Clara C. Lenroat [Mrs. Irvine L.]


John Muir


Madison, Wisconsin,
May 10th, 1905.

Mr. John Muir,
Martinez, California.

Dear Mr. Muir:

Your friend and mine, Anna Butler, and i were talking of you yesterday, and she encouraged me to presume to address you upon a little matter in which I am interested. My home is in Superior, at the most northern end of Lake Superior, and I am to write an article to be published the first of July in one of our local papers, upon the flora of our county. My purpose is to interest the country people, -- farmers' wives and daughters -- in the flora of their environment, if possible. The gem of our northern woods, to my mind, is the exquisitely delicate and fragrant Linnea Borealis, or "Twin Flower,'1 which grows very abundantly there. There is an anecdote concerning this little flower and you which always interested me, and which I should like to verify. The story is that once upon a time you and two kindred spirits, one being John Burroughs, I believe, were camping together in California; that one night you made camp on a certain mountainside, and that John Burroughs remarked that there must be Twin Flowers growing near, as the environment was favorable to its growth, and he imagined he detected its fragrance: that you replied it was not possible, as the flower did not grow in California: that Mr. Burroughs, silenced but not convinced even by so great an authority on California flora as yourself, went to bed, but arose betimes the next morning, bent on exploring the locality, and returned triumphantly to breakfast, bringing with him quantities of the delicate trailing vine and exquisite pink bells of the Twin Flower, and that your joy over his fragrant find was as great as his. 'Tis a pretty story, well calculated, it seems to me, to interest others in the dainty blossom, and I should like to know if it is true. Also I wish to know if the flower is common to many parts of North America. So few flower-lovers to whom I mention it seem to know it.
If you can find it possible to reply to these inquiries, I shall appreciate it very much indeed. If you do write, have I your permission to make use of a part, or all, of your letter in my article?
Whether you ever find time to reply to this letter or not, please believe me,

Very sincerely your friend,
Clara C. Lenroot.

Address, Mrs. Irvine L. Lenroot, 708
West 3rd St., Station A,
Superior, Wisconsin.


Madison, Wisc.

Date Original

1905 May 10


Original letter dimensions: 17 x 27.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 15, Image 0435

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.


3 pages


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



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