February 27, 2014

Product Inspiration: The Muir Vest

The other day, a gentleman in the shop asked why we had called our 19 ounce Woolrich wool vest the Muir Vest. It occurred to us that many of you might have the same question. The reason so many of us in Northern California know of John Muir well is that he is responsible for preserving the Yosemite National Park area and some of the most beautiful spots in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In addition to being “the patron saint of the American wilderness,” John Muir had a thing for wool vests. You would be hard pressed to find a photo of him without one on.

Falling in love with botany studies while in college in Wisconsin, Muir took off into the wilderness after graduating, first hiking 1,000 miles from Indiana to Florida. After then making the passage from New York to California, Muir immediately planted himself in the heart of Yosemite Valley, a place he had been fascinated with his whole life. He became a legendary fixture in the park, hosting the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Theodore Roosevelt (two other notable vest wearers) in order to teach to them the importance of creating park lands specifically for recreational use and enjoyment. 

Muir went on to found the Sierra Club, the first ever large scale environmental conservation organization in the United States. Muir and his colleagues pioneered legislation to preserve the entirety of the Yosemite wilderness, both Glacier and Mt. Reiner National Parks and all of the costal redwood areas. 

With so many of theses areas and parks within a few hours drive from San Francisco, we are always reminded of his pioneering work, grateful for his genius and foresight and proud to have named our rugged but simple vest after him. 

John Muir with a Sierra Club Outing on the trail to Hetch Hetchy, 1909