Marion Randall Parsons
- Author, artist,
photographer, mountaineer, and active Sierra Club leader.
- The college-age Marion learned about the Sierra Club through a classmate, John Muir's oldest daughter Wanda. Marion's
first Sierra Club Outing was its third, in 1903. In 1907, she married
a Sierra Club board member, Edward Taylor Parsons, who she had met
on her first Sierra Club outing. When Edward died in 1914, she became
the first woman elected to the board of directors of the Sierra Club.
She served in that capacity for twenty-two years.
- William Frederic wrote in the Preface to
Muir's book Travels
in Alaska, "For a
number of months just prior to his death he had the friendly assistance
of Mrs. Marion Randall Parsons. Her familiarity with the manuscript,
and with Mr. Muir's expressed and penciled intentions of revision and
arrangement, made her the logical person to prepare it in final form
for publication. It was a task to which she brought devotion as well
as ability. The labor involved was the greater in order that the finished
work might exhibit the last touches of Muir's master-hand, and yet
contain nothing that did not flow from his pen. All readers of this
book will feel grateful for her labor of love." Her first-person
account of this is in heer article, "John
Muir and the Alaska Book."
became a member of the Sierra Club's editorial committee, and
sje wrote often for the Sierra Club Bulletin.
She wrote of Sierra Club high trips, mountain climbing
exploits, and comraderie on the trail, over seventeen major
articles in all. She also wrote many book reviews (she
was always asked to review John Muir's books in particular).
- She had her hand in the Club's conservation activities too, particularly
the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916, and also served
after her husband's death as Chair of the Le Conte Memorial Lodge
Committee, and on other Sierra Club committees.
Reviews of books by John Muir by Marion Randall Parsons:
more information, see:
Randall Parsons - Photo with Muir, and biographical sketch
- Sierra Club History website
Randall Parsons," Sierra
Club Bulletin October, 1953
Randall Parsons," Chapter 9 of Adventurous Women:
The Inspiring Lives of Nine Early Outdoorswomen By
Dorcas S. Miller (Pruett,
Photograph of Marion Randall Parsons courtesy of University
of California Bancroft Library
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