns series, The National Parks: America's Best Idea. Narrated by Academy Award® winner Robert Redford, "National Parks Adventure" takes audiences on the ultimate off-trail adventure into the nation's awe-inspiring great outdoors and untamed wilderness. Immersive IMAX® 3D cinematography takes viewers soaring over red rock canyons, up craggy mountain peaks and into other-worldly realms found within America's most legendary outdoor playgrounds. Join world-class mountaineer Conrad Anker, adventure photographer Max Lowe and artist Rachel Pohl as they hike, climb and explore their way across America's majestic parks – including Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Yosemite, and Arches – in an action-packed celebration that will inspire the adventurer in us all, and highlight how important it is that we protect these treasured landscapes. Scheduled for release in theaters around the world, on February 12, 2016 in select IMAX®, IMAX 3D® and other giant-screen theaters.
    • Saturday, April 23, 2016 - John Muir Birthday–Earth Day Celebration - John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez, California
      Celebrating John Muir's 178th birthday, the 46th Anniversary of Earth Day, and the 52nd Anniversary of the John Muir National Historic Site.
    • 2016 Mountain Day Camp - Naturally Good Times and Mountains of Fun! A John Muir Immersion Experience.
      Two one-week camps in 2016, held Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during these two different weeks:
      • July 18 through July 22
      • July 25 through July 29
        John Muir Mountain Day Camp is a unique experience for children ages six to twelve that instills an appreciation for nature, and for the life and legacy of John Muir.
    • April-May, 2016 - Muir Is Back and Walking His Way! John Muir, portrayed by Lee Stetson, leisurely walks the John Muir Way in Scotland, and revisits his boyhood home in Dunbar!
    • April, 2016 - A fire-fighting airplane, dubbed "The Spirit of John Muir" is announced by Global SuperTanker.
    • August 25, 2016 - The U.S. National Park Service celebrates its Centennial
    • August 25, 2016 - The John Muir Memorial Shelter (aka "Muir Hut"), built by the Sierra Club, is added to the National Register of Historic Places. A commemorative event was held at the site on Muir Pass on August25, attended by several Sierra Club leaders. The event was documented by the Sierra Club in a photo essay and video:
      A new commemorative bronze plaque featuring Muir and William E. Colby will be installed in the Shelter in 2017, snowpack permitting.
    • August 25, 2017 California Legislature designates part of Hwy 41 as the"Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Highway" - commemorating the Army troops which protected Yosemite and Sequoia prior to the establishment of the National Park Service; John Muir heaped praise on these Army troops for their efforts to protect the national parks. He noted his appreciation for the military's stewardship in his 1901 book Our National Parks: "The national parks are not only withdrawn from sale and entry like the forest reservations, but are efficiently managed and guarded by small troops of United States cavalry," he wrote, calling it a refreshing thing compared to the ruthless destruction in adjacent regions.  "In pleasing contrast to the noisy, ever changing management, or mismanagement, of blundering, plundering, money-making vote-sellers who receive their places from boss politicians as purchased goods," he added, "the soldiers do their duty so quietly that the traveler is scarce aware of their presence."
    • November, 2016 - The national organization Trout Unlimited established a new chapter in California's East Bay named the "John Muir Chapter," showing that Muir's legacy extends well beyond that of just the Sierra Club.

    Historical Context

    • Donald Trump is elected as President of the U.S.A.


    • Bonnie Gisel publishes a new book, The Wilder Muir: The Curious Nature of John Muir ( Yosemite Conservancy, 2017), adding to her many books and articles about Muir and the Sierra Club history. This collection, a sequel to the publisher's 1994 collection The Wild Muir by Lee Stetson, presents twenty-three episodes of exuberant discoveryFrom his encounter with the delicate orchid that launches his writing career to climbs of Mounts Whitney, Shasta and Rainier that prove to him that no mountain can kill him, the famed naturalist embraces all things wild in accounts that are exciting, enchanting, and downright humorous. Bonnie J. Gisel's introductions to each selection is intended to shed light on Muir's life that incorporates not only his love of the wilderness, but of his treasured relationships with family and friends.
    • Wisconsin Friends of John Muir conduct numerous local activities near John Muir's boyhood home in Wisconsin which promote the life and legacy of John Muir.  The group recently completed a "John Muir Nature and History Route" mobile app (with Muir silhouette signage at all the various sites). This app allows people to explore all of the areas around Muir's Wisconsin boyhood home that were significant to his life: They celebrated John Muir's birthday in 2017 with a John Muir birthday party and Earth Day clean up held at John Muir Park on April 22nd, 2017, with birthday cake and a family friendly bird saunter following the clean up. In addition, the group also just completed a 3 part series on water issues in the State, co-sponsored a children's educational saunter on the moon, and has an annual Fall Color hike each October. The group has also been working on restoring the prairie/oak savannas in the natural areas important to Muir such as John Muir Park, Observatory Hill, and the newly acquired Eggleston addition (part of which belonged to Daniel Muir).  The group is also working to identify and preserve the historic Muir sites around the State.
    • In 2017, June - December, the traveling display "Wisconsin's John Muir" launched in 2016 continues to be hosted by University of Wisconsin-System libraries. Last year the Wisconsin Historical Society provided the free display to local public libraries and historical societies in 25 communities around the state. The project encouraged people to read Muir's writings.
    • July 9, 2017 - Keith Fitch's orchestral work, The Range of Light, composed by Keith Fitch, premiered at the Rocky Ridge Music Center in Rocky Mountain National Park. The work uses texts selected from several of John Muir's writings, including "Our National Parks," "My First Summer in the Sierra," "The Yosemite," as well as various unpublished texts. The premiere performance date is Sunday, July 9, 2017 at 3pm at Rocky Ridge (located outside Estes Park, CO). See the Rocky Ridge Music Center page on The Range of Light (off-site link) for more information.
    • Friends of John Muir's Birthplace in Dunbar, Scotland host a special exhibit featuring the 125th anniversary of the Sierra Club.
    • March 13, 2017 – Gesa Power House Theatre presented "John Muir: Watch, Pray, and Fight" – a one-man play created and performed by Mark Raddatz – on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. In order to capture the essence of the legendary mountaineer, naturalist, and founder of the Sierra Club, Mark Raddatz composed the script entirely from Muir's own words. This is not a biographical essay or paraphrase of an animal story. This is Muir as he would have appeared and spoken to an audience in his own time.
    • April 22, 2017 -  John Muir Birthday- Earth Day - The National Park Service (NPS) and the John Muir Association celebrated John Muir's 179th birthday and Earth Day, during the annual Birthday-Earth Day event on Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the John Muir National Historic Site (NHS) in Martinez. The celebration featured family-oriented activities, food for sale, live music including a bagpipe band, song performances by original cast members of the play "Mountain Days," and exhibits by national parks and local environmental organizations. Once again, NPS Ranger Frank Helling portrayed John Muir and recounted some of Muir's many wilderness adventures. Visitors also enjoyed self-guided tours of Muir's historic Italianate Victorian home where he wrote about protecting nature. There were two silent auctions with proceeds benefiting the John Muir Association, the nonprofit organization providing support to the NPS and co-hosting the event. The Association also presented the 39th annual John Muir Conservation Awards.. For additional information, please visit or
    • April 22, 2017 - John Muir Birthday at John Muir County Park, near Montello, Wisconsin. The John Muir birthday party and Earth Day clean up will be held at John Muir Park on April 22nd, 2017. There will be birthday cake and a family friendly bird saunter following the clean up. 
    • April 21, 2017 - John Muir Garden Party - at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. A celebration of John Muir and the Robb Garden with music, spoken word, and refreshments. 7 PM, University of the Pacific Robb Garden.
    • The Angeles Chapter celebrated John Muir's birthday with it annual Rendezvous Hikes which leave from four different points and converge at a designated location for cake and a celebration. The Chapter also held a commemorative hike on the anniversary of the official naming of John Muir Peak to that peak in the San Gabriel Mountains. In 2015, the Angeles Chapter dedicated the year as a "Year of Muir" to honor his writings, his legacy and most importantly his founding of the world's largest environmental organization. In addition to many Muir-related events the chapter hosted, it published a photo book Southern California Mountain Country: Places John Muir Walked and Places He Would Have loved to Know, Words of John Muir, Selected and with Photographs by Glenn Pascall.
    • John Muir Events at the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center:
        • May 7, 8:00pm – Tom Bopp, John Muir Historian & Celebrated YNP Musician "John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt: Yosemite 1903" An Evening of historic revelry as Tom takes us on the journey with Roosevelt and Muir into Yosemite.
        • May 26, 8:00pm – Dr. Bonnie Gisel, curator, Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center "The Wilder Muir" Explore tales both curious and inviting about John Muir. By the author of the brand new book, The Wilder Muir: The Curious Nature of John Muir.
        • June 10, 2017 - 8 PM - John Muir Ramble Route: Hiking San Francisco to Yosemite in the Footsteps of John Muir. Donna Thomas and Peter Thomas, authors of John Muir's Ramble Route and California Book Artists, Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center (formerly LeConte Memorial Lodge), limited to 50 guests. Shuttle Stop #12.

        • June 24, 8:00pm – Michael Wurtz, Director of Special Collections, University of the Pacific, Home of the John Muir Papers "John Muir & the Big Trees" Meet Michael & experience his journey in discovering Muir's joy & respect for the Sequoia
        • July 15, 8:00pm – Harold Wood, John Muir Historian/Sierra Club John Muir Webmaster presented"The Continuing Inspiration of John Muir" once again at the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center.
    • June 2-3, 2017 - "America's Holy Trinity of Conservation," a two-day event in Osage County, Missouri, featuring three of America's most influential Conservationists: Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold.
    • Jill Harcke operated the 15th year of the John Muir Mountain Day Camp at the John Muir National Historic Site in the summer of 2017.
    • July 31 - Reached 1,367 members on our "John Muir Fans" public Facebook Group. Regular and frequent postings among members share information about Muir among all the members.
    • September 9 - Roane County and the City of Kingston, Tennessee, hosted a "Muir Fest" to commemorate the 150th anniversary of naturalist John Muir's visit to the area. The Muir Festival at Fort Southwest Point on Sept. 9, 2017 will feature music, food and educational programs designed to bring attention to environmental issues. Recognized as "The Father of the National Parks System" and the founder of the Sierra Club, Muir passed through Kingston on Sept. 12, 1867 on his 1,000-mile walk from Kentucky to Florida. After crossing what historians believe is either the Little Emory River or the Emory River, Muir spent some time in what he described as a "grand rock dwelling" filled with mosses, birds, and flowers, declaring it to be the "most heavenly place I ever entered." He wrote: "There is nothing more eloquent in Nature than a mountain stream, and this is the first I ever saw. Its banks are luxuriantly peopled with rare and lovely flowers and overarching trees, making one of Nature's coolest and most hospitable places."
    • September 30, 2017 - The Largely Literary Theater Company presents "A Force of Nature" at the Twin City Opera House in McConnelsville, Ohio. The 40-minute play, which has been commissioned by the National Park Service, will portray a historically accurate account, centered around the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt and the father of the National Park System, John Muir, as they explored the Yosemite Valley in California in 1903. This moment is an incendiary, wonderful moment, and the story of what happened in Yosemite, is really what gives us the impetus for the national park system." Actor Mark Dawidziak will play Theodore Roosevelt and his wife Sara will portray John Muir. "There's a lot of humor, we do this a little bit like a play and a little bit like a sketch comedy," Dawidziak said. "But our ultimate goal is to honor these two men and also honor the National Park Service." A Facebook gallery of images from the performance is available.
    • September, 2017 - After many years of planning and considering alternatives, the National Park Service adopts a management plan for the John Muir Gravesite which provides shuttles from the Muir House to the gravesite, allowing pedestrians and bicyclists access to the site only during weekday hours, and prohibiting private vehicles. Shuttle tours begin in December, 2017.
    • October 20, 2017 - 7:30 PM - "Living History: John Muir, the Father of Our National Parks," at the Wilderness Center, 9877 Alabama Ave SW Wilmot, OH 44689 USA. A visit with John Muir. John Kolar, naturalist from Geauga County, portrayed Muir who was instrumental in forming the National Park Service.
    • November 13, 2017, 7 PM - An Influential Life — John Muir -The David A. Cofrin Library at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay sponsored an evening of mini-lectures on the impact John Muir made on history, ecology, psychology and conservation. UW-Green Bay faculty and staff delivered mini-lectures that lead attendees into a larger conversation about the importance of Muir's legacy. The event was held on Thursday, November 30th 2017 from 7pm-8:30pm on the 4th floor of the library. The event is in conjunction with the traveling exhibit "Wisconsin's John Muir." The exhibit will be at the David A. Cofrin Library on the 4th floor, and open to the public, November 15 to December 15, 2017. Welcome: Greg Davis, Provost; Presenters: Michael Draney, Professor, Biology; Vicki Medland, Associate Director of Cofrin Center for Biodiversity; David Voelker, Associate Professor in Humanities and History; Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges, Professor in Human Development and Psychology. Closing Remarks: Paula Ganyard, Assistant Vice chancellor of Information Technology and Library Services.


    • March 23 & 24, 2018 - "The Practical John Muir" Symposium is hosted by the University off the Pacific. A field trip to Yosemite Valley was held on Friday, March 23, featuring stories and interpretation going and coming by Frank Helling. A Friday evening reception in the University of the Pacific Library offered the opportunity for attendees, including many Muir family descendants, to meet. On Saturday, March 24, presentations were made by an array of people with varying approaches to the theme of "the practical John Muir." Exhibits featured the local Sierra Club, the John Muir Trail Foundation, Peter and Donna Thomas' new book Anywhere That is Wild: John Muir's First Walk to Yosemite, and UOP's Media X hands-on virtual reality developments of a virtual immersive "John Muir Museum" and a short Virtual Reality 3D film of John Muir in Yosemite. The delicious theme lunch was based on foods available at the Strentzel-Muir ranch in Martinez. University of the Pacific John Muir Symposium announcement. (off-site link). The Practical John Muir Symposium 2018 Program (PDF)
    • April 23, 2018, the University of California, San Diego, sponsored a special John Muir Symposium as part of UC San Diego's John Muir College 50th Anniversary Celebration. The symposium, titled After the West: Rethinking John Muir included a keynote address On John Muir's Trail by Donald Worster,
    • May 15, 2018 - Mark Adams publishes Tip of the Iceberg: My 3,000-Mile Journey Around Wild Alaska, the Last Great American Frontier by Mark Adams (Dutton, 2018) - Travel writer Mark Adams set out in 2016 to retrace the 1899 Harriman Alaska Expedition, relying primarily on the state's intricate public ferry system, the Alaska Marine Highway System, supplemented by plane travel for the ocean portions, especially across the huge Bering Sea. This book melds the history of the Harriman Alaska Expedition, especially focused on John Muir and the other scientists aboard the 1899 steamship, and a fun and evocative form of travel writing into a seamless whole.
    • August 22, 2018 - A film Ode to Muir by Teton Gravity tells about a 40-mile foot-powered winter expedition deep into California's John Muir Wilderness by professional snowboarder, adventurer and founder of Protect Our Winters Jeremy Jones and two-time Olympian Elena Hight.
    • Film maker Michael M. Conti releases a feature documentary film, The Unruly Mystic: John Muir. The film explores the spiritual inspiration people receive from nature, as it relates the "remarkable life and influential works of a patron saint of environmental activism and Father of America's National Parks."


    • January 23, 2019 - Actor Steve Berg narrates, while inebriated (or pretending to be), a very silly version of John Muir's camping trip with Theodore Roosevelt, on Comedy Central's "Drunk History" show, from Season 6, Episode 2. Actor and comedian Thomas Middleditch played the role of John Muir. Host Derek Waters.

    Compiled by: Harold W. Wood, Jr., Chair, Sierra Club John Muir Education Team
    Last Updated: April 21, 2019
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