National Register of Historic Places in Contra Costa County
The ranch at Martinez was John Muir's home from 1840 until his death in 1914, the period during which he emerged as one of the most important national leaders in the Conservation Movement.
From 1889 to 1914, John Muir played a critical and vital role in the drive to establish national parks, national forests, and to apply scientific methods of sustained-yield management to the federal forets. As a recognized and leading authority o the glaciers, mountains and forests of the West, and as an able and popular write on Nature, John Muir devoted his talents and nationwide prestige to forwarding the cause of National Consrvation. In this task he served as an important, although unofficial, advisor to President Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft.
The site includes the Martinez adobe, a two-story adobe built about 1851, which served as John Muir's residence from 1880 to 1890, the Manor, a large two-story frame house which served as Muir's residence from 1890 until his death in 1914, and about five acres of the original eight hundre acre ranch.
The Manor, erected in 1882, is a good example of atypical country residence designed in the Italian Villa style.
For more information about the John Muir National Historic Site, please see California Landmark 312.