John Muir


431 - 61st St Oakland Cal.

Mar 29. - 1903.

Prof. John Muir

Martinez, Cal.

Dear Sir,

It occured to me that you might give me some light regarding how the ground at [illegible] Alaska beacme frozen to a depth of 100 feet and more.
Professor J G. [illegible]on my good neighbor urged me to write to you regarding this (to me) strange f[illegible]
Two years ago in Dec. and Jan. I sank a shaft on Dry Creek, about one mile from the sea nearly 100 ft. deep all in frozen ground. am quite sure the bottom is below the sea level, at times the deposit was sedimentary and again [it?] was slide some s[illegible]attas were nearly pure ice.
On the thirty foot level I afterward drifted


twenty five (25) feet and struck water and was obliged to quit.
In sinking another shaft about three miles from [home?] or the sea in same charred but in foot hills and higer up and entirely off of the tundra I encountered only eight inches of frost on surface found some cong[illegible] gravel about 30 feet down, which the miners at first thought to be frost.
How could the ground at shaft [illegible] freeze so deep?
Of course the water I encountered was from Dry creek channel thawed down by the presence of water and surface gravel. Last winter I erected on Snake River near [home?] for the Wild Goose [illegible]ing and Trading Co. a 500 H.P. pumping plant for hydraulic purposes.
The ground was [same?] as at shaft [illegible] we put 18 feet of concrete into an excavation so far it is O.K., but in time water may thaw it [some?], I am watching it and will



Oakland, Calif.

Date Original

1903 Mar 29


Original letter dimensions: 22.5 x 20 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 13, Image 0352

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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