Louie Muir


Louie Muir


John Muir



distribution of water. So many rivers & springs & great lakes & little lakes abounding over there; while here, our valley will not even allow us to manufacture a fairly good-looking pond! It is perfectly unjust. By the way, our neighbors new house may be built very soon. An architect came up last Friday with Mr. & Mrs. Swett; Emilie has actually been out at the ranch 2 weeks, and declares she has come to stay there! Harry Williams also is there, boarding, as Mrs. W. has gone for a month’s visit to Menlo. I have not been so well as I hoped: fever and sleeplessness at night, and much trouble about breathing in the day-time. Dr. Gibbons says the cause is “undue pressure on the spinal nerves” and that I will probably be much better in 2 or 3 weeks.



Martinez, Cal. August 31, 1885.

Dear John,

Your note of Aug. 26, from Livingston has just come, and I am glad, and yet, sorely fretted at heart to think of your hurrying so. Only one week in the Rocky Mountain wilderness for John Muir! O my beloved, you are cruel to yourself. Yet, now that I think what a blessed Sabbath day that must have been, face to face with the dear mother you have longed to see for so many years — it seems after all the best. Poor mother, how hard it will be for her to let you go again far away. If only


My letters from Portland and the Yellowstone will probably reach you this week, unless you fly away from Portage as from the others. Do not hurry too much dear, there is more need to stay and comfort your poor mother’s heart while you can, and she has waited for your coming a long, long time. Please remember to telegraph to me when you start home and who comes with you. You spoke of returning by way of Portland: is it necessary with the ticket you have? If I dared to risk the jarring of the cars, Wanda and I would meet you at Truckee for a little



you could bring her with you, and three or four or five sisters; indeed, just tell them that I think California is a good country for every one of the Muirs to move to. Wanda says, “Tell papa not to forget to bring Auntie Maggie and her littlest girl, and Auntie Tadie and her little Gracie all to stay and live with baby.” The child is really oppressed with the loneliness of this great empty house, and the desolation about the old home; but her eyes are shining now with the thought of “two sweet little girls to play every day with baby.” Is there any prospect of Willis and Mary Hand moving over here? If they are undecided do try to bring Mary with Annie for an artists’ visit, at least.


But if you fail in persuading any of the family to come with you, just take the Crete highway and carry off Auntie Margaret Reid, willing or not, I think she and I might be able to help each other this winter, with a good strong Scotch nurse to help us both — and we know a California winter is better for her than any icy howling Nebraska storms. Wanda has just come up the stairs for the third time to remind “Papa to bring some bonnie water-lilies for baby”. I want some moss and ferns from your first old home, dear, and if you can find them, a few bulbs of the dainty purple Anemone I have been looking at a map of Wisconsin, and I feel absolutely cross thinking about the unequal


visit to Lake Tahoe, but I fear it would not be safe. The child, longs and frets so for a sight of cool flowing rivers and bonny waterfalls, that we must try somehow this fall to satisfy her We ride with Grandpa to the home-ranch about every other day. Mr. Carter was there last week shipping pears, took 257 bxs. and will come next week for Vicars & Winter Nelises. Mr. Earl has agreed to come and ship our Muscat & Tokay grapes as soon as ripe. Denis seems to be doing well enough. Wanda is well and bright, and Grandma improves a little each day. Write us long letters from Portage and Crete. Good-bye. Louie Muir.


Martinez, Calif.

Date Original

1885 Aug 31


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 05, Image 0402

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Owning Institution

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


2 pages


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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