The Dunbar and Districts historical society celebrates the birth of the father of the national parks!

The father of the national parks!

John Muir was born on the 21st April 1838 and his birthday is usually celebrated on the same day as earth day each year!  He is known as the father of the national parks as it was through his extensive writing on the conservation of all things to do with nature that there are sites like Yosemite National Park, Petrified Forest, Mt Rainier National Park, Kings Canyon and the Grand Canyon.

John Muir was also a founding member of the Sierra Club, one of the largest environmental organizations.  Founded in 1882 and is still one of the most influential organizations of its kind.

5 Facts about John Muir

#1 John Muir was born in Dunbar, Scotland
Although he grew up in the United States John Muir from age 11 when his parents immigrated he always bore his Scottish heritage proudly as is reflected in theJohn Muir museum in Dunbar.

Dunbar is a town located on the south-east coast of Scotland, its close proximity to the English border (28m/34km) laid down a history of conflict and struggle.  It is a charming quaint little town filled with history, warmth friendly locals and lies just 28m/45km east of Edinburgh.

#2 The U.S. Mint Californian State Quarter
In 2016 the U.S. Mint, in honor of the National Parks Services 100th anniversary printed a collection of coins representing each American State.  John Muir was printed on the coin representing California along with the Yosemite Park and the Condor.

#3 John Muir was an inventor
John Muir was not only a famous conservationist, explorer and naturalist but he was also an inventor, of which many of his works are written about on the Wisconsin History Organization’s webs pages.  One of his inventions that stands out was his Clockwork Desk.  He invented the desk on which the books he had to study whilst at the university were arranged in order from the beginning of the term.  Each day at a certain time the desk would load the book that was to be studied.  The book would then be opened and would stay on the desk for the set amount of time.

#4 John Muir was the first president of the Sierra Club
The club was founded in 1892 and had 182 charter members of which John Muir was not only a founding member but was also elected president.One of their first campaigns was to stop the bill that was set to reduce the boundaries of the Yosemite National Park – the proposal was defeated and the parks boundaries stayed intact.

#5 John Muir has a minor planet named after him
There are various plants, animals and even places name after John Muir but in August of 2004 the discovery of a small minor planet by an amateur astronomer who discovered the planet from his backyard telescope.  Even though it is a tiny celestial body there are only a select few who have a planet named after them!


There are a lot of great things to see and do in Dunbar, a lot of the activities and sites revolve around the great John Muir.

%d bloggers like this: