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Jackson, Louise A. The mule men; a history of stock packing in the Sierra Nevada.

JACKSON, Louise A. The mule men; a history of stock packing in the Sierra Nevada. Mountain Press. 254p. map. illus, bibliog. index, c2004. 0-87842-499-7. $12.00. SA

The title says it all. This history of mule trains in the mountains of California begins with the Spanish in 1769 and ends in the 1950s. Mules helped gold miners reach claims, tourists gape at spectacular views, conservationists locate natural wonders, the Sierra Club find wilderness worth saving, hunters spot game, and Federal Land Management surveyors lay out tracts to preserve. Jackson divides her story into three parts: A History of Sierra Packing, Land Use and Protection, and The Packing Life.

The stories about mule trains and the characters that chose this way of life are colorful and entertaining. Photos show mules breaking a trail through deep snow in 1920, a well-dressed lady on the trail in the early 1900s, a Sierra Club pack train in 1940, John Muir in Sequoia National Park in 1902, and mules loaded with boats for campers going to backcountry lakes. "Packers are a breed of their own," writes Jackson, who has done much to preserve the memory of these strong-willed individuals and of a way of life that has passed with the taming of the West. Janet Julian, Grafton, MA

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. This code will help librarians and teachers working in high schools where there are honors and advanced placement students. This also will help extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.
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Author:Julian, Janet
Publication:Kliatt
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:254
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