On the night of July 23, 1978, an unknown person(s) broke into a park display case and took a gold pocket watch that belonged to John Muir.
Open-source photo of a similar pocket watch.

Special Agents of the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch are seeking help from the public to recover a stolen artifact from John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California. On the night of July 23, 1978, an unknown person(s) broke into a park display case and took a gold pocket watch that belonged to John Muir.

The pocket watch was targeted in the theft and was the only item stolen. It is gold plated and made by the American Waltham Watch Company. It has a “hunter style” case with a shield design on the front. It also has the number 764188 stamped on the inside, back cover of the case. The watch face dial says “American Waltham Watch Co,” has Roman numerals for each hour, and a circular section with a seconds hand on the lower portion of the dial (picture of a similar watch face is included).

John Muir was an important naturalist and figure in both California and National Park Service history. He is sometimes referred to as the “Father of the National Parks” and was one of the founding members of the Sierra Club. The pocket watch was donated to the National Park Service by Muir’s daughter, Helen Funk Muir, after his death and is an irreplaceable piece of history.

If you have information on the current whereabouts of the pocket watch or any information regarding the theft in 1978, please contact the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch. Up to $1,000 is offered for the watch’s safe return. You don’t have to tell us who you are, but please tell us what you know:

CALL or TEXT the ISB Tip Line  888-653-0009

ONLINE at www.nps.gov/ISB  click “Submit a Tip

EMAIL nps_isb@nps.gov

Source: NPS

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