John Muir


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Ruins of old village of the Stickine Indians On Wrangell Island 14 miles from Wrangell. An outcurving piece of ground slopes slightly to the bay, 200 yards long, 75 wide. A swath of fine rank grasses probably grown since the village was deserted. The site of the village is marked most interestingly by carved totem pillars now moss-grown and some of them picturesquely planted with tufts of grasses and bushes. One carved post is surmounted by a bear life size; others are carved along the whole column into human forms, and one said to have been the receptacles of the ashes of the dead. The rafter beams of the houses are often 75 to 100 feet long, cedar 2 feet diameter hewn perfectly round. The posts supporting these are often curiously carved into animal and human forms. The whole of the ground is strewn with the immense timbers of the houses and overgrown with rank vegetation, grasses, ferns, elder bushes, nettles, raspberry, cow bane, etc; while the boulders on the beach piled in rows and submerged at high tide show the ways up which the Indians pushed their canoes in coming and going on their fishing, war, and gossip expeditions. {Sketch: totem pole}

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 8.5 x 13.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist