Muir Woods National Monument
Backstory and Context
In addition to being the tenth National Monument, it was the first one created from land donated by private individuals (William and Elizabeth Kent), the first produced to preserve a living species (the Coastal Redwood), and the first fashioned near an urban setting. In these ways, Muir Woods set a precedent for future preservation of national monuments, parks, forests, and historic sites. Muir Woods is also significant for the historic structures built between 1922-1940, which represent the legacy of the rustic design in the National Park Service.
Before Europeans arrived, the land that is designated Muir Woods and the surrounding region was once the homeland of the Coast Miwok people. There is very little archaeological evidence demonstrating that they lived here but they likely hunted game, fished, and gathered food here. Not long after the Spanish established missions around the early 1800s, disease began to take its toll on the Miwok. By 1840, it is believed that 90% of their population had died.
"History and Culture." Muir Woods National Monument. Accessed May 5, 2017. https://www.nps.gov/muwo/learn/historyculture/index.htm.