Mary Helen McLean


John Muir



May 31, 1904

John Muir:-

Dear Sir:-

You will remember my father Dr. John T. McLean, who built the first road into Yosemite. My knowledge of your love for and interest in the High Sierra prompts me to write you about a piece of information which came to me accidentally a day or two ago. Some few weeks ago I heard that two tracts of land, one of 16000 and the other of 10,000 acres within the Yosemite National Park, and lying on the watershed between the Coulterville and Big Oak Flat roads, had been purchased by a lumber syndicate. The part of this land lying on the Coulterville road as you know, consists of the [primeval?] forest. Two or three days



ago some lumber men stopped here and in the course of conversation told me that very little of the timber land in the Park belonged to the government and that within the next few months saw mills would be erected and the slaughter of the trees begun. I do not know their names, they were evidently men of wealth and had travelled extensively, Walter Dudley who lives above Coulterville was the one who gave me the first information about the two lots of timber land being sold and he sold his land in the lot. These other men were evidently concerned in the deal as they were going up to go through the forest and mark trees etc. I know that you love these trees and forests and hoped that you might be able through the Sierra Club to do something to



save this beautiful forest to the country. I told Lyman Abbott, editor of the Outlook about the purchase of the 26,000 acres when I met him in Yosemite but have been puzzling over what to do about the later information, until I thought of you. Will you pardon mistakes and erasures? I am suffering from a severe headache and do not feel equal to copying my letter, but wish it to reach you as soon as possible. The thought of writing to you just came to me.
I have enjoyed your books very much and feel that you will do something to stop this outrage if any one can.

Very sincerely

(Miss) Mary Helen McLean



Bower Cave.

May 31, 1904.




Do not mention my name in connection with this, please, I have heard that the Santa Fe' are connected with the syndicate and as they are running over my road it might affect my property to have it known I had given this information.

[in margin: [yo?]]


Bower Cave

Date Original

1904 May 31


Original letter dimensions: 22.5 x 14 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 14, Image 0180

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

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.


3 pages



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