Scope and Content
Title: Sylvester (Adrian F.) John Muir Memorial Park, Wisc. Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1954-1982
Collection number: Mss207
Ronald H. Limbaugh
Extent: 0.5 linear ft.
University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Sylvester (Adrian F.) John Muir Memorial Park, Wisc. Papers,
Mss207, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Sylvester "Syl" Adrian of Montello, Wisconsin was an inventor, resort and tavern owner,
museum owner, conservationist and local historian. He was instrumental in the creation of
the John Muir Memorial County Park on the first Wisconsin homesite of John Muir. The site
was located at Fountain Lake farm, near Montello on County road F South in Marquette
County, Wisconsin. Syl Adrian was an inventor like Muir, inventing with his brother a
player piano, the coin slot for vending machines, the Adrianola juke box, an x-ray shoe
fitter made until 1926, and an electric starter motor. As the operator of Adrian's Indian
Echoes Resort and museum, he displayed a large Winnebago Indian artifact collection,
World War I memorabilia, and information on Muir.
Adrian began his campaign for a Muir Park at Fountain Lake when he became concerned about
the closing of the locks on Fox River. He felt that the Fountain Lake was the most
appropriate site for a Muir memorial. He worked with descendents of Edward Harriman, the
Union Pacific Railroad President who had organized and financed John Muir's Alaskan
Travels on the Harriman Expeditions. The Mary Harriman Foundation helped to purchase some
of the 150 acre park which includes the farm area, meadow and lake. Involving agencies
such as the City of Montello, Marquette County, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and
local landowners around Fountain Lake, he worked for 12 years to establish the park. He
was unsuccessful in his additional effort to include the Muir farm on the Ice Age
National Scientific Reserve Trail.
The John Muir Memorial Park was dedicated on May 5, 1957 and featured Jean Hanna
DeLipkau, Muir's grand-daughter, as a speaker.
Scope and Content
The collection includes newspaper clippings, articles, correspondence, photographs and
taped interviews of the Adrians and others living on Muir family historic sites by Dr.
Ronald H. Limbaugh, Dir., John Muir Center, University of the Pacific, Stockton, Calif.