John Muir


Louie [Strentzel Muir]


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[Letter of John Muir to Mrs. Muir, dated Sep. 10, 1885, continued]Carrie left the day after my arrival for some place 200 miles or so to the Northward of here to teach music, and as she is living with an old friend of the family and has or is likely to have plenty of scholars, she will get on fast enough in a money way.Anna, the next eldest, is keeping house. She graduated from the high school last year. Both she and Carrie are good girls and respected by everybody -- fine scholars and well behaved.The two boys, John and Willie are fine, smart, well-behaved fellows, very quiet and bashful. Willie is about 16 years old, and little John Muir is about 12 -- a queer, cute, quiet, observant, narrow-faced, clipper-built boy, noticing everything, saying nothing, knows every dog, cow, horse, man, woman, and child in Portage.]I saw nearly all of the old neighbors, the young folk, of course, grown out of memory and unrecognizable; but most of the old I found but little changed by the 18 years since last I saw them, and the warmth of my welcome was in most instances excruciating. William Duncan, the old Scotch stone-mason who loaned me books when I was little and always declared that "Johnie Moor will make a name for himsel some day" I found hale and hearty, 81 years of age, and not a gray hair in his curly bushy locks-erect, firm of step, voice firm with a clear calm ring to it; memory as good as ever apparently, and his interest in all the current news of the world as fresh and as far-reaching. I stopped over night with [him] and talked till midnight.We were four days in making the round and had to make desperate efforts to get away. We climbed the Observatory that used to be the great cloud-capped mountain of our child' is imagination, but it dwindled now to a mere hill 250 feet high, half the height of that vineyard hill opposite the house. The porphyry out crop on the summit is very hard, and I was greatly interested in finding it grooved and polished by the ice sheet. I begin to get an appetite and feel quite well. Tell Wanda I'll write her a letter soon. Everybody out in the country seemed disappointed [at] not seeing you also. Love to all,Ever yours,JOHN MUIR


Portage City, [Wisc]

Date Original

1885 Sep 10


Original letter dimensions: 33 x 21.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 05, Image 0428

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date


Page Number

Page 2


John Muir, correspondence, letters, author, writing, naturalist, California, correspondent, mail, message, post, exchange of letters, missive, notes, epistle