|Stentzel/Muir home flanked by California|
Like so many historic properties what remains of the 2600 acres of land originally owned by Muir has been carved away by urban intrusion. What remains is enough to interpret the site and tell the story of what it had been like historically. A train trestle that can be seen in historic photos is still there and helps create a gateway into town. Forested surrounding hills offer views from the Muir home that are probably much the same as those viewed by Muir and his family while resident at the site.
|View from the cupola|
|Orchard with Deodar cedar and hills in background|
A walking path leads from the visitor center to the Muir/Strentzel Home originally built in 1823 by Dr. John Strentzel, father-in-law of John Muir. The house is filled with memorabilia from the Strentzel and Muir families. Exiting the house paths lead to the carriage house, a picturesque windmill and on to the Martinez Adobe – another California landmark on the same property. A variety of fruit trees are planted in orchard rows - cherries, apricots, figs, citrus, olive and quince. There is also a small vineyard (Zinfandel, Tokay and Muscat grapes) near the carriage house which in September bore sweet, ripe grapes nearly ready to pick. Part of the park service program includes harvesting and processing fruit produced on the land. A ranger shared a story about a regular park supporter who makes jelly rolls from the quince that ripens in October. Out towards the adobe two gigantic pecan trees caste broad shade over a few picnic tables.
|John Muir's office in his Martinez home|
|Muir Family L-R daughters Wanda & Helen, |
Muir & his wife and the family dog Stikeen taken 1901. NPS photo