July 24th, 5:40pm
The legacy of the Yosemite Valley features none other than John Muir - a man that many know as the “Father of the National Park Service.” We visited his house just outside San Francisco to learn more.
We picture John Muir joyfully exploring the wilderness, and writing articles on the importance of conserving wild places. So at his home in Martinez, CA, you expect to see a messy “scribble den,” littered with books and papers. But one is surprised to find the Victorian mansion & fruit orchard he lived in. The mansion was inherited when John Muir married Louisa Strentzel. Here, John Muir ran a successful business and raised a family of two daughters for 10 years. Around the dinner table, he would tell tales of his wild adventures, ending each story on a cliffhanger to ensure that the family would return eagerly to the dinner table the next evening.
But without his wife, Louisa Strentzel, who recognized John’s “low-altitude sickness,” we might not know John Muir or enjoy Yosemite National Park. It was Louisa who surreptitiously arranged for John to lead a wilderness expedition. And it was Louisa who sold off plots of the farm during his trip, to free him from the farm labor, and allow John to continue to wage the battle for conservation; one that he called “the universal warfare between right and wrong.”