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"The preservation of specimen sections of natural flora - bits of pure wildness - was a fond, favorite notion of mine long before I heard of national parks. When my father came from Scotland, he settled in a fine wild region in Wisconsin, beside a small glacier lake bordered with white pond-lilies ... and even if I should never see it again, the beauty of its lilies and orchids is so pressed into my mind I shall always enjoy looking back at them in imagination, even across seas and continents, and perhaps after I am dead."                                      John Muir 1895

The BLUE bars like the one below are buttons that will take you to outside links, pdfs you can print out or to more information on the topic.  CLICK THE BLUE BARS to learn more.

John Muir, called the Father of our National Parks, grew up in Marquette County, Wisconsin after emigrating from Dunbar, Scotland in 1849.  He was 11 years old.  It was here on the little kettle lake and among the wild Wisconsin landscapes that he fell in love with his Wisconsin home.  Take a tour of places that inspired the young naturalist. Visit sites where he worked the fields, rested, and watched the birds he wrote about in his biography, The Story of My Boyhood and Youth.  Put yourself into the context of his boyhood by exploring places in Marquette County on this tour. This route takes you to locations not only known by Muir, but those who tell you stories about what Wisconsin and Marquette County were like when Muir was a boy here. Immerse yourself in the culture and landscapes of Muir's Marquette County. 

Sometimes you'll see an audio button like the one below.   Click on the audio button to listen to the content. 

The John Muir Nature and History Route can be divided into two segments.  There is the John Muir Neighborhood which includes the locations most intimately connected to John and there are other sites around Marquette County that help you gain insight into those early years of settlement here.  What was important to the families?  Why did they settle where they did?  How did communities grow?  In this larger context we also included landscapes that will help you envision Marquette County in 1849 or earlier.  What did the first settlers like the Muirs see as they moved across the landscape?

Put yourself into the context of his boyhood by exploring places in Marquette County on this tour. 

The John Muir Nature and History Route does not designate roads to follow, rather you choose your own direction and your own pace of experiencing the history and natural world included in this guide.  So lay out your route the way you wish.  Take two days or two weeks or return as you can to learn that Muir is Still Here.

This app was developed in conjunction with the Wisconsin Friends of John Muir and the Marquette County Historical Society.  Its hosting and signage is paid for by Marquette County. All app content copyright 2016 Kathleen McGwin

Be sure to explore every page, link, and downloadable activity sheets and tours that you find within this app.  There are dozens of activities, maps and worksheets you can print out ahead of your visits to the different sites. There are additional routes and tours you can discover.  If you like to walk, or saunter, as John Muir encouraged, check out the Marquette County Saunter Sites on the More Marquette County button below.   One of the many activities is to make yourself a nature journal and keep notes about your experiences, even making sketches about plants and landscapes you see like John Muir did on these pages of his journal in 1867.  The goals of this route are to help you learn about John Muir, visit places he visited, but also see landscapes like he and other early settlers would have seen, learn about what the culture and society was like when he grew up here as a boy and learn about plants, animals and birds as well as geology.  But you do it all in a hands-on, fun way!  Enjoy the Marquette County John Muir Nature and History Route. 

We encourage you to read John Muir's autobiography of his early years titled The Story of My Boyhood and Youth.  You can read it online or download a pdf at the link below.  You will also find the Wisconsin Historical Society's book Wisconsin's Environmental Traditions: A Reader at this site.  It, too, can be read online or downloaded as a pdf. 

Years ago in one room school houses across Marquette County, children learned a song that taught them all the names of the Townships of Marquette County.  With the help of Mrs. Ott, the Choir Director at Montello High School, the words were put to music and a verse added to include the Villages and one City in Marquette County.  Below are the words to the song and after that is a link to a YouTube video of the Montello Junior High Choir of 2008 singing the song.  You can sing along with them if you want and use the Marquette County map to find the locations. 

Marquette Township Song

 

‘Tis fourteen towns in unity

Together form Marquette County.

‘Tis geography we learn as we sing and chant together.

So usefully we spend our time in doing what’s a pleasure.

 

VERSE 1

Douglas, Oxford, Westfield see

Springfield, Moundville, Packwaukee

Harris, Newton, Buffalo

Crystal Lake and Montello

Shields, Mecan and Neshkoro

Fill out the places we call home

With lakes and rivers running through

Marquette's the county for me and you

 

‘Tis fourteen towns in unity

Together form Marquette County.

‘Tis geography we learn as we sing and chant together.

So usefully we spend our time in doing what’s a pleasure.

 

VERSE 2

 

Villages there are but four

Westfield one, but there are more,

Endeavor two and you will see,

Neshkoro Village makes it three.

Then there’s Oxford, number four

But don’t stop yet you need one more

Add a city that can’t be beat

Montello is our County Seat.

 

‘Tis fourteen towns in unity

Together form Marquette County.

‘Tis geography we learn as we sing and chant together.

So usefully we spend our time in doing what’s a pleasure.