The Wisconsin Historical Society is providing a traveling exhibit about environmentalist John Muir’s life and legacy, to 25 local libraries and historical societies around the state in order to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. The Door County Historical Society and its collaborative partners, Crossroads at Big Creek and Door County Library, have been chosen as northeastern Wisconsin’s site. Called Wisconsin’s John Muir, it reproduces rare books, photographs, and manuscripts from the society’s collections in Madison. Its eight panels explore Muir’s youth in Wisconsin, the national parks movement, and Muir’s views on environmental issues such as logging, hunting, and climate change.
The exhibit will be accompanied by free materials to support a book club for local residents. Copies of Muir’s memoir of growing up in Wisconsin, The Story of My Boyhood and Youth, and a newly compiled anthology called Wisconsin’s Environmental Tradition are available at the Sturgeon Bay branch of the Door County Library for local residents to read about and discuss his legacy.
Wisconsin’s John Muir will begin at the Door County Historical Society’s interpretive site Heritage Village at Big Creek in the Vignes School and finish at Crossroads at Big Creek. In addition to the exhibit and book discussion, the partnership offers hikes and programs exploring John Muir’s love of birds and flowers.
On Sept. 2 at 8 am and Sept. 9 at 3:30 pm, “Muir’s Birds” one-hour guided hikes will be held. Hikers should meet at Collins Learning Center.
On Sept. 2 at 9:30 am, enjoy a PowerPoint presentation of the Wisconsin birds that Muir mentions in his writing in the Collins Learning Center.
Inspired by Muir’ love of flowers, create two note cards with a flower theme on Sept. 8 at 10:30 pm. The activity will be held at the Heritage Village at Big Creek’s Vignes School.
A society expert and exhibit curator, Michael Edmonds, will give a public presentation about Muir and Wisconsin’s environmental history on Sept. 11 at 2 pm in the Collins Learning Center. A reception will follow the program, “John Muir, Illustrated.”
Exhibit admission is included with the $5 adult admission fee for the Heritage Village; youth admission is free. The exhibit hours are 10 am – 3pm Tuesdays – Saturdays and 1-3 pm Sundays, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 11.