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Louie Strentzel Muir - A Chronology

See also: Louie Strentzel Muir Biography

DATE SOURCE 1847 July 6 Born at Honey Grove (Lamar County), Texas. Gravestone 1848 May 22 Brother John Erwin Strentzel born. Gravestone 1849 Comes across the plains from Texas to San Diego, California in a wagon with Dr. S. as medical advisor to the emigrants. The party includes Henry Christian Strentzel, Dr. Strentzel's brother. Louie gathers flowers along the way. LES diary Family operates an inn on the Merced River. Family operates a farm near Snelling. Father begins horticultural experiments. 1851 April 29 Sister Carlotta (Lottie) born. Named for Dr. Strentzel’s sister. Gravestone 1851 Aug 31 Sister Lottie dies. Gravestone 1853 Camps out with family in Alhambra Valley at the location of their first home in the area. 1853 Aug 5 Father purchases first property in Alhambra Valley. $5./acre. Martinez Museum Family builds a Georgian style home (on Alhambra Valley Road, named later). 1857 Sept 20 Brother Johnnie dies from diphtheria. Gravestone 1859 Was passionately fond of flowers and music. LES diary 1863 March Family gets its piano. Louie "played all evening." LES diary 1864 May 30, 31 Participates in Annual Examination of the Pupils at the Young Ladies Seminary. Martinez Museum 1865 Sept 3 Uncle Henry dies. Born 1817, Poland. He lived in the Alhambra Valley. Gravestone 1868 Mar Receives a roll of fine music from Oliver Ditson & Co. of Boston. "Has a very good collection of music." LES diary 1868 April Plays the piano and Gottschalk’s banjo. LES diary 1872 Mar Family pet, bird Jack, dies. Louie lays him in a wooden box and buried him under the myrtle. LES diary 1874 Sept 12 Alhambra Grange organized with father as first Master Calif. Grange 1874 Sept 15 Louie and mother meet JM at Dr. Carr’s in Oakland. LES diary 1874 Sept 26 Plays several tunes from the Grange songbook. The Grange met at the ‘brick house. LES diary 1874 Oct 12 Returns home from a week away, pleased with her visit to the State Grange. LES diary 1875 April Mrs. Carr tries vainly to arrange a meeting between Louie and JM and wrote: "You see how I am snubbed in trying to get John Muir to accompany me to your house this week." JM chose to go to Mt. Shasta instead.
1876 Father has plat drawn for Granger’s Wharf, off Martinez shore and running along Arroyo del Hambre (later Alhambra Creek). Martinez Museum 1876 Feb 7 Accidentally injures the hand of a Chinaman (who was up in the tree) while trying to shoot a bird that was eating the oranges. LES diary 1876 May Father receives approval to build Granger’s Wharf. Father is president of Granger’s Warehousing & Business Association. 1876 July Wharf and two warehouses completed. Father on hand to welcome first (grain) ship at wharf, the St. Charles. 1877 June Takes her first piano lesson from Professor Mansfeldt (Mansfelt?). LES diary 1877 Taking lessons at the Grangers Hall. Father particularly liked ‘Hold The Fort’ a Granger song. LES diary 1877 Dec 5 Muir writes to the three Strentzels: "I made a capital little excursion over your Mount Diablo and arrived in good order in San Francisco after that fine rest in your wee white house. I sauntered on leisurely after bidding you good-bye, enjoying the landscape as it was gradually unrolled in the evening light." 1878 Muir a frequent and fondly expected visitor to the Strentzels. 1878 Feb LES "read Muir’s charming description of the ouzel and the waterfall. It is written as only John Muir can write." LES diary 1878 April The piano tuner, Mr. Corn, comes and stays the night. Tunes the piano at the Granger’s Hall the next day. LES diary 1878 May 1 Sings ‘The Brave Old Plow’ at Granger’s Hall. LES diary 1878 May 7 Working every day with her flowers, transplanting and training vines. LES diary 1878 May 28 JM arrives "by boat looking thin & pale, bringing a quantity of writing to do while resting." LES diary 1878 June 1 Plays the piano for the family and JM, including Balcoma, Coronation, Lenore, Nearer My God to Thee. The family and JM sing several Grange songs. JM comments "they almost made a Granger of me." LES diary 1878 June 6 Anxious to have lessons from Prof. Mansfeldt, but he cannot come up unless he can get other pupils. LES diary 1878 Aug 10 A grand ball at Centennial Hall (Granger’s Hall, built in 1876). LES diary 1878 14 Aug Father sends JM (in Nevada) a box of fruits. LES diary 1878 Sep 30 Father attends the State Grange meeting in Sacramento. LES diary 1878 Oct 4 Dr. & Mrs. Carr arrive to attend a Grange meeting. Mrs. Carr is a strong Grange supporter. LES diary 1878 Oct 11 A meeting of the Atkins school alumni. LES diary 1878 Nov 12 Travels to Benicia for a lesson. LES diary 1878 Nov 16 Plays Mendelssohn’s Hunting Song. LES diary 1878 Nov 20 Takes a lesson from Prof. Corbaz at the Hall. LES diary 1878 Nov 30 Mrs. S. and Miss Hickman of Mills Seminary call. LES diary 1878 Dec 10 JM visits, telling of recent trip to Utah. LES diary
1878 Dec 11 With father and JM visits the hill on which her father thinks of building the new home. "Mr. M. seemed to like the place very much." LES diary 1879 Jan 16 JM arrives via train from Sacramento after lecture there on the 14th. JM gives the family a lecture on glacier meadows. LES diary 1879 Jan 22 Takes a lesson at the Hall. LES diary 1879 Feb Taking lessons at the Hall. LES diary 1879 Feb 3 Tastes but does not eat a strychnine-laced egg her father had prepared for a skunk. LES diary 1879 Feb 7 Father sends some spicy Newtons to JM. LES diary 1879 Feb 17 Father sends JM a box of "delicious cherry & apple blossoms & fine roses." LES diary 1879 Mar 26 Mrs. Carr visits for a few days. LES diary 1879 April Receives her first two letters from John Muir. 1879 April 29 Asks father to buy a new piano for $850. LES diary 1879 May 15 New piano arrives. Plays ‘Miou.’ JM there. LES diary 1879 May 16 Walks in the hills with JM. LES diary 1879 June 17 Becomes engaged to John Muir. Father "seemed pleased but quiet." LES diary 1880 April 14 Marriage certificate witnessed by Mrs. M. A. Hatch. 1880 Aug 2 John Muir writes from Alaska: "Leaving you is the only event that has marred the trip and it is marred sorely, but I shall make haste to you and reach you ere you have time to grieve and weary. If you will only be calm and cheery all will be better for my short spell of ice-work...I hope you do not feel that I am away at all. Any real separation is not possible. I have been alone, as far as concerns the isolation that distance makes, so much of my lifetime that separation seems more natural than absolute contact, which seems too good and indulgent to be true...And now, my dear Louie, keep a good heart and do the bits of work I requested you to do, and the days in Alaska will go away fast enough and I will be with you again as if I had been gone but one day." 1880 Aug 3 JM writes "Good-bye again, my love. Keep a strong heart and speedily will fly the hours that bring me back to thee." 1880 Aug 5 JM writes "I hardly know, my lassie, what I've been writing, nothing, I fear, but very small odds and ends, and yet these may at least keep you from wearying for an hour, and the letters, poor though they be, shall yet tell my love, and that will redeem them... Heaven bless you, my love, and mother and father. I trust that you are caring for yourself and us all by keeping cheery and strong, and avoiding the bad practice of the stair-dance. Once more, my love, farewell." 1880 Aug 10 JM writes "...I’m not away at all, you know, for only they who do not love may ever be apart. There is no true separation for those whose hearts and souls are together. So much for love and philosophy." 1880 Aug 11 JM writes "You must come here (Alaska) some day when you are strong enough." 1880 Aug 14 JM writes "How hard it is to wait so long for a letter from you! I shall not get a word until I return. I am trying to trust that you will be patient and happy, and have that work done that we talked of... Now, my dear wife, the California will soon be sailing southward, and I must again bid you good-bye. I must go, but you, my dear, will go with me all the way. How gladly when my work is done will I go back to thee!" 25 Mar 1881 Daughter Annie Wanda born. JM wrote to John and Mary Swett: "We are five now -- four steadfast old lovers around one little love. Bloom-time has come and a bloom baby has come and never since the Glacial Period began on earth were happier people."
1881 July 2 JM writes from second Alaska trip: "it is a sore, hard thing to be out of sight of her so long, and of thee, Lassie, but still sorer and harder not to hear." 1881 Aug 16 JM receives Louie’s letter and replies: "Heaven only knows my joy this night in hearing that you were well... Ah, you little know the long icy days, so strangely nightless, that I have longed and longed for one word from you." 1881 Spring John’s health is poor from nervous indigestion and a bronchial cough. Louie encouraged him in vain to go to the mountains. 1882 JM expresses opposition to the Grange. LES diary 1884 July Accompanies JM on trip to Yosemite. 1886 Jan 23 Daughter Helen Lillian born. Frail from the start. 1888 JM’s first writing efforts on Picturesque California were uninspired. Louie realizes his inspiration is gone and that he needs time in the wilderness for health. 1888 Aug Decides to sell or lease major parts of the ranch to lessen JM’s burden. 1888 Aug 6 Louie writes to John in Washington state, where he is climbing Mt. Rainier: "A ranch that needs and takes the sacrifice of a noble life, or work, ought to be flung away beyond all reach and power for harm... The Alaska book and the Yosemite book, dear John, must be written, and you need to be your own self, well and strong, to make them worthy of you. There is nothing that has a right to be considered beside this except the welfare of our children." 1889 June 1 JM sends letter from Victoria, saying "...I hope you are all busy with the hay. Helen will keep it well tumbled and tramped with Keenie’s help."
1889 July Receives six or more letters from JM who was secluded in the Grand Hotel in San Francisco writing articles for Picturesqe California. In these he quotes passages to her for comment and approval. Bade, II, 221 1890 Oct 31 Father dies. Born Nov. 28, 1813, Poland. Gravestone 1892 Aug-Sep Sells parts of the ranch. 1897 Sept 24 Mother dies. Born Oct. 31, 1821, Tennessee. Gravestone 1905 Jul 3 JM writes to Mr. Hooker that "...we received a telegram that Mrs. M. was much better... In the midst of chronic troubles, she had a sudden and severe attack of pneumonia." JM First Draft of Letters, 1905, UOP 1905 Jul 4 JM writes to Mr. Johnson that "We were called back from Arizona a few days ago. Ultimately ... we found the trouble was pneumonia." JM First Draft of Letters, 1905, UOP 1905 Aug 6 Dies. Buried in the Strentzel family cemetery. Gravestone

Source: Compiled by Steve and Patty Pauly
Received: March 24, 1999

See also:
Louie Strentzel Muir Biography
People Important to John Muir

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