John Muir

… was born on this date in 1838. (Click images for larger versions.)


This photo was taken in 2005 from the attic of John Muir’s home, directly above his study, or what he called his “scribble den.” Muir lived in the home in Martinez, California, from 1890 until his death in 1914. Most of his most important work was done while living and working here, though of course he travelled widely.

The service station appears to be a more recent addition to the neighborhood. One imagines that the conservationist would appreciate the convenience of being able to walk across the street for a half-gallon of milk or a Slushee, or to fill up the family SUV. (The photo was taken through a window pane.)


This is the study where John Muir produced some of the classics of American nature writing.

Why should man value himself as more than a small part of the one great unit of creation?


The metal cup on the desk, easily hung on a belt, was a badge of membership in the Sierra Club, which Muir co-founded in 1892. In the bowl on the mantle were balls of dried bread; Muir’s snack food.

I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it …

John Muir National Historic Site

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