E. C. Love
D[aniel and Emma?] Muir
Feb 27. 1900.
Mr & Mrs D.H. Muir
If you have not heard from Martinez since I visited your brother John, this letter will be a surprise to you; but, as I was there on the 16th and 17th, it is probable that you have heard that I have been there. Right here let me say that I had a very pleasant visit - one that I shall ever remember with pleasure. I have passed through the town of Martinez a number of times on my trips to and from San Francisco & have often thought I would like to stop and call on John Muir but he is so liable to be away from home that it is hardly worth while
to stop without havnig first ascertained that he is at home. This trip from Riverside did not take me though Martinez, as I came up by water. I prefer traveling by water wherever I can, as it is so pleasant on the boat. I wrote to Mr. Muir and he was very prompt in replying and said he would be at home all the week but it was Friday before I could make it convenient to leave the city. Arriving at Martinez, I learned that he lived two miles from the station. It was a beautiful day & it did not take long to walk out to his residence - just the distance from Avery to Three Oaks - and how many, many times we have been over that two miles "over the ties", when the road were muddy; but all is now changed there - the road between Avery and Three Oaks is graveled now and it is generally better walking than
on the railroad, and is much safer, as there is no danger of trains coming from both directions at the same time, as the Michigan Central has a double track. But to return to Martinez: on leaving the town, I found my way led out and curved around and into a beautiful little valley - a valley that could not be seen from the railroad and I was really surprised to find such a nice place among the hills and on arriving at Mr Muir's residence I received a very cordial greeting. He was looking for no other guest on that day and at once called me by name and I immediately recognized him from a picture I had seen of him in the prospectus of the "Atlantic Monthly" or one of the other
magazines that he writes for. When dinner was announced, I met Mrs Muir and was surprised to also meet your sister, Mrs Galoway, who informed me that she had recently come from Lincoln. I was glad to hear that "the Doctor" had regained his health (and a picture that I saw fully confirmed the statement) but was sorry to hear that Mrs M. was quite unwell and that your son died a few months ago. Accept my sincere sympathy, although I realize that the kindest words seem cold at such a time. Nevertheless, if it was not for the sympathy of friends, this world would be far less cheery and agreeable, not to say happy, than it is at present. Mrs Galoway gave a splendid report of your daughters and spoke of them in very complimentary terms. I was indeed pleased to hear directly from you and the conversation naturally drifted to the time when "Mr Muir" boarded at the "Love" house in Avery and "Miss Kenaston" taught
one of the best schools that it was out fortune to have taught at Avery; and, at that time, the Avery district had the credit of securing the best teachers. Time has wrought great changes in the district - although the same school-house still stands there, the number of scholars has decreased and there is only a small school and only the ordinary studies of the present "graded" country schools are taught - after scholars reach a certain grade, they are supposed to leave and go to high school. I believe "our school" used to be equal to the best school in Three Oaks but now that town occasionally gets a pupil from the Avery school for their high school. I still have the book "Purpose" which bears testimony
that it was presented to me at the close of school by "Miss Kenaston." But to return again to Martinez: some time after dinner, your brother John drove over to your brother David's and we made a call. He had gone to town but we met him on his return home, as we were returning. He gave me an invitation to come again when fruit was ripe. I did not see your sister, Mrs Reid. Your brother John's youngest daughter was at home. She tells me that she studies at home and that her father teaches her. I did not see the eldest daughter, as she was away at private baording school - I think at Berkeley. I met your brother David's son who has recently arrived from Minnesota. He has not been in California long enough to know how well he will like the State. He has certainly come to a very fertile valley, where nearly all kinds of fruit can be raised and it is
near enough to the ocean so that the climate, even in summer, must be very agreeable. They raise all kinds of fruit that we do in Southern California and cherries and apples in addition. My time passed all too quickly - was much interested in what your brother had to say about his travels and he tells of them in a very entertaining manner. When I came away, he gave me a copy of his book, "The Mountains of California", which I have enjoyed reading - much more so on account of his descriptions of glaciers, how they form and "move" or "travel" and other things which he told me that helped me to the better understand his writings in
the book referred to. Both Mr & Mrs Muir gave me a very cordial invitation to visit them again. He finished reading and correcting proof of his next article for publication, while I was there and mailed it when he brought me to town Saturday afternoon for me to take the evening train for San Francisco. That Friday and Saturday (the 16th & 17th of this month) are days that I shall remember as very pleasant days spent at Martinez. I am spending a few weeks here but do not know how long I may remain in the city. I still call Riverside my home. Mother was as well as usual when I left Riverside and her letters would indicate that she is still enjoying usual health, although she is not strong and has to be very careful not to do too much. Miss Shaw is still with us. She has made
her home with us since 1884. Mr & Mrs Wilson live just across the street from us. His health is good but she is not well. I fear she will never again enjoy very good health. Mrs Low, (formerly Chester) and husband live in Riverside, about three miles from us. They spent six months in Europe last year. Report having had a very pleasant trip, except that Mr Low did not like the water - he prefers traveling by land. Willie Sherrill and family now live on the home place - Mrs Sherrill retaining a part of the house for herself. The old red house on the opposite side of the road has been
moved several rods North and repaired and is occupied by Albert & family. Charlie & family have rented the Drew place, three miles North of Three Oaks and live there. Guy D. is a Civil Engineer - calls Chicago his home, although his work takes him to different parts of Michigan a good deal of the time. His father and mother are both dead. His father married the second time and the second wife is still living. Guy married her daughter. Winnie Sherrill married Charlie Bradley and they now live in Indianapolis. Mrs Sherrill has spent a part of the present winter with them. Grace Bradley made us a short visit last summer. She came to California on the [Teachers?] Excursion. Her mother is still living and is as content and happy as ever. The world is better
for her having lived in it. Three Oaks is now, as you must know, the "Dewey Cannon" village. It is also known as "Featherbone village". Ed Warren is coining money in his factory. It is the life of the town, in a business sense. Dr Churchill is yet in business there but on the East side of the street - almost opposite his old location on the other side of the street. The Michigan Central has built a nice stone and brick passenger depot - a block farther East and on the South side of the track. It was opened for business the first of last February, when I was there. Uncle Charlie's family
live in Englewood, Chicago. He is at home occasionally but his business, buying and inspecting lumber for a large firm, keeps him away from home the most of the time. I was fortunate enough to find him at home for a few days when I was in the city last winter. Aunt Lizzie also lives in Chicago. It is only a short ride from one house to the other, although it is necessary to make a transfer from one car line to another. [Ozro?] is in New York City. He has a position in the Auditor's office of the Central Railway of New Jersey. He likes New York very much. You will think we are far apart - He on the Atlantic & I on the Pacific. If Mother knew that I was writing, she would join me with kindest regards and best wishes. I am well aware of your - I mean the Doctor's - reputation for answering letters but if you consider this lengthy epistle worthy of a reply, I should be much pleased to hear from you. Truly your friend
1900 Feb 27
Original letter dimensions unknown.
Love, E. C., "Letter from E. C. Love to D[aniel and Emma?] Muir, 1900 Feb 27." (1900). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 4244.
Reel 11, Image 0121
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