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Jeanne Carr

1825-1903
Jeanne Carr  
  • Nature lover, author, and mentor to John Muir
  • Jeanne Carr was an amateur botanist and lover of nature. Her husband, Dr. Ezra Carr, was one of Muir's professors at the University of Wisconsin. Dr.Carr later became a professor at University of California, and California State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
  • John Muir left for Madison, Wisconsin, in 1860 to exhibit his inventions at the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society Fair. Muir and Jeanne Carr met at the fair, where Carr was greatly impressed by Muir's inventions.
  • Jeanne Carr was Muir's mentor shortly after they met at Madison. They began correspondence in 1865. Much of their correspondence is recorded in Letters from a Friend.
  • Jeanne Carr introduced Muir to many influential people (including Ralph Waldo Emerson and his future wife Louie Wand Strentzel) and sent on his letters to publishers, advancing Muir's literary career.
  • Jeanne Carr went on a camping trip in the Tuolumne Canyon and Sierra Range with John Muir, Albert Kellogg, and William Keith in 1873.

  • Jeanne and her husband later retired to Pasadena, California on an idyllic spot they called "Carmelita" - which was the Carr’s residence and expansive gardens, on land which originated at the NE corner of Colorado & Orange Grove and moved out from there north and east as far as Fair Oaks Blvd. Later the Carr’s would sell off portions their original tract, now known as Carmelita Park with the Norton Simon Museum being its notable feature today. Muir visited the Carrs there, for example, he wrote to Jeanne Carr in a letter written on Aug. 12, 1877:

    Dear Mrs. Carr:

    I've seen your sunny Pasadena and the patch called yours.

    Everything about here pleases me and I felt sorely tempted to take Dr. Congar's advice and invest in an orange patch myself. I feel sure you will be happy here with the Doctor and Allie among so rich a luxuriance of sunny vegetation, How you will dig and dibble in that mellow loam! I cannot think of you standing erect for a single moment, unless it be in looking away out into the dreamy West....
  • Among Jeanne Carr's many writings was a contribution "The Heart of Southern California" in Picturesque California, Edited by John Muir.


 


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