John Muir National Historic Site

Last updated
John Muir National Historic Site
John Muir NHS.jpg
Location Map San Francisco Bay Area.png
Red pog.svg
USA California location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location4202 Alhambra Avenue, Martinez, California
Coordinates 37°59′29″N122°08′00″W / 37.991311°N 122.133298°W / 37.991311; -122.133298 Coordinates: 37°59′29″N122°08′00″W / 37.991311°N 122.133298°W / 37.991311; -122.133298
Area345 acres (140 ha)
Built1883
ArchitectWolfe & Son; Martinez, Vicente
Architectural style Italianate-Victorian [2]
Visitation49,376 (2016) [3]
Website John Muir National Historic Site
NRHP reference No. 66000083 [4]
CHISL No.312 [5]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966
Designated NHLDecember 29, 1962 [6]
Designated NHSAugust 31, 1964 [2]

The John Muir National Historic Site is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, in Martinez, Contra Costa County, California. It preserves the 14-room Italianate Victorian mansion where the naturalist and writer John Muir lived, as well as a nearby 325-acre (132 ha) tract of native oak woodlands and grasslands historically owned by the Muir family. The main site is on the edge of town, in the shadow of State Route 4, also known as the "John Muir Parkway." [7]

Contents

History

Mansion

The mansion was built in 1883 by Dr. John Strentzel, Muir's father-in-law, with whom Muir went into partnership, managing his 2,600-acre (1,100 ha) fruit ranch. Muir and his wife, Louisa, moved into the house in 1890, and he lived there until his death in 1914.

View from south over the house to the orchards in 1900 Jomu Martinez, Ca 020419pu.jpg
View from south over the house to the orchards in 1900

Alhambra Trestle

In 1897, for the sum of $10, Muir and Louisa ceded a right of way to the San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley Railroad. [8] The document describes the land upon which the Alhambra Trestle is located. [8] The railway was completed in 1900 and used by the Muirs to ship their fruit. [8]

Preservationist

While living here, Muir realized many of his greatest accomplishments, co-founding and serving as the first president of the Sierra Club, [9] in the wake of his battle to prevent Yosemite National Park's Hetch Hetchy Valley from being dammed, playing a prominent role in the creation of several national parks, writing hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles and several books expounding on the virtues of conservation and the natural world, and laying the foundations for the creation of the National Park Service in 1916.

The home contains Muir's "scribble den," as he called his study, and his original desk, where he wrote about many of the ideas that are the bedrock of the modern conservation movement. [10]

Archive and Landmark

The Muir house was documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1960. [11]

It became a National Historic Site in 1964, is California Historical Landmark #312 and a National Historic Landmark, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1988 nearby Mount Wanda Nature Preserve (named for one of John Muir's two daughters) was added to the Historic Site. [12]

John Muir National Historic Site

The John Muir National Historic Site offers a biographical film, tours of the house and nature walks on Mount Wanda. [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

Yosemite National Park National park in California, United States

Yosemite National Park is an American national park in Northern California, surrounded on the southeast by Sierra National Forest and on the northwest by Stanislaus National Forest. The park is managed by the National Park Service and covers an area of 748,436 acres and sits in four counties: centered in Tuolumne and Mariposa, extending north and east to Mono and south to Madera County. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, meadows, glaciers, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness.

Half Dome Granite dome in Yosemite National Park, California

Half Dome is a granite dome at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, California. It is a well-known rock formation in the park, named for its distinct shape. One side is a sheer face while the other three sides are smooth and round, making it appear like a dome cut in half. The granite crest rises more than 4,737 ft (1,444 m) above the valley floor.

Contra Costa County, California County in California, United States

Contra Costa County is located in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,049,025. The county seat is Martinez. It occupies the northern portion of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, and is primarily suburban. The county's name is Spanish for "opposite coast", referring to its position on the other side of the bay from San Francisco. Contra Costa County is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Berkeley, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Martinez, California City in California, United States

Martinez is a city in and the county seat of Contra Costa County, California, in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 38,290 at the 2020 census. The city is named after Californio ranchero Ygnacio Martínez. The downtown is notable for its large number of preserved old buildings and antique shops. Martinez is located on the southern shore of the Carquinez Strait in the San Francisco Bay Area, directly facing the city center of Benicia and the southeastern end of Vallejo, California.

John Muir Scottish-born American naturalist and author

John Muir also known as "John of the Mountains" and "Father of the National Parks", was an influential Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, botanist, zoologist, glaciologist, and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States of America.

History of the Yosemite area History of the Sierra Nevada region of California

Human habitation in the Sierra Nevada region of California reaches back 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. Historically attested Native American populations, such as the Sierra Miwok, Mono and Paiute, belong to the Uto-Aztecan and Utian phyla. In the mid-19th century, a band of Native Americans called the Ahwahnechee lived in Yosemite Valley. The California Gold Rush greatly increased the number of non-indigenous people in the region. Tensions between Native Americans and white settlers escalated into the Mariposa War. As part of this conflict, settler James Savage led the Mariposa Battalion into Yosemite Valley in 1851, in pursuit of Ahwaneechees led by Chief Tenaya. The California state military forces burned the tribe's villages, destroyed their food stores, killed the chief's sons, and forced the tribe out of Yosemite. Accounts from the Mariposa Battalion, especially from Dr. Lafayette Bunnell, popularized Yosemite Valley as a scenic wonder.

Eugene ONeill National Historic Site United States historic place

The Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, located in Danville, California, preserves Tao House, the Monterey Colonial hillside home of America's only Nobel Prize-winning playwright, Eugene O'Neill.

Wawona Hotel United States historic place

The Wawona Hotel is a historic hotel located within southern Yosemite National Park, in California. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Martinez station

Martinez station is an Amtrak passenger train station in Martinez, California, United States. Located at the west end of downtown Martinez, the station has one side platform and one island platform, which serve three of the four tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad Martinez Subdivision. It is served by the daily California Zephyr and Coast Starlight long-distance trains, five daily round trips of the San Joaquin corridor service, and fifteen daily round trips of the Capitol Corridor service. Martinez is also served by Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach intercity buses plus County Connection, WestCAT, and Tri-Delta Transit local buses.

La Grange, California Unincorporated community in California, United States

La Grange is a small unincorporated community in rural Stanislaus County, California. Its altitude is 249 feet (76 m). As of 2008 it has a population of 345. It is located at 37°39′49″N120°27′49″W along the Tuolumne River, and is near the La Grange Dam and the New Don Pedro Dam.

Alhambra Creek

Alhambra Creek is a stream in Contra Costa County, in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California.

Rancho El Pinole was a 17,761-acre (71.88 km2) Mexican land grant along Carquinez Strait in present-day Contra Costa County, California.

Muir House may refer to:

Yosemite Village Historic District United States historic place

The Yosemite Village Historic District encompasses the primary built-up section of the Yosemite Valley as it was developed by the National Park Service for Yosemite National Park. The district includes visitor services areas, park personnel residences and administrative facilities. It is located to the north of the Merced River. The district includes the National Historic Landmark Rangers' Club.

Daniel Ray Hull

Daniel Ray Hull (1890–1964), sometimes stated Daniel P. Hull, was an American landscape architect who was responsible for much of the early planning of the built environment the national parks of the United States during the 1920s. Hull planned town sites, designed landscapes, and designed individual buildings for the Park Service, in private practice, and later for the California State Parks. A number of his works are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

John Strentzel

John Theophil Strentzel was a Polish-born physician who gained fame as a pioneer in the area of experimental California horticulture. He is best known as the father-in-law of writer and environmental activist John Muir.

Martinez Library United States historic place

Martinez Library is a historic library located in downtown Martinez, California that is part of the Contra Costa County Library system.

Vicente Martinez Adobe

The Vicente Martinez Adobe is an historic adobe house near Martinez, California. The house was built in 1849 by Vicente J. Martinez on the Rancho El Pinole, a land grant that had been given to his father, Ygnacio Martinez, in 1836. It was the first of its kind built in Contra Costa County. In 1853 the adobe was sold Edward Franklin, after whom the canyon where the adobe sits was named. The adobe became known as the Franklin Canyon Adobe.

Louis Lorenz Stein

Louis Lorenz Stein Jr., often referred to as Louie, was an American pharmacist, California East Bay historian and archivist. He was best known for founding the Arlington Pharmacy in Kensington, California, the Pharmacy Museum at Columbia State Historic Park and donating his collection of historical materials to the Contra Costa County Historical Society.

Muir Trestle

The Muir Trestle, or Alhambra Trestle, is a railway trestle bridge in Martinez, California located within the John Muir National Historic Site. It is owned and operated by BNSF Railway and carries their Stockton Subdivision. The trestle spans 1,600 feet (490 m) in length, 75 feet (23 m) above the Alhambra Valley.

References

  1. "John Muir Home". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
  2. 1 2 "National Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings". National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  3. "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  4. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  5. "John Muir Home". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
  6. "John Muir House". National Historic Landmark Program. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  7. "Directions". John Muir National Historic Site, National Park Service . Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  8. 1 2 3 National Park Service. "John Muir and the Alhambra Trestle" (PDF). Sierra Club . Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  9. "The John Muir Exhibit". Sierra Club . Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  10. "Museum Collections at the John Muir National Historic Site". National Park Service Museum Management Program. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  11. "John Muir House". Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress. Retrieved 13 April 2012.[ permanent dead link ]
  12. "Testimony before the Subcommittee on National Parks" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  13. "Things To Do". John Muir National Historic Site, National Park Service. Retrieved 13 April 2012.