The Adventure Continues… Joaquin Miller Park
Joaquin Miller is a name that seemed only vaguely familiar to me until recently; in fact, he was — as Stephanie Benavidez tells Huell — California’s best kept secret. While Miller earned a reputation as something of a scoundrel and a frequent embellisher of the truth, he was also a gifted poet and one of our country’s first environmentalists. For being such a controversial character during his lifetime, Joaquin Miller’s love of nature and trees means that over 100 years later, we can continue to enjoy the largest grove of urban redwoods in the United States.
I happened to stumble across this episode of California’s Golden Parks not long after reading a biography of Eva Evans (Train Robber’s Daughter by Jay O’Connell). Eva was one of six children of 1880s California outlaw Chris Evans; Joaquin Miller befriended the family and gave them refuge on his land in Oakland while Evans ran from the law and later served time in Folsom Prison.
In men whom men condemn as ill
- I find so much of goodness still.
In men whom men pronounce divine
- I find so much of sin and blot
I do not dare to draw a line
- Between the two, where God has not — Joaquin Miller, Byron
Situated in the Oakland Hills, with sweeping views of the Bay Area, Joaquin Miller Park contains one of the only urban second growth redwood groves in existence. It is named for Miller,” Poet of the Sierras, who settled in the hills above the “City of Oaks.”
(Click on the linked image below to see the video.)