John Muir's exceptional mental and physical stamina enabled him to rigorously pursue, often in solitary fashion, the exploration of California's mountains. In the Fall of 1874 and the Spring of 1875 he climbed Mt. Shasta three times. Among the entries listed in this section are Muir's pocket notebooks kept during these climbs. His 1875 notebook contains many detailed drawings of the Shasta region. In one case, on April 28, 1875, he drew from the summit of Mt. Shasta a picture depicting an approaching storm, a storm similar to the one which would two days later, on another climb of the mountain, trap him and his climbing partner Jerome Fay on the summit of Mt. Shasta. Also listed in this section are the reports of A. F. Rodgers, who had hired Muir and Fay in the Spring of 1875 to go and take summit barometric readings. Rodgers wrote a fascinating report which vividly details the appearance and condition of Muir and Fay immediately following the overnight ordeal on April 30, 1875. Muir himself wrote stories of the ordeal that were published in several sources, including Harper's Magazine in 1877 and Picturesque California in 1888.
Many of Muir's other published works describe Mt. Shasta. His earliest Mt. Shasta writings were a series of five articles printed in the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin in 1874 and 1875; these have been edited and published by Robert Engberg as part of John Muir: Summering in the Sierra (not the same book as Muir's own book My First Summer in the Sierra). Muir was an ardent preservationist. Ironically, Muir participated in the hunting and killing of what were perhaps the last of the region's Big Horn Sheep, as described in the Nov. 29, 1874 article entitled "Shasta Game." But Muir's developing sentiment for preservation is also a part of these early articles—he says exuberantly, for example, "Long may McCloud salmon swim!" in the Nov. 29, 1874 article "Salmon Breeding: McCloud River." A man far ahead of his time and a tireless worker, John Muir will be remembered as an integral part of Mt. Shasta's past. William F. and Maymie B. Kimes have written the definitive bibliography of John Muir's writings. See also Michael Zanger's 1992 Mt. Shasta: History, Legend & Lore, for descriptions of Muir's Mt. Shasta climbs and a photograph showing Muir and Fay's signatures from the summit register. Note that one of the best but little-known Mt. Shasta stories, entitled "A Conversation with John Muir" appeared in 1906 in the English magazine 'World's Work.'
Visit the online bibliography to search bibliographic entries or browse the entries below.
The [MS number] indicates the Mount Shasta Special Collection accession numbers
used by the College of the Siskiyous Library.
[MS2111]. Carr, Jeanne. Jeanne Carr on Shasta. John Muir Newsletter. Fall 1994. Vol. 4. No. 4. sierraclub.org/john_mui...sletter/jeanne_carr_on_shasta.htm. John Muir's letters inspired the author, a good friend of Muir's, to visit Mount Shasta. Contains a few anecdotes, especially a section on about fifty Indians who were 'congregated on the evening of our visit, to celebrate with a dance the arrival of one of their young women at the marriageable age. I asked of the chief the name of the maiden, whose charms even the Poet of the Sierras could hardly celebrate.' 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS2111].
[MS789]. Cochran, Don. John Muir in Siskiyou County. In: The Siskiyou Pioneer in Folklore, Fact and Fiction and Yearbook. Siskiyou County Historical Society. 1949. Vol. 1. No. 3. pp. 1-4. An historical account of several visits by John Muir to Mt. Shasta. 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS789].
[MS2056]. Keeler, Charles. Recollections of John Muir. In: Sierra Club Bulletin. January 1916. Vol. 10. No.1. pp. 14-19. Publications of the Sierra Club Number 51. John Muir Memorial Number. Charles Keeler, at one time president of the California Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a roommate of John Muir at sea for the two months of the Harriman Alaska expedition, discusses the relationship between John Muir and William Keith. Keeler was present at regular meetings between Muir and Keith at both the old Montgomery Street Keith studio and at the later Pine Street studio. The article attempts to explain that the two men had very different views of nature but that they were the best of friends. The article begins: "My earliest recollections of John Muir date back some twenty-odd years, to those golden days in William Keith's rather dingy but glorious studio on Montgomery Street, when Muir would drop in from his Martinez Retreat for a chat with his old painter friend......Both were deeply religious natures, but emancipated from formalism and tradition. Both were students and lovers of nature, but where Keith saw color and atmosphere, poetry and romance, in mountain and vale, tree and sky, Muir's eyes were fixed on the ever-changing processes of immutable law." Article consists of four pages of text with one photograph of Muir and Keith in Keith's studio (along with John Burroughs, Charles Keeler, and Francis Fisher Browne). 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS2056].
[MS353]. Kimes, William F. 1906 and Kimes, Maymie B. John Muir: A Reading Bibliography. Fresno, Calif.: Panorama West Books, 1986. This is the definitive bibliography of John Muir and contains annotated entries for all of his known works. Decades in the making, this is an essential reference work for any research about Muir. Since many of Muir's writings about Mount Shasta are reworked from his earlier writings, the chronological arrangement of entries proves particularly valuable. Each entry is numbered, and scholars have adopted these 'Kimes numbers' whenever a precise reference to a particular edition of a Muir book or article is needed. For example, portions of Kimes' no. 70., Muir's "Snow Storm on Mount Shasta" also appears as parts of Kimes' no. 175, no. 341, and no. 350. 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS353].
[MS539]. Limbaugh, Ronald H. and Lewis, Kirsten E. The Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Papers: 1858-1957. Chadwyck-Healey Inc., 1986. Contains several entries for Muir's Mt. Shasta-related notebooks and published writings. Most of the original documents are housed at the Holt-Atherton Center for Western Studies in Stockton Calif. 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS539].
[MS536]. Miesse, William C. A Chronology of John Muir at Mount Shasta. 1989. One page unpublished typewritten manuscript. Adapted from Limbaugh and Lewis Guide and Index to the Microform Edition of the John Muir Muir Papers. From the index a compilation was made of all recorded visits by Muir to the greater Mount Shasta region. John Muir visited Mount Shasta many times during the period 1874 to 1914. Thirteen separate trips are recorded, including three visits in 1914. The last recorded journey to the Mt. Shasta region was in September of 1914 and consisted of a three-day visit to the summer home of Wm. Herrin; John Muir died three months later, December, 1914. 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS536].
[MS1205]. Muir, John 1838-1914. [Manuscript
journals concerning Mt. Shasta]. 1874-1875. Notebooks housed at the Holt-Atherton
Center For Western Studies, Stockton, Calif.; Muir material described here
is available, for research only, on microfilm from the Holt-Atherton Center.
Microfilm numbers include: Reel 24, No. 6 AMS journal "Shasta; Yosemite;
Kings River" [for Oct.-Nov., 1874]; and No. 8 AMS journal "Glaciers;
Dead Rivers; Sketches; Shasta Storms, No. 7" [for April-May, 1875]. Other
microfilm reels contain Muir manuscript materials with Muir's very similar but
different titles, often containing rewritten descriptions and even redrawn sketches
of Mt. Shasta; for example Reel 32, No. 4 HwMS notebook has the title "Shasta;
Yosemite; Dead Rivers 1874 (ca. 1887). There are many pages of Shasta material
scattered throughout a number of original manuscripts. The manuscript notebook
entitled "Glaciers; Dead Rivers; Sketches; Shasta Storms, No. 7" contains
the following notation: "This Notebook was inside vest pocket during the
great storm night on Shasta" (p. ii). Thus this was the small notebook
Muir carried with him on April 30, 1875 when he and Jerome Fay nearly froze
to death trapped by a storm overnight on the summit of Mt. Shasta.
Among the pages of the notebook is a beautiful detailed drawing of the dark clouds of a coming southerly storm, and depicting Mt. Lassen in the distance. The picture is entitled "Rain-storm on foothills and Sac Valley, April 28, 1875" and one sees in the picture the topography south of Mt. Shasta as it was seen from the summit; it is one of the few known pictures, by any artist or explorer, drawn from the summit. This particular picture is annotated with labels for features like "Mt. Lassen" and contains descriptions such as "...dark blue base to falling rain..."
The 1875 notebook, in addition to an impressive number of detailed drawings, contains barometric and temperature data. On the April 28th climb, for example, he records the barometric pressure on "Crater Butte" as "19.66 [at] 5:55 AM, Therm 35¡30'."
Muir describes his first sighting of Mt. Shasta in his 1874 notebooks. He says: "First clear view of Shasta from the valley of Sacramento near Dog Creek, Oct. 28, 1874. With the exception of a few combs & spurs it is one mass of white."
" Never before have I seen so white a mountain. The young snow must have been somewhat soft. No amount of Fatigue will be felt, or weigh at all against the glorious prize of beauty and instruction to be obtained from its high starr though all with one accord, Indians & white regard the excursion as absurd and impossible."
"Snow falls as low as 700 feet. And it must be deep on Shasta. Nevertheless I must see & feel its beauty, and learn whence its ancient glaciers flowed" (Vol. No. 15, p. 5). This passage followed by a small drawing of Mt. Shasta. 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS1205].
[MS10]. Muir, John 1838-1914. Snow
- Storm on Mount Shasta. In: Harper's New Monthly Magazine. Sept., 1877.
Vol. 55. No. 328. pp. 521-530. On April 30, 1875, John Muir and Jerome Fay,
while taking a series of barometric readings on the summit of Mount Shasta,
were surprised by a freezing snow storm. They survived the night by lying down
in the acidic and scalding hot springs located near the summit. Muir describes
both the climb and that eventful night.
The article describes the general characteristics of the mountain, including a detailed account of the botanical life zones from bottom to top. Illustrated with seven line engravings entitled: 'Extreme Summit of Mount Shasta'; 'View of the Whitney Glacier near the Head'; 'Bird's eye View of Mount Shasta, Showing its three Botanic Zones'; 'Picea Amabilis'; 'Mount Shasta from Strawberry Valley'; 'Mount Shasta from the Valley of the Upper Sacramento'; 'Dwarf Pines.'
Note that the 1874-75 Muir notebooks are available on microfilm from the Holt-Atherton Center for Western Studies at the University of the Pacific. 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS10].
[MS476]. Muir, John 1838-1914. Notes from Shasta. In: Daily Evening Bulletin. San Francisco, Calif.: Sept. 13, 1877. [p. 3]. '(Correspondence of the Bulletin) Sisson's Station, September 10th.' Three paragraph article. First paragraph describes the virtues of the Shasta Region: "...delightful freshness and beauty can scarcely be conceived." Second paragraph mentions that two of the world's foremost botanists have been on Mt. Shasta: "Hooker and Gray have been here three days exploring the woods and meadows, working and enjoying themselves as only botanists can. This morning they began their homeward journey. Their labors on this coast done for the present, though they both look hopefully forward among the remaining late years of their life for another big summer in our unrivaled flora. Their efforts have been mainly directed to the coniferous trees, and the light which these masters will now be able to cast upon our unrivaled forests will appear in the second volume of the California Botany, which Gray tells me will probably be published in about a year from now." In the third paragraph Muir states that he is on his way to Lassen's Butte and that: "Shasta looms majestically in the pure ether, capped with a cloud, against whose bosses the early sungold is beating, giving early promise of an abundant crop of snow-bloom, and bringing vividly before me a wild storm-night spent upon its summit years ago." 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS476].
[MS2099]. Muir, John 1838-1914. A Wind Storm in the Forests of the Yuba. In: Scribners Monthly. Nov. 1878. Vol 17. No. 1. “While exploring the forest zones of Mount Shasta, I discovered the path of a hurricane strewn with thousands of pines of this species. Great and small had been uprooted or wrenched off by shear force, making a clean gap, like that made by a snow avalance” p. 55. 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS2099].
[MS944]. Muir, John 1838-1914. The Wild Sheep of the Sierra. In: Scribner's Monthly. May, 1881. Vol. 22. No. 1. pp. 1-11. According to the definitive bibliography of John Muir (see Kimes 1986 p. 8) this article is an expanded version of Muir's "Wild Sheep of California" appearing in The Overland Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 4, Apr., 1874, pp. 358-363. Muir's article contains an interesting illustration entitled "Snow -bound on Mount Shasta" which shows the mountain sheep of Mt. Shasta and in an inset shows Muir huddled in a blizzard (p. 2). Contains several references to Mount Shasta and to the Shasta flocks of Mountain Sheep. For example, Muir's writes: "Once I was snow bound on Mount Shasta for three days, a little below the timber line. It was a dark and stormy time, well calculated to test the skill and endurance of mountaineers. The snow-laden gale drove on night and day in hissing, blinding floods, and when at length it began to abate, I found that a small band of wild sheep had weathered the storm in the lee of a clump of dwarf pines a few yards above my storm-nest, where the snow was eight or ten feet deep. I was warm back of a rock, with blankets, bread and fire. My brave companions lay in the snow, without food, and with only the partial shelter of the short trees, yet made no sign of suffering or faint-heartedness" (p. 3). 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS944].
[MS1217]. Muir, John 1838-1914. The
Coniferous Forests of the Sierra Nevada. In: Scribner's Monthly. Sept.,
1881. Vol. 22. No. 5. pp. 710-723; part II continues in Oct. 1881, Vol. 22,
No. 6, pp. 921-931. John Muir describes the wealth and beauty of California's
coniferous trees. He then describes the ecology and habitats of each species
of conifer. Note that for Muir and other 19th century writers, Mt. Shasta was
considered to be a part of the Sierras.
Contains an engraving entitled: 'Edge of the Timber-line on Mount Shasta' (p. 712). Muir mentions the trees of the McCloud and Pitt Rivers (p. 720). He also notes: 'The cupressus is a beautiful tree, seventy-five or eighty feet high, growing along the banks of cool streams on the upper Sacramento toward Mount Shasta.) (p. 391) 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS1217].
[MS1244]. Muir, John 1838-1914. Glaciers and Snow Banners of California. In: Contemporary Biography of California's Representative Men. San Francisco, Calif.: A.L. Bancroft and Co., 1882. pp. 104-112. Only mentions Mount Shasta once: "While I find that the average elevation at which the Sierra glaciers melt is not far from eleven thousand feet above sea level, the Whitney glacier discovered by Clarence King on the north side of Mount Shasta, descends to nine thousand five hundred feet, which is the lowest point reached by any glacier within the limits of Califpornia." (p.108). 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS1244].
[MS222]. Muir, John 1838-1914. The Mountains of California. New York: The Century Company, 1903. Often considered to be Muir's first complete book, it came somewhat late in his life; he was 65 years old at the time of publication. Mount Shasta topics briefly discussed in this book are: Shasta bees (pp. 359-366), Wild Sheep on Mount Shasta (p. 307); Douglas Squirrel (pp. 322-3); Mount Shasta geology (pp. 11-12). Illustrations in the book include: "Mount Shasta Looking Southwest" (p. 13); "Edge of the Timberline on Mount Shasta" (p. 143); "Snow Bound on Mount Shasta." This last picture is actually two illustrations, one of Muir, the other of a herd of Bighorn Sheep which Muir saw on the mountain (p. 306). 'Bee Pastures of California' was originall published in the Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, 1882, pp. 222-229, 388-396. 'The Douglas Squirrel of California' was published in Scribner's Monthly, 1888, Vol. 17, pp. 260-266 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS222].
[MS2192]. Muir, John 1838-1914. A Conversation
with John Muir. World's Work [London, England]. Nov. 1906. pp. 8249-8250.
The World's Work was an English socialist magazine. This article is a little
known and humorous John Muir Mount Shasta story. The article is reproduced here
in it's entirety: "'Home is the most dangerous place I ever go to,' remarked
Mr. John Muir, the famous geologist and naturalist. He was on the train returning
from Arizona to his home in Martinez, Cal., after the earthquake. 'As long as
I camp out in the mountains, without tent or blankets, I get along very well;
but the minute I get into a house and have a warm bed and begin to live on fine
food, I get into a draft and the first thing I know I am coughing and sneezing
and threatened with pneumonia, and altogether miserable. Outdoors is the natural
place for a man.'"
"The train was passing through the San Francisco Mountains in northwestern Arizona. The conversation was left to Mr. Muir, in acknowledgment of his superior powers of entertainment and instruction. It drifted naturally on to mountain tramping, and Mr. Muir told of a walk he took around Mt. Shasta several years ago. 'I was stopping at Sisson's' he said, 'and one morning I thought I'd take a walk, so I put on my hat and started. As I went down the path to the gate, Mrs. Sisson called after me to ask how long it would be before I would be back. 'O, I don't know,' I said, 'not very long, I guess.' 'Will you be back to luncheon?' she asked. 'I expect so,' I said, and went on. After I had got along a bit I concluded to walk up to the timber-line and back again. So I started off up the mountain side. I soon found that I could not go up directly, as I had expected, as there were long gulches full of snow ahead, around which I had to make detours before I could proceed. I kept repeating this performance, intent on getting up, until it was growing dusk before I realized what time it was. But I was used to being caught out so I simply got on the lee side of a big log, made a fire, and went to sleep on a pile of leaves. In the morning I soon reached the timber-line. Then I noticed some new snow formations near the summit, and I concluded to go on up. I made the ascent and got back to the timber-line again by about nightfall of the second day. It was snowing, so I made a bigger fire and lay up closer to my log shelter. When I awoke in the morning I was covered with snow, but I wasn't uncomfortably cold. But I concluded I would work down to a little lower level and continue on around the mountain. By this time I began to feel a little 'gone' from lack of food. I've often spent two days without anything to eat and even felt better for it; but the third day is getting toward the point of being too much. As I tramped along I thought I saw smoke. I stopped and watched it for a long time to make sure that it wasn't a ribbon of cloud. When I was sure it was smoke, I worked toward it, and in about an hour I came on a Mexican sheep-herders' camp. After a lot of signaling and gesticulating, I made them understand that I was very hungry, and at last they got me up a meal. I spent the night with them, and the next day continued my march around the mountain, taking some bread and coffee from the camp. For three days I went on without seeing anybody. On the seventh day I completed the circuit of the mountain, and about noon I sauntered up the walk to Sisson's, as if I had just come in from a half-hour's stroll. Mrs. Sisson saw me and called out, 'Well, Mr. Muir, do you call this a short walk? Where have you been? I've had a guide out searching for you.' 'O, I just took a little walk: I went around the base of the mountain. But I got back in time for lunch, didn't I?' I had been gone seven days and had walked a hundred and twenty miles.
'But that is the way to enjoy the mountains. Walk where you please, when you like, and take your time. The mountains won't hurt you, nor the exposure. Why, I can live out for $50 a year, for bread and tea and occasionally a little tobacco. All I need is a sack for the bread and a pot to boil water in, and an axe. The rest is easy.'
Some one mentioned the 'Boole,' reputed to be the biggest 'big tree.'
'Yes,' remarked Mr. Muir, 'I measured it. I'd been fooled so often with yarns about these biggest trees that I wouldn't go until the engineer who had measured it told me himself that he had used a steel tape. Then I made a three days' journey to the tree. When I measured it, though, the most I could make its girth was fifty feet less than the engineer's figures. But I learned afterward that a lumberman who had helped him had held out that much slack of the tape as a joke. Later, when looking over some of my old note-books, I found memoranda on this very tree, which I had made years before.
'But,' added Mr. Muir, 'I would go three times around the world to see a tree as big as they said that was.'
Then the subject branched off. Later Mr. Muir told of a trip which he and Professor Sargent of Brookline, Mass., took together to study trees in Siberia. 'We went out there and saw them all right, and then I wanted to see the Cedars of Lebanon that old Solomon used to build the temple. So while Professor Sargent went back to Petersburg I ran down that way, but was headed off by the smallpox quarantine at Joppa. To fill in the time I went over in the Transcaucasus to see some American copper concessions that are being worked there. When I got back to Constantinople the quarantine was still on, and I took a run up the Nile to see Assouan and the old temples at Karnak. Then I came back and went into Palestine, and saw the Cedars of Lebanon at last. Then Professor Sargent came along, and we went through the Red Sea together, and around to India. I had always wanted to get into the high Himalayas, so I took six weeks to go back into them about 600 miles. After I got back to Calcutta I decided to see some of the trees in Ceylon, and that took several weeks. Then we went on around to Hong Kong. I had a letter from President Roosevelt to Conger at Peking, but when we got to Hong Kong I didn't want to get into the hot, dusty city, so I told Sargent to take the letter and go on up there. 'Why don't you want to go?' says he. 'O, there aren't any trees there.' 'Well, where are you going, then?' he says. 'Never you mind,' says I. 'You go ahead. I'm going to buy a map of the world and figure out a little trip.''
That 'little trip' was to Australia, and included a 2,600-mile excursion into the interior by rail, boat, stage, and afoot, solely to see the great eucalyptus forests. 'And,' concluded Mr. Muir, 'I'd have gone on from there to Chile, to see the Araucaria imbricata, if I hadn't found out that the nearest way was to go back home to San Francisco and start over again.'
The reference to the Araucaria imbricata was to an earlier part of the conversation, about the petrified forests of Arizona. For twenty years the Santa Fé has advertised these forests as a side-trip to be made from either Holbrook or Adamana. 'And do you know,' said Mr. Muir, 'those fellows had waited all that time for me to come down there to find three more forests that not even the people in that country knew about--and one of them is the biggest one there. But what strikes me most about these forests is that there is not a solitary one of their species of trees in the North American continent. These petrified trees were carbon millions of years ago--and yet in Chile to-day there are magnificent forests of this identical species, the Araucaria imbricata. And if I live long enough I'm going to make a trip to Chile just to see them.'" 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS2192].
[MS254]. Muir, John 1838-1914. Steep Trails. Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1918. Cover photograph of Mount Shasta. Steep Trails is a collection of Muir's letters, articles, and stories published posthumously by Muir's biographer and friend William Frederic Bade. Chapter III: "Summer Days at Mount Shasta," Chapter IV: "A Perilous Night on Shasta's Summit," and Chapter V: "Shasta Rambles and Modoc Memories" are verbatim reprints, with new titles, of portions of Muir's "Mount Shasta" chapter first published circa 1888 in the subscription magazine Picturesque California. Contains two full-page photographs: "Mount Shasta after a Snowstorm" (facing p. 30) ; and "At Shasta Soda Springs" (facing p. 48). 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS254].
[MS176]. Muir, John 1838-1914. [letters, 1874-1888, of a personal nature, about Mount Shasta] . In: Bade, William Frederic. The Life and Letters of John Muir. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1923. Vol. II, pp. 29-41, 49-50, 82-85, 219. Two Volumes. Letters from John Muir to his friends, telling them about his 1874, 1875, 1877, and 1888 experiences on Mount Shasta. These letters were dated mostly from November and December, 1874, but note that they are very different from the letters of the same months which were published in the San Francisco Evening Bulletin. Muir's exuberant mood is seen to be based on physical and mental confidence, always tempered by his sense of beauty. He says, for example: "For two days and a half I had nothing in the way of food, yet suffered nothing, and was finely nerved for the most delicate work of mountaineering, both among crevasses and lava cliffs. Now I am sleeping and eating. I found some geological facts that are perfectly glorious, and botanical ones, too." (p. 38) He adds: "Shasta snowflakes are very beautiful, and I saw them finely under my magnifying glass." (p. 35) On his way to Mount Shasta, walking along the main California and Oregon stage road from Redding to Sisson's, Muir eloquently describes seeing Shasta for the first time: 'When I first caught sight of it over the braided folds of the Sacromento Valley, I was fifty miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.' (p. 31) 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS176].
[MS339]. Muir, John 1838-1914. [Journals
of John Muir]. In: Wolfe, Linnie Marsh 1881-1945. John of the Mountains.
Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1938. Muir comments on Mount Shasta
several times in his journals. In one of his most poetic statements, he says
"Mountains. When we dwell with mountains, see them face to face, every
day, they seem as creatures with a sort of life--friends subject to moods, now
talking, now taciturn, with whom we converse as man to man. They wear many spiritual
robes, at times an aureole, something like the glory of the old painters put
around the heads of saints. Especially is this seen on lone mountains, like
Shasta, or on great domes standing single and apart" (p. 98).
A lengthy journal entry (pp. 193-200) about hunting Shasta wild sheep contains many details of the hunters themselves, including Muir. These personal details did not appear in the published versions of the story Muir sent to the San Francisco Evening Bulletin in 1874.
Includes a reference to a camping trip made by Muir in 1885 to Mount Shasta (p. 281). Also in this book is the oft-quoted passage from 1888 by Muir about J.H. Sisson. Muir writes: "At the station meet(sic) Sisson, who is getting feeble....He deplores the destruction of the forest about Shasta. The axe and saw are heard more often in the Shasta woods, and the glory is departing" (p. 289).
Linnie Marsh Wolfe was the first person to edit and publish major portions of the voluminous journals and notebooks of John Muir. In 1923 W. F. Bade published The Life and Letters of John Muir which contains only a fraction of the Muir journals. Much of the material in Muir's original Mt. Shasta notebooks remains unpublished. 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS339].
[MS594]. Muir, John 1838-1914. The Cruise of the Corwin: Journal of the Arctic Expedition of 1881 in Search of De Long and the Jeannette. Dunwoody, Ga.: Norman S. Berg, Publisher, 1974. p. 257, pp. 279-280. Reprint. First published 1917 by Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Mass. Contains an appendix, written by Muir, on the 'Glaciation of the Arctic...,' in which the glaciers of Mt. Shasta are mentioned: 'A general exploration of the mountain ranges of the Pacific Coast shows that there are about sixty-five small residual glaciers on the Sierra Nevada of California...Mount Shasta, near the northern boundary of California, has a few shrinking glacier remnants, the largest about three miles in length. We find that, to the north of California, groups of active glaciers still exist on all the highest mountains...' (p. 237). 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS594].
[MS372]. Muir, John 1838-1914. Notes on My Journeying in California's Northern Mountains. Ashland, Ore.: Lewis Osborn, 1975. 'Illustrations by Thomas Hill & Victor Perard.' Introduction by Lawrence W. Jorden, Jr. This is a reprint of the Mount Shasta chapters which Muir wrote and which first appeared in 1888 in issues of the serialized book called Picturesque California. Note that the introduction to Notes... states that these essays appeared in issues from 1894, which is actually the date of their serialized reprinting in the first abridged version of Picturesque California. 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS372].
[MS219]. Muir, John 1838-1914. Mount
Shasta . In: Muir, John 1838-1914. Picturesque California and the Region
West of the Rocky Mountains . Philadelphia, Pa.: Running Press, 1976. pp.
193-232. Story first published in 1888. Constitutes 'Chapter X' of Picturesque
California. Muir's Mount Shasta article is a rewrite (with additions) of
portions of his previously published Mt. Shasta articles. This account combines
the story of his nearly fatal struggle to stay alive on the summit of Mount
Shasta in 1875 with his general remarks about the surrounding countryside. The
chapter ends with an oft-quoted and eloquent
appeal : "The Shasta region is still a fresh unspoiled wilderness, accessible and available for travelers of every kind and degree. Would it not be a fine thing to set it apart like the Yellowstone and Yosemite as a National Park for the welfare and benefit of all mankind, preserving its fountains and forests and all its glad life in primeval beauty? Very little of the region can ever be more valuable for any other use--certainly not for gold nor for grain. No private right or interest need suffer, and thousands yet unborn would come from far and near and bless the country for its wise and benevolent forethought" (p. 232).
Picturesque California was first published as a magazine series with the stated purpose to be an artistic showcase of Californian scenery. Muir's chapter about Mount Shasta was illustrated by nine major paintings or engravings of the mountain by Thomas Hill, the renowned 19th century Yosemite painter, who had climbed to the summit of Mt. Shasta in 1877. Muir's chapter also contains dozens of Mt. Shasta paintings and illustrations by other noted American and Californian artists. 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS219].
[MS163]. Muir, John 1838-1914. Modoc Memories. In: Engberg, Robert. John Muir: Summering in the Sierra. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984. pp. 52-58. Originally published as 'Modoc Memories. A Visit to the Lava Beds by Muir the Geologist and Explorer - The Spot where Gen. Canby Fell - Sad Relics of the War. (From our Special Correspondent)' in the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, Dec. 28, 1874. Fourth in the series of Muir's five 1874-5 Mount Shasta articles appearing in the San Francisco Evening Bulletin. After hunting sheep northeast of Mount Shasta, Muir traveled to the Lava Beds. This article provides some unofficial history of the famous 1873 Modoc Indian Wars. Muir met with hunters and trappers, some of whom "had fought in the lava beds, and because the events of the war were still fresh in their minds we were presented with many lively scraps of history and picturesque sketches of the character and appearance of Captain Jack, Boston Charlie," etc. (pp. 52-3). Muir and his party became so interested in the Modoc War landscape that they visited the battle site. Muir described the landscape in vivid detail and included his own reconstruction of the battle difficulties for both sides. 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS163].
[MS166]. Muir, John 1838-1914. Salmon Breeding: McCloud River, Oct. 24, 1874. In: Engberg, Robert. John Muir: Summering in the Sierra. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984. pp. 20-27. Originally published as 'Salmon Breeding. The Establishment of McCloud River. John Muir, The Naturalist Gives a Graphic Description of What is Being Done. (Special Correspondent of the Bulletin.) U.S. Salmon Breeding Establishment on the McCloud River, Shasta Co., Oct. 24, 1874.' in the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, Oct. 29, 1874. This is the first of a series of five articles from the Shasta region which Muir wrote in 1874-1875 for the San Francisco Evening Bulletin. On his way to Mount Shasta, on foot from Redding, Muir chanced upon the U.S. Fish Commission camp on the McCloud River. Muir's comments are decidedly pun-filled but sympathetic: "But Shasta's white cone is still eighty miles away, and I have made no advancement for a week, being caught and scholared in the fish schools of the Commissioners" (p.21). From Muir we learn the methods of salmon egg collection. In 1874, five thousand salmon were caught as they swam upstream on the McCloud River, and from these fish over five million eggs were taken and hatched. Muir's next to last sentence in this article : "Long may McCloud salmon swim!" (p. 27). 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS166].
[MS162]. Muir, John 1838-1914. Shasta Bees: Sisson' Station, Dec. 17, 1874. In: Engberg, Robert. John Muir: Summering in the Sierra. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984. pp. 59-63. Originally published as 'Shasta Bees. A Honeyful Region - The Bee Lands - A Summer Paradise. (From our Special Correspondent.) Sisson' Station near Mt. Shasta, December 17, 1874' in the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, Jan. 5, 1875. Fifth in the series of five 1874-5 Mount Shasta articles appearing in the S.F. Evening Bulletin. Muir uses the life of the bee as a metaphor for how to visit Mount Shasta: "Regarding Mount Shasta from a bee point of view and beginning at the summit, the first 5,000 feet is clothed in summer with glaciers and rags of snow, and is, of course, almost entirely honeyless. The next 1,000 feet of elevation is a brown zone tufted and matted with bush penstemon and bryanthus. Next comes the silver fir-zone, about 2,500 feet in height"(p. 60), and so on down the mountain. Muir admonishes one to "Follow the bees and be showered with blossoms; take a baptism and a honey-bath and get some sweetness into your lives" (p. 62). 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS162].
[MS164]. Muir, John 1838-1914. Shasta Game: Sisson's Station, November 29, 1874. In: Engberg, Robert. John Muir: Summering in the Sierra. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984. pp. 39-50. Originally published as 'Shasta Game. Hunting the Wild Sheep and Mule Deer - Exciting Sport Among the Lava Cliffs - John Muir Tells What He Saw and Did. (Special Correspondent of the Bulletin) Sisson's Station, Near Mount Shasta, November 29, 1874' in the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, Dec. 2, 1874. Third in the series of five 1874-5 Mount Shasta articles appearing in the San Francisco Evening Bulletin. The first paragraph of this article contains one of the last first-hand accounts of the wild California Bighorn mountain sheep seen on Mount Shasta itself: "A small flock of about a dozen were sheltering beneath dwarf pines a few hundred yards above my storm-rest" (p. 40). Most of this article contains Muir's impressions of a hunting expedition, in the company of Jerome Fay and J. H. Sisson, amongst others, to the northeast of Mount Shasta. Muir's comments reveal his inner debates about the experience. On the one hand he realizes that: "Only a few centuries separate us from great-grandfathers that were savage as wolves; this is the secret of our love for the hunt. Savageness is natural; civilization....is strained and unnatural." On the other hand he says: "We went up to the ewe, which was 'all that was left of them, left of the fifty.' She was still breathing, but helpless. Her eye was remarkably mild and gentle, and called out for sympathy as if she were human. Poor woman-sheep! She was shot through the head and never knew what hurt her" (p. 48). 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS164].
[MS165]. Muir, John 1838-1914. Shasta in Winter: Sisson's Station. November 24, 1874. In: Engberg, Robert. John Muir: Summering in the Sierra. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984. pp. 30-37. Originally published as 'Shasta in Winter. John Muir, the Geologist and Explorer, Ascends It. A Hard and Perilous Undertaking - Among the Glaciers, Lava-beds, and Storm-clouds. (Special Correspondent of the Bulletin.) Sisson's Station, November 24, 1874.' in the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, Dec. 2, 1874. Second in the series of five 1874-5 Mount Shasta articles appearing in the San Francisco Evening Bulletin. This contains the story of Muir's first ascent of Mount Shasta. Muir delivers plenty of descriptive flourish, for example, this view from the timber line: "A boundless wilderness of storm clouds of different age and ripeness were congregated over all the landscape for thousands of square miles, colored gray, and purple, and pearl and glowing white, among which I seemed to be floating, while the cone of Shasta above and the sky was tranquil and full of sun" (p. 35). Note that this first ascent by Muir is not the famous 1875 third ascent wherein Muir and Jerome Fay were trapped by a storm on the summit of Shasta. Muir uses the name of "Crater Butte" (p. 65) for the present-day Shastina cone. 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS165].
[MS2168]. Muir, John 1838-1914. A Perilous Night on Shasta's Summit. In: Muir, John 1838-1914. Mountaineering essays. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith Books, 1989. xxiv; 175 p.; 21 cm. Edited and introduced by Robert F. Fleck. Peregrine Smith literary naturalists. A perilous night on Shasta's summit (p. 65-89). 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS2168].
[MS2169]. Muir, John 1838-1914. A Perilous Night on Shasta's Summit . In: Muir, John 1838-1914. Sacred Summits: John Muir's Greatest Climbs. Edinburgh : Canongate, 1999. xxx; 162 p.;  p. of plates; col. ill.; 22 cm. Edited and introduced by Graham White. A perilous night on Shasta's summit / John Muir (p. 95-108). 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS2169].
[MS902]. Rodgers, Augustus Frederick.
Report to the Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey, the Honorable
C.P. Patterson on the Question of a Signal or Monument for the Summit of Mount
Shasta, California. May 8, 1875. Unpublished report and journal, both typescript
copies of the originals. Compiled and annotated by Davis E. Michael. This
is apparently one of two reports which C. L. Stewart states are "in the
files of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in Washington, D. C., ...
our chief authority on the matter of the geodetic monument which once crowned
the summit of Shasta....The University of California Library possesses a photostat
of these two documents" (see Stewart 1929, p. 136).
Consists of a brief report and a journal resulting from A. F. Rodgers's trip from San Francisco to Mt. Shasta, April 21 to May 5, 1875. The report outlines the practical considerations of constructing and paying for the summit monument. The journal contains a record of Rodgers's ascent to mid-levels of Mt. Shasta with John Muir and Jerome Fay. The latter half of the journal describes the physical condition of Muir and Fay after their famous overnight ordeal on the summit in freezing weather without warm clothes or shelter.
In his journal Rodgers writes that: "May 1st. Sisson left at 5 A.M. to break camp on Shasta's flank & bring down camp traps with Mr. Muir & Fay, left early enough to get Mr. Muir down in time to leave with me in stage at 4 P.M. this afternoon for Redding, en route to San Francisco--Sisson expected to be back at 1 P.M. but 4 P.M. passed & no news of the party, the natives commenced to gather in front of Sisson's & say 'something is wrong with them fellows,' an apprehension which I must say I did not share knowing them both to be experienced mountaineers; about 5 P.M. Sisson came in sight with two very weather-beaten men, hardly recognizable Muir in his stocking feet & Fay walking with considerable difficulty from the horse block to the house--Muir insisted on staying for the 3 o'clock observation & observed it in a storm of snow & hail so blinding that it was considered more risky to attempt to get down to camp than to stay on the summit and take the chances of freezing--2 ft of snow fell on the summit & Muir & Fay kept themselves alive in the intense cold, the former without a coat of any kind, by lying down on the hot spring ground--actually scalding the skin off the back & hips in blisters where ever the contact was too close, Mr. Muir regretted that he could not answer my inquiry as to the degree of cold.--by saying that 'while his back was scalding his beard & watch chain & two barometer guards were all frozen together & he had not the courage to go ten feet off to get the 'Thermometer cases' although he knew it would be a matter of interest to observe them. At 8 o'clock this morning Mr. Muir & Fay made up their minds to break out from the summit & get to camp--after leaving the hot springs every stitch of clothing was frozen stiff upon them & in crossing the snow field their feet became frosted in spite of every precaution one of Fay's feet is badly frosted & both of Muir severely touched--bathe the feet in ice cold water, apply bandages to the feet & one of the natives has a balm for the hot spring blisters--which he proceeds to apply. Hang Cistern Barometer No. 1544 taken to the summit by Muir and compare it with 1571 taken up by me--comparisons good--Muir's observations and mine at the summit agree. May 2d. Muir and Fay both look as if they had been on a 'terrible tear' eyes bloodshot, faces red and swollen & altogether two very disreputable looking persons--Mr. Muir although lying in bed with his stocking feet constantly wet & exposed to the air, thinks he will be able to take the stage this afternoon" (pp. 8-10.) Both the report and the journal contain a substantial amount of detail about the placement of the signal on top of Mt. Shasta. 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS902].
[MS644]. [Sacramento Union]. On Mount Shasta All Night. In: Sacramento Union. Sacramento, Calif.: May 14, 1875. Contemporary newspaper account of John Muir and Jerome Fay's harrowing entrapment by a storm on top of Shasta. Includes descriptions such as: "They were liable to be blown into eternity at every moment not only that, but the storm was so violent they could not see where they were going, so they retraced their steps back to the summit. There they both lay down, with their feet buried in the hot mud on the edge of the spring, which is very hot, and remained there during the night. Fay did not even have his coat with him. The roaring thunder all around and far below them were terrible all night. When day broke they found themselves literally blistered all over." 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS644].
[MS218]. Wolfe, Linnie Marsh 1881-1945. Son of the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1945. This book has long been one of the classic Muir biographies. Wolfe utilized material from Muir's daughters in preparing the passages about Muir's first and second ascents of Mount Shasta. Thus in this book one gets additional dialogue (p. 180) between Muir and J.H. Sisson (the renowned guide and innkeeper who came to rescue Muir), dialogue which is not in Muir's own published accounts. Also in this book are Muir's comments made as a result of a brief trip to the mountain in 1888. Wolfe states that "Muir was appalled at 'the destruction of the forest about Shasta. The axe and saw are heard here more often ...and the glory is departing.' as he turned from 'the raw shingle town of Sisson, glaring in the Shasta meadows,' and climbed among the lower forests, he faced the ugly fact that while he had been 'money grubbing' this devastation had been going on without protest" (pp. 238-239). See also Wolfe's John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, 1938, which contains many brief entries from several of Muir's journeys to Mount Shasta. 21. Literature: John Muir. [MS218].
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