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Live Presenters Portraying John Muir

For a humorous essay about Muir impersonators, see "Will the Real Fake John Muir Please Stand Up?" by Michael Branch,  Sustainable Play: Long-form Storytelling at the Confluence of People, Planet, and Play. (August 8, 2018.) Reprinted from Branch's book How to Cuss in Western, this essay tells the story of the time the author was at a party with not one, not two, but three John Muir impersonators. Hilarity ensues! This piece celebrates Muir (and his greatest impersonator) while poking fun at the public humanities tradition of Chautauqua.

The following links includes descriptions, photos, audio and/or video clips, and contact information, when available.

  • Don Baldwin (CA) - Retired Resident Minister in Yosemite National Park, gives presentations in character and with a multimedia slide show in the northern California area. (off-site link)
  • John Kolar (OH) - Geauga Park District Chief Naturalist John Kolar has portrayed Muir in various venues in Ohio for years.
  • Frank Helling (CA)
  • Doug Hulmes (AZ)
  • Gerald Pelrine (WI
  • Mark Raddatz (WA)
  • Dick Shore - after 29 years, Dick Shore of Kentucky retired from doing live John Muir portrayals in 2017.
  • Lee Stetson (CA)
  • John Wallace (IL)
  • Paul Ackert (off-site link)- Portraying John Muir at the Riverside Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 22, 2019, in a performance titled."John Muir's Worl: Boyhood to Adult 1838 - 1914."According to the organizers, "Paul Akert's re-enactment and PowerPoint program "John Muir's World" brings to life the story of John Muir from his early days in Wisconsin, education at UW in Madison, his journey to the Sierra Nevada mountains, and years as a writer and advocate for the creation of Yosemite National Park with Theodore Roosevelt. The spiritual quality and enthusiasm toward nature expressed in Muir's writings, illustrated though pictures, quotes, and personal stories by Mr. Akert, has inspired generations of earth-conscious readers to take action to help preserve large nature areas." [Source:] For more info, see
  • Bill Harley (off-site link) a children's storyteller, musician and author, performs John Muir's Stickeen, the true story of Muir's adventure with a dog on a glacier in Alaska in both public performances and a new CD, "John Muir's Stickeen told by Bill Harley." Bill Harley explains: "This story has accompanied me through my whole adult life and I still love it. Muir's overarching message is that we share the world with other living creatures, and they have as much right to it as we do. Muir's ethos is at the heart of the movement to preserve the natural world for all of us. He's one of my heroes." A two-time Grammy award winner, Hartley, usually Accompanied by his guitar, creates narrative songs and stories, both original and traditional, for children and adults.

Live Presenters About John Muir

  • See Presenters at recent John Muir Conferences.
  • See Living People Influenced by John Muir
  • Donnell Rubay - Author of "Stickeen: John Muir and the Brave Little Dog"
  • Peter and Donna Thomas, a Santa Cruz couple with a long interest in California's mountains and wildflowers, recently set out trying to reconstruct John Muir's first cross-state trek from Oakand to Yosemite in 1868. The couple will be paralleling Muir's 300-mile route, altered as necessary to get past the freeways, housing developments, irrigation canals, factories and industrial-scale farms that have since popped up.
  • Ginger Wadsworth - Author of "John Muir, Wilderness Protector"
  • Harold Wood - Webmaster of the John Muir Exhibit & Chair of the Sierra Club John Muir Education Committee. His illustrated presentations include: "John Muir's Continuing Inspiration," "John Muir Around the World," "John Muir and the Animal Kingdom," and "John Muir in India." He is also available for workshops to discuss the John Muir in education (including the John Muir Study Guide and History Day), John Muir in general, or other Muir-related topics such as the California State Quarter. Contact:

For a comprehensive listing of presenters, see the John Muir Bibliography's Live Presentations Section.

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