The magic of John Muir lives today in our public parklands and wilderness areas, the orchards and vineyards of Contra Costa County, sunsets atop Mt. Wanda, and in writings and teachings that spread the word about nature and our place in it.

About John Muir

John Muir is known as the one of the first conservationists, one whose influence is felt worldwide. Named the Father of our National Park System, Muir has inspired many generations to cherish an preserve our planet’s natural resources.


Statue of the young John Muir in Dunbar, Scotland. Photo by Will Collin

John Muir was also one of the founders of the Sierra Club, and the organization’s John Muir Exhibit gives a comprehensive view of Muir, his life and work: www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit.

For the last 24 years of his life, Muir lived in Martinez, California, where his 1882 Victorian home and 335 acres of his once vast, 2,600-acre fruit ranch have been preserved for visitors around the world to enjoy. He was born in Dunbar, Scotland, and John Muir’s Birthplace is now a museum and educational center: www.jmbt.org.uk/content.

In the 1950s, the destruction of the historic Muir home was imminent. Plans to build shops and homes on the property were in the works. It was largely through the efforts of Faire and Henry Sax, two individuals who purchased the dilapidated property, that the home was spared. They set about making the many substantial repairs needed, and galvanizing the community in their desire to establish the home and orchards as a national monument. They held teas and tours to interest as many people as possible in their enterprise.

Faire and Henry Sax did capture the attention of many who shared their goal. The John Muir Association was established in 1956 in order to help preserve the Muir home as a national treasure.

The John Muir National Historic Site was established after the house, the Martinez Adobe and surrounding orchards were purchased by the National Park Service in 1964. In 1993, and additional 326 acres of Muir’s original property (now open space) were purchased, known as Mt. Wanda. Visit the John Muir National Historic Site website at www.nps.gov/jomu.

Plan to stop by and learn more about John Muir where he lived, raised his family and wrote many influential works.


Mt. Wanda, Martinez, California

 

© USPS 1998 John Muir Preservationist Stamp
 
 

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