John Muir

John Muir was born in Dunbar, in East Lothian, Scotland on 21 April 1838. At the age of ten he emigrated with his family to America. The family settled in Wisconsin where they became farmers and where John Muir attended university. In his twenties he travelled to Yosemite and there established his reputation as a naturalist, explorer, mountaineer, farmer, geologist, writer, and, above all, pioneer of nature conservation.

He played a crucial role in creating Yosemite National Park, fought to save the giant redwoods of California and, in 1892, was a founder and the first president of the Sierra Club, now the premier conservation body in California with a membership of over 600,000.

He strongly influenced President Theodore Roosevelt in creating other National Parks and, as a result of his lifelong struggle on behalf of wild places and wildlife, Americans have honoured Muir with the title of ‘Father of Our National Parks’. He has been voted ‘Most Famous Californian of All Time’, appeared on two US postage stamps (the more recent a current issue) and more than 200 parks, woods, schools, etc., bear his name.

For many millions of Californians, John Muir is as famous as Alexander Graham Bell or Andrew Carnegie, two other Scottish emigrants, and his writings are as celebrated as those of Robert Burns or Robert Louis Stevenson. Yet in Britain he is largely unknown and even in the land of his birth few Scots have heard of him.Every year admirers travel thousands of miles to visit his childhood home at 126 High Street, Dunbar, Scotland.

For more information visit