Cover image for J. Horace McFarland: A Thorn for Beauty By Ernest Morrison

J. Horace McFarland

A Thorn for Beauty

Ernest Morrison

BUY

$19.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-89271-063-8

416 pages
6" × 9"
48 b&w illustrations
1995
Distributed by the Penn State Press for Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

J. Horace McFarland

A Thorn for Beauty

Ernest Morrison

J. Horace McFarland (1859–1948) was one of the first Americans to sound the call for environmental and scenic protection. He helped defend Niagara Falls from power company interests, fought together with John Muir and others to preserve the Hetch Hetchy Valley at Yosemite, and after that defeat rose again to be hailed as the father of the National Park Service. Esteemed by Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William H. Taft, McFarland advised secretaries of the interior for a period spanning forty years. A lifelong resident of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he played a key role in developing a reform package calling for the cleanup of the city and its river, and the creation of a splendid municipal park system. A noted writer, photographer, and astute businessman who owned a successful printing company, he was also an acclaimed gardener and the preeminent rosarian in America.

 

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J. Horace McFarland (1859–1948) was one of the first Americans to sound the call for environmental and scenic protection. He helped defend Niagara Falls from power company interests, fought together with John Muir and others to preserve the Hetch Hetchy Valley at Yosemite, and after that defeat rose again to be hailed as the father of the National Park Service. Esteemed by Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William H. Taft, McFarland advised secretaries of the interior for a period spanning forty years. A lifelong resident of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he played a key role in developing a reform package calling for the cleanup of the city and its river, and the creation of a splendid municipal park system. A noted writer, photographer, and astute businessman who owned a successful printing company, he was also an acclaimed gardener and the preeminent rosarian in America.

It is within the Progressive Era—an age identified by its crusading spirit of “cleaning up” politics and municipal environments, and assuring the proper use of natural resources—that McFarland’s story unfolds. As Ernest Morrison compellingly reveals, McFarland’s greatness lay in the form of his unique skills in campaign planning and consensus building, and, at his core, in a profound integrity. Morrison’s scholarship and enthusiasm for his subject combine to create a vivid account of one whose crucial role in early conservation and environmental history has until now been almost forgotten. The photographs beautifully depict an era whose hallmark was public service.

Ernest Morrison was an adjunct professor at Harrisburg Area Community College and author of several regional histories, including a history of the Harrisburg State Hospital and a history of the Harrisburg Choral Society.

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