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Martinez Abode, John Muir National Historic Site
Photo by the National Park Service
John Muir House, John Muir National Historic Site
Photo by the National Park Service
The John Muir National Historic Site was the home of John Muir, a nationally known figure in the area of conservation and revered as the "father of the National Park System." Muir was born in Scotland in 1838 and came to the High Sierras in 1868. In 1880 he married Louie Strentzel, the daughter of Dr. John Strentzel, well known California horticulturist. By this time Muir was already renowned as a naturalist and writer. John and Louie Muir lived in a small house at Strentzel's fruit orchard. The orchard would later become the 2,665 acre Muir-Strentzel Ranch. In 1882, Dr. Strentzel completed his new Victorian home which overlooked the Martinez Adobe. The adobe had been constructed in 1849 by Don Vincente Martinez. John and Louie Muir lived in an old farmhouse until 1890 when Dr. Strentzel died. Muir and his wife moved into the Victorian home now known as the John Muir house. Much of Muir's writing was done in the "old library den" on the second floor. Throughout Muir's lifetime, he wrote books and articles with the intent to introduce the American public to the natural wonders of the American landscape. Muir worked to establish more than 21 million acres of forest reserves which became the foundation for the U.S. Forest Service. Muir influenced the policies of Theodore Roosevelt, who after meeting with him in 1903 at Yosemite, began a process through which five National Parks were established. John Muir died in 1914.

The John Muir National Historic Site, a National Historic Landmark, is administered by the National Park Service. It is located at 4202 Alhambra Ave. in Martinez. Open Wednesday-Sunday 10:00am to 5:00pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. There is a fee. Call 925-228-8860 or visit the park's website for more information.

 

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