Josephine Colby


Louie Strentzel Muir


Jospehine Colby


My dear Mrs. Muir: This is a bright day, quite as a California New Year might begin, with green grass in place of last week’s snow. I have thought often of the day’s pleasure you and Mr. Muir gave us and I have wanted to write and assure you of my remembrance. But school teachers I believe, seldom make good correspondents, and even my family think themselves neglected. My work grows more absorbing each year and for the first time, I find the mid-year vacation too long. That, too is despite the fact that I have been having a charming visit with my friend Grace Isaacs—whom Mr. Muir and your daughters met in the mountains. I shall be glad when the summer [ ], and the trips into the mountains. California grows dearer the longer [me] is away. When I next have the fortune to be there, I want to see you and Mrs. Pearl and to hear much of my mother. I suppose Mrs. Pearl is now in San Francisco with her house full of boys. My new sister and I called when she was down for the summer and learned some things that I even had never known about my mother’s experience as a school teacher. I promise myself a beautiful summer with my aunt and these many friends-like Mrs. Pearl and you- who once love my mother. Aunt [Hettie] has given her life so completely to her children, that she is just beginning to experience the freedom to go and do as she pleases. She has been spending much of her time between [Willies] and Julia’s houses. I know what the temptations are for her to stay with Julia in her [accustomed] self-sacrificing way and to be grandmother to the four children; but none of us want to see her confined by duties as closely as she once was. I have been enjoying this year the beautiful new [chapel] next to the school, and the use of the pipe organ. She head of the music department in the school is a choir leader and for a small Northwestern town we have a remarkably good music. Then our minister is a fine broadminded young man, growing [visibly] in power and sincerity of expression. He and his German wife and daughters live at Saint Paul’s and are delightful members of the family. I am sending you one of my pictures with my good wishes for the next year to you and your family. Believe me Very Sincerely, Josephine Colby January 1, 1903 Walla Walla, Washington


Walla Walla, WA

Date Original



Original letter dimensions unknown.

Resource Identifier

1903 Jan 1 Colby to Mrs Muir

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

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.


8 pages


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



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