"This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly
be found in all the forests of the world," declared conservationist
John Muir when describing the majestic coast redwoods of Muir Woods.
Until the 1800's, many northern California coastal valleys were
covered with coast redwood trees similar to those now found in
Muir Woods National Monument. The forest along Redwood Creek in
today's Muir Woods was spared from logging because it was hard
to get to. Noting that Redwood Creek contained one of the San Francisco
Bay Area's last uncut stands of old-growth redwood, Congressman
William Kent and his wife, Elizabeth Thacher Kent, bought 295 acres
here for $45,000 in 1905. To protect the redwoods the Kents donated
the land to the United States Federal Government and, in 1908,
President Theodore Roosevelt declared it a national monument. Roosevelt
suggested naming the area after Kent, but Kent wanted it named
for conservationist John Muir.