Katharine Hooker


John Muir


[4]I went out into the forest, by its light, away from the sound of the camp. There is but a shelf between the lake and the cliffs and peaks, in this place and the trees are nobly tall and straight as they climb from the waters edge upward. But at night they become grace, majestic pillars that support the silent, sparkling sky overhead. I lay a long time among the ferns at the foot of one of these mighty columns [1]Emerald Bay,Lake Tahoe, CalJuly 30th.My dear Mr MuirI wonder if you are still in these mountains or whether you have left them to return home and brood those manuscripts that need to be made ready for the printer.Marian and I are well, in a region that you must know, enjoying the loveliness of it, but in a less04551 [2]active way than usual; not taking long tramps for she is not yet up to the usual energy and must save her strength for the coming hardest year of college work. My brother and his family are with us and he is one of the true lovers of mountains, coming to them every year for his vacation. You also are frequently with us both in thought and in [something?] ever nearer, for we carry "The Mountains of California"[3]with us, and refresh our minds with your descriptions of the trees as we renew our acquaintance with them. Yesterday my brother came back to camp from the top of a nine thousand foot mountain, bringing the most exquisite branch of your [illegible]ell spruce I ever saw - covered with cones of the richest purple.Just now we have the added splendor of a full moon, and last night about ten o'clock [8]Affectionately yoursKatharine Hooker2 [5]following it with my eyes above the height of a cathedral, where it disappeared into the shadow of its crown. There was such quiet everywhere, not even the note of an insect, only the sound of a distant waterfall which came to my ears like the sea or the [illegible] of the wind in the tree tops. But there was no wind and the moon shadows never swerved - everything04551 [6]stood with the fixedness of a picture in the clear atmosphere of these nights. If it had been less deeply solemn, its beauty would have brought the tears.I wish you were with us, or that we could have gone with you, but this year your wanderings would have been too much for Marian.We shall be here a week longer and then[7]go back to San Francisco for a while, to my brothers home. Let me hear from you, whether you had a successful trip, how you are, and if Helen keeps well and happy upon the beloved desert.My address there will be c/o Osgood Putnam, 3633 Jackson St. San Francisco.Marian sends you her love.


Emerald Bay, Calif.


Original letter dimensions: 18 x 22.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 18, Image 0628

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.


4 pages



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