Sunday, Sept. 16.
Best Friends [Dr. and Mrs. Strentzel]:
We returned from Plumas Co. last night, after an absence of ten days, to find your charming letter and invitation. I am sorry, sorry that so much had to be lost, sorry that you could not have understood that we were keeping school on the edges of the Diocese, sorry not to meet the Martinez Grange. Was it a coincidence? That day in the Teachers' Institute, I was telling about "Youthful Grange," how it made a valuable accessory to the adult grange, what teachers could do in the rural districts, and how one family of refined tastes might leaven a whole community, if only they recognized the divine privilege of helpfulness.
There is a bright teacher up there named Houghton, a brother of the Ex.-Surveyor General (he of many acres,) and on mounting the stage for departure he called out, "Don't forget to write us about 'Youthful Grange.'"
Plumas Co. is a very 'Garden of the Gods' for wildness. I sent Louie a box of plants, that she might see Linnaea Borealis, the only plant the great Linnaeus named for himself, of the many he discovered.
"We bless the memory of the man of flowers Which breathes his sweet name through the northern bowers."
There were roots of a rare orchid in the box "Cypripedium blank here" -it looks like Lily of the Valley, and there were two or more roots of an exquisite new Fern, Aspidium Nevadensi.
Returning I found the cards of Asa Gray and Sir Joseph Hooker, who had stopped over on their way to Shasta to have a few hours, and returned sooner than I expected. I asked them to go with me to your house, and when I left them they were undecided, and so I did not write of it. They had Muir to guide them in Shasta forests. Sir Joseph was conversible, and indicated that he would exchange notes with me on acclimatization, told me to count on his help for anything in the line of supplies for a Horticultural School.
Now without 'howling' after things that are behind, let me look forward. Monday P.M. I go to San Fran., Tuesday morning to Petaluma (Institute of Sonoma Co.) speak day and evening, Wed. home (Vallejo boat), Thursday, Friday here in office with an occasional look at Fair, Dr. Carr finishing off what I begin at Petaluma.
Will you be present at the Fair, or Mrs. and Miss S[trentzel]? We board exactly opposite State House, 1 l/2 blocks from corner of 10 and K Streets, house on 10th, not numbered - Mrs. Watsons. If we are not in, and any of you here, take possession. Mrs. Watson will have orders to take care of you. The Fair promises to be one of the best for many years. Our school work is very pressing and we could not make excuses and so keep a clear week for it.
Ever gratefully yours,
Louie, Plant your Cypripedum and ferns in the shadiest and darkest place you can. The fine vine is Linnaea - put it in a dark cool place in some damp sand and it may strike roots. It is the dearest of vines to me.
Oh, I saw wonderful things. Will there ever be time to tell? Not a sheep ever bleated on those hills where I got wet in the rain and then almost frozen under the snow, and then rode home, wet, seven miles and can hardly talk yet, for hoarseness, but I got the roots, and the bathtub is full of 'object lessons' for Sonoma teachers next week. Love to mother, and I will see you before I go south in the fall. They are clamoring for us in the Southern Counties now. It is fall, but seems like summer here to-day.
1877 Sep 16
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Carr, Jeanne C., "Letter from Jeanne Carr to [The Strentzels], 1877 Sep 16." (1877). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 378.
Reel 03, Image 0571
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