Marion Foster Washburne


John Muir



prefers sleeping outside - in the woods - if we can escape either heavy snow or heavy rain. We don't want luxuries or even civilized comforts: just facilities for a fire over which I can cook; & water, & a roof. We'd like to be within five miles or so of a neighbor or a R. F. D. route; so that we can get mail once a week.
Do you know of any such place, Mr. Muir? Or of a camping place, perhaps in one of those exquisite meadows you describe,


1323 Wilcox Avenue,

Hollywood, Calif. Aug. 25-13

My dear Mr. Muir:-

The questions I am going to ask you will, I know, secure from you their own answer, without further introduction; but I am nevertheless going to explain that I am the niece of former Secretary-of-the-Interior, Gen. John W. Noble to whom, I believe, you dedicated one of your beautiful & true books. Now for the questions: Can you tell me where I, with my brother, can winter safely in the great woods of California?


[in margin: but we do not in the least know how to set about it. We are not exactly poor; nevertheless our circumstances are such - we earn what we use - that, if we are to give ourselves a whole year's vacation, we can only set aside safely about $50.00 a month for both of us. And if possible that should include travelling expenses.
We have thought of some cabin - one room would do, as my brother]


We are both middle-aged people, natively sound & vigorous, but just now suffering from some severe trials through which we have recently passed. Your books have been tonics through this period & now we want to go & spend some months - perhaps a year - under the shelter of those great trees you so lovingly describe. We hope to take into ourselves something of their peaceful vigor.

[in margin: Noble's niece
Mrs Washbourne]


where we can build each a shelter, or pitch a tent?
If I should ever have the good fortune to see you, I shall tell you - if I think you can bear it - how you have made Nature, whom I have always loved, seem to love me in response. And since you are a part of Her, I am sure of your affectionate interest in my problem.

Until September fifth,



Please address me as above. After that at Tulare, Calif.
c/o C. W. Washburne

Sincerely yours,

(Mrs.) Marion Foster Washburne

P.S. You may be interested to know that I have a big son named John Noble after his great-uncle.



Hollywood, Calif.

Date Original

1913 Aug 25


Original letter dimensions: 16.5 x 26 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 21, Image 0686

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.


4 pages


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



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