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John Muir's Birthplace, Dunbar

4.5
#3 of 12 in Sightseeing in East Lothian
Landmark Tourist Spot
John Muir's Birthplace, in Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland, is a museum run by East Lothian Council Museums Service as a centre for study and interpretation of the work of the Scottish-American conservationist John Muir.HistoryJohn Muir, the naturalist and preservationist, was born in the house at 126 High Street on 21 April 1838, the third child of Daniel Muir and his second wife Ann Gilrye Muir. The house is described as a "three storey stone building" in "the best business district of the town." His father operated a successful grain and food store in the building as well, a business which he had inherited when his first wife died.The family emigrated to the United States in 1849, and Muir revisited Dunbar only once thereafter (in 1893) but kept in contact with relatives until his death in 1914. His connections with Dunbar were forgotten until the 1960s when American Muir enthusiasts began to turn up in Dunbar seeking their hero's roots. A small museum was created in the upper flat of the redeveloped and restored building under a private/public partnership in 1980, opening in 1981. The museum has come under the ambit of a number of organisations. It was originally proposed to operate with a team of volunteer attendants but operational matters were shortly assumed by East Lothian Tourist Board and continued until 1996. It then became the responsibility of East Lothian Council Museums Service, who now operate it for the present owner, the John Muir Birthplace Trust. The trust is a Scottish charity, formed in 1998 as a collaboration between East Lothian Council, the John Muir Trust, Dunbar's John Muir Association (relaunched in 2008 as the Friends of John Muir's Birthplace), and Dunbar Community Council, to preserve John Muir's birthplace and to turn it into a centre for study and interpretation of his work. The project started in 2002, and the centre opened to the public in August 2003. On 8 February 2012 the arrival of the 100,000th visitor was marked by a special presentation.
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4.2
  • Didn't know much about Dunbar. Went to see the harbour and view of Bass Rock and found this lovely little museum in the high street which is the birthplace of John Muir who went to America and set up ...  more »
  • Obviously a lot of planning and thoughtfulness went into this exhibit. Excellent information. Wheelchair accessible to all the floors. Great use of space.  more »
  • We already knew a lot about John Muir but still found lots of interest in this fascinating building. Right in the centre of town it is a new museum slotted inside the old building where John Muir spen...  more »
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  • Great little museum about one of Scotland's greatest sons. I know so much more about him now.
  • Lovely knowledgeable guide. Great video on 2nd floor.
  • Gets boring fast used to come in here to do activities at the door then leave
  • Muir was founder of conservation movement in US. Great place to learn about him and what he stood for. Well worth visit and its free.
  • in April 2008
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