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Finding aid for the John McLaren Collection 1866-1965
SFH 22  
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Diaries, daybooks, writings, correspondence, newsclippings, scrapbooks, photographs, books, and artifacts created and/or collected by McLaren and his granddaughter, Martha "Matie" McLaren Daniels. The collection documents McLaren's gardening, landscape design, and landscape architecture work for private estates; his travels within the United States and to foreign countries; and to a lesser extent, his work as Assistant Superintendent of Golden Gate Park and then Superintendent of Parks for the City and County of San Francisco. Materials originally collected by McLaren have been added to, rearranged, and annotated by his granddaughter--possibly in preparation of a biography--and a small number of her writings are included.
John McLaren was born December 20, 1846 in Craigford, Stirlingshire, Scotland. At age five, he was enrolled in the local grammar school; he did not go on to high school. About 1857, his family moved to a farm in Muirside, property that remained in the family until 1935. McLaren's first job was at nearby Bannockburn House, working for the master gardener there starting about 1860. In March 1864, he left to work for three years at a larger estate, Blair Drummond House, near Stirling. Following this, he found employment at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, enrolling in the botany classes there during at least one winter and spring. He also found work at other estates: Mavisbank; Dupplin Castle, near Perth; and Gosford, in the Lothians, which was planted on what had been sand dunes.
11 boxes (7.75 cubic feet)
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.
The collection is open for research, with photographs available for viewing during Photo Desk hours: Tuesday: 1-5; Thursday: 1-5; Saturday: 10-12, 1-5.