I’d recommend a visit to John Muir’s Birthplace in Dunbar in East Lothian. The conservation pioneer, John Muir, was born here in 1838. You don’t have to be a devout onservationist to enjoy your visit. I think that John Muir’s life story is so fascinating that it would make a great, inspirational, adventure and educational blockbuster. I’m trying to think of the ideal actor to play the leading role and planning my trip to Hollywood to tout the script.
Exhibits at the John Muir Birthplace
Although the family emigrated to the US when John was eleven years old, he developed his great love of nature playing and exploring the countryside and shoreline around Dunbar. His Father was a very strict Presbyterian and although a successful business man the youngsters lived a very frugal existence with barely enough to eat and regular beatings. When the family emigrated they all had to work the land long hours and the only way John could continue his education was to rise at 1am in order to read until 6am when the daily toil commenced. It was too cold to read, so he started inventing various contraptions such as an early rising machine which when exhibited at local trade fair helped him to gain entry to university. He was temporarily blinded during an industrial accident and during convalesance he vowed if he recovered his sight that he’d “explore God’s natural bounty”. As soon as he regained his sight he set off on a walk from Kentucky to the Gulf Coast. He was instrumental in Yosemite being declared a national park as tree felling and overgrazing started to destroy the natural environment. He was much more than an conservationist more of a multi talented dynamo a writer, geologist, explorer, farmer and inventor as well as a husband and father to two daughters.
The Museum is laid out over three floors. You can find out more about John Muir’s life through the variety of exhibits as well as information and activities about current conservation issues. As part of your visit to Dunbar, you can visit the Town House Museum and walk along the John Muir Way towards North Berwick enjoying some great views of the red cliffs and out to sea.
Have you been toÂ John Muir’s Birthplace, what did you most enjoy about your visit?