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Biographical Timeline of John Muir's Life


1838 April 21, birthday of John Muir, born in Dunbar , Scotland .

1841 Began school at the age of three.

1849 Immigration to Wisconsin at the age of 11.

1860 Left home (22 years of age) to exhibit his inventions at State Agriculture Fair in Madison , Wisconsin; brief jobs; enrolls at the University of Wisconsin.

1861-62 Attends University of Wisconsin for 2-1/2 years (5 tri-semesters), teaches school during the winter, forms friendship with the Carr's.

1863 Left the University; foot tour of Wisconsin, Iowa , Illinois, Canada .

1866 Indianapolis : worked for manufacturer of carriage parts.

1867 Eye injury. Begins 1000 mile walk to Florida and then to Cuba .

1868 Voyage to California : landed in San Francisco , March 28, and walked across the valley; worked at ranch of Pat Delaney.

1869 Summer sheep herder in high Sierra; returned to live in Yosemite to work for Hutchings, to operate saw mill; began exploration for signs of glaciers.

1871 Met Emerson in Yosemite.

1872 Began to publish articles in leading magazines.

1873 Continuous residence in Yosemite ended.

1874 Met the Strentzels in Alhambra Valley.

1875 Lived in Bay Area writing magazine articles; trips to mountains; Utah .

1879 Proposed to Louie Strentzel; First Alaska trip with S. Hall Young; discovery of Glacier Bay , Muir Glacier.

1880 April 14: marriage of John Muir (42) and Louie Strentzel (33); Second trip to Alaska, adventure with Stickeen .

1881 John Swett bought ranch adjoining Muir holdings. Birth of Wanda Muir; railroad built; third trip to Alaska aboard the Corwin.

1882-83 Construction of mansion.

1882 Beginning of extensive ranching period.

1886 Birth of Helen Muir.

1888 Trip to Mt. Rainier ; editor and contributor of Picturesque California, two volumes.

1890 Alaska trip to Muir Glacier; death of Dr. Strentzel; Muir family move to mansion.

1890 Yosemite becomes a National Park.

1892 Founding of the Sierra Club , end of ranching career for John Muir.

1893 Trip to Europe with William Keith.

1894 Mountains of California published.

1898 Death of Mrs. Strentzel.

1899 Mt. Rainier National Park established; member of Harriman Alaska Expedition.

1901 Our National Parks published.

1903 Theodore Roosevelt visited Yosemite.

1904 World tour.

1905 Helen ill, Adamana, Arizona for recovery.

1906 Petrified Forest becomes a national monument; death of Louie Strentzel Muir, August 6.

1906 San Francisco earthquake, repair of house, marriage of Wanda to Thomas Hanna.

1908 Grand Canyon National Park established.

1907-1913 Fight to save Hetch Hetchy Valley; Stickeen (1909), My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), The Yosemite (1912), and The Story of My Boyhood and Youth (1913) published.

1910 Helen married Buel Funk.

1911-12 Trip to South America and Africa (73 years old.)

1914 December 24: death of John Muir of pneumonia in a Los Angeles Hospital.

1915 A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf, Steep Trails, Travels in Alaska, and Cruise of The Corwin published.

1916 Congress creates National Park Service .

1942 Death of Wanda Muir Hanna, 60 years.

1964 Death of Helen Muir Funk, 78 years.

1964 John Muir House declared a National Historic Site , land acquisition completed in 1966.

1982 John Muir House is 100 years old.

1988 John Muir 150th Birthday Year Celebration.

1989 April 21st annually proclaimed John Muir Day by California Governor, bill 476.

1992 John Muir House is 110 years old.

See Also detailed Chronology of the Life and Legacy of John Muir


1838 Born April 21 in Dunbar, Scotland.

1849 Emigrates to Wisconsin.

1860 Exhibits inventions at Wisconsin State Agriculture Fair.

1861 Enters the University of Wisconsin.

1863 Leaves University of Wisconsin.

1867 Temporarily blinded by eye injury. Once his sight is restored, decides to commit his life to nature study. Sets out on a 1,000-mile walk from Kentucky to the Gulf of Mexico.

1868 Travels to California. Visits Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada, ³the most divinely beautiful of all the moun-tain chains I have ever seen.²

1871 Undertakes intensive study of glaciation in the Sierra. Ralph Waldo Emerson visits him in Yosemite.

1874 Begins series of articles entitled ³Studies in the Sierra,² which launch his successful writing career.

1879 First of many visits to Alaska.

1880 Marries Louie Wanda Strentzel, April 14; moves to Martinez, California, to help manage family orchard business.

1890 Succeeds in campaign to create Yosemite National Park.

1892 Helps found Sierra Club to ³do something for wilderness and make the mountains glad.² President until his death in 1914.

1903 Tours Yosemite with President Roosevelt.

1904 Completes trip around the world.

1911 Travels to South America and Africa.

1913 Loses campaign to save Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite.

1914 Dies December 24, in Los Angeles.


Source: Sierra Club


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