In Lemon Cove, California, not far from Sequoia National Park, a roadside statue pays tribute to a man who was instrumental in the birth of America’s national park system. This wooden statue of John Muir was carved in 1989 by artist R.L. Blair.
Born in Scotland in 1838, Muir moved to Wisconsin in 1849, at the age of 11, and found his way to the Yosemite Valley in 1868. His writing about the landscape and environment helped inspire President Theodore Roosevelt to create the U.S. Forest Service. Muir was instrumental in the creation of Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, as well as national parks in other parts of the country.
The statue was originally located near Visalia, then moved to its current home in Lemon Cove. It stands about 10 feet tall, and was carved out of a redwood tree. The statue of Muir is joined by some of Blair’s other woodwork, including a bear and a Native American man.