Olson, Sigurd F., 1899-1982

Variant names

Hide Profile

Olson is past president of the National Parks Association and the Wilderness Society and author of many books on wilderness areas and the environment.

From the description of Oral history interview with Sigurd F. Olson, 1976 May 27. (Minnesota Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 45441498

  • 1899: Born April 4 in Chicago, Illinois, the second son of Lawrence J. Olson, a Baptist minister, and Ida May Cederholm.
  • 1906: Moved to northern Wisconsin, first to Sister Bay; then Prentice; then Ashland.
  • 1916: Graduated from Ashland High School, Wisconsin.
  • 1916 - 1918 : Attended Northland College in Ashland.
  • 1918 - 1920 : Attended University of Wisconsin in Madison, earning a bachelor's degree in agriculture.
  • 1920 - 1922 : Taught high school agriculture and geology courses in Nashwauk and Keewatin, Minnesota.
  • 1921: Olson's first article, an account of a canoe expedition, published by the Milwaukee Journal, July 31.
  • 1921: Married Elizabeth Dorothy Urenholdt from Seeley, Wisconsin, August 8, 1922.
  • Enrolled in graduate geology program at University of Wisconsin, Madison.
  • 1923: Taught high school biology in Ely, Minnesota.
  • Sigurd Thorn Olson born, September 15.
  • 1925: Robert Keith Olson born, December 23.
  • 1925 - 1930 : Worked with Ernest Oberholtzer and Frank Hubachek to oppose dams, roads, and other development in the Minnesota wilderness areas.
  • 1926: Continued teaching high school biology and began teaching biology at Ely Junior College (now Vermilion Community College).
  • 1929 - 1951 : Partner in the Border Lakes Outfitting Company.
  • 1931 - 1932 : Earned Master of Science degree in animal and plant ecology, University of Illinois. Thesis: The Life History of the Timber Wolf and the Coyote: A Study in Predatory Animal Control.
  • 1936 - 1945 : Dean of Students, Ely Junior College.
  • 1945 - 1946 : Taught as a civilian in the American Army University, Shrivenham, England: Germany, France, Italy, Austria. Witnessed the Nuremberg trials.
  • 1947: Resigned from Ely Junior College to begin full time writing career.
  • 1947 - 1950 : Consultant, Izaak Walton League of America.
  • 1948 - 1949 : Successfully lobbied for airspace restrictions in the roadless areas of the Superior National Forest.
  • 1951 - 1959 : Member, National Parks Association.
  • 1959 - 1966 : Member, United States National Parks Service, National Advisory Board of Parks, Monuments, Historic Sites.
  • 1956: The Singing Wilderness, essays on wilderness values and experiences in the Quetico-Superior canoe country, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
  • 1958: Listening Point, observations made at his cabin on Burntside Lake, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
  • 1960 - 1966 : Member, Secretary of the Interior's Advisory Committee.
  • 1961: The Lonely Land, an account of Olson's Churchill River voyageurs canoe expedition, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
  • 1962: Consultant to the Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall.
  • 1963: Runes of the North, essays regarding man's inner world and natural wisdom, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
  • 1963 - 1966 : Vice President, The Wilderness Society.
  • 1967 - 1971 : President, The Wilderness Society.
  • 1969: The Hidden Forest, seasonal photographs and essays about the north woods, with photographer Les Blacklock published by Viking Press.
  • 1969: Open Horizons, autobiographical essays, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
  • 1972: Sigurd F. Olson's Wilderness Days, a seasonal collection of previously published essays, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
  • 1974: Burroughs Medal received for Wilderness Days, John Burroughs Memorial Association.
  • 1976: Reflections from the North Country, Olson's philosophy, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
  • 1981: Robert Marshall Award, The Wilderness Society.
  • 1982: Died on January 13 while snowshoeing near home.
  • 1982: Of Time and Place, last reminiscences, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
  • 1989: Death of Elizabeth Olson, August 23.

Information for the chronology was compiled from the collection and from The Sigurd F. Olson Web Site produced by David Backes, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

From the guide to the Sigurd F. Olson papers., 1920s-1989., (Minnesota Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Society records., 1925-1995 (bulk 1949-1986). Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Charles K. Dayton papers., 1922-1979. Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Committee records., 1927-1987. Minnesota Historical Society
creatorOf Sigurd F. Olson papers., 1920s-1989. Minnesota Historical Society
creatorOf Olson, Sigurd F., 1899-1982. Sigurd F. Olson papers, 1920s-1989. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Matteson, Robert Eliot, 1914-1994,. Oral history interview with Robert E. Matteson, 1991 May. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Uhrenholdt family. Uhrenholdt family papers, 1870-2001 (bulk 1880-1950). Wisconsin Historical Society Archives
creatorOf Dayton, Charles K., 1939- . Charles K. Dayton papers, 1922-1979. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Robert Marshall Papers, 1908-1939 Bancroft Library
creatorOf Matteson, Robert Eliot, 1914-1994. Robert E. Matteson papers, [193-]-1989, 1991. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
creatorOf Olson, Sigurd F., 1899-1982. Sigurd F. Olson papers, 1916-2003. Wisconsin Historical Society Archives
referencedIn Ernest C. Oberholtzer papers., 1854-[198-]. Minnesota Historical Society
creatorOf Olson, Sigurd F., 1899-1982. The meaning of wilderness / by Sigurd F. Olson. Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library
referencedIn Robert E. Matteson papers., [193-]-1989, 1991. Minnesota Historical Society
creatorOf Natural History Society of Minnesota. Society records, 1925-1995 (bulk 1949-1986). Minnesota Historical Society Library
creatorOf Minnesota Emergency Conservation Committee. MECC records, 1927-1974. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Edward Marx Franey papers., 1940-1986 (bulk 1950-1970). Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Quetico-Superior Council records., 1906-1967. Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn North Country Anvil records, 1969-1990. Minnesota Historical Society
creatorOf Franey, Edward Marx, 1899-1988. Edward Marx Franey papers, 1940-1986 (bulk 1950-1970). Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Harold Kittleson papers., 1913-2000. Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Wilderness Society (U.S.). Wilderness Society records. Series 1, Governing Council, 1917-1999. Denver Public Library, Central Library
creatorOf Ojala, William. History of Fort Wilkins / William Ojala [and] Sigurd Olson. Marquette County Historical Society
creatorOf United States. President's Quetico-Superior Committee. Committee records, 1927-1987. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
creatorOf Friends of the Wilderness. Friends of the Wilderness records, 1917-1981. Minnesota Historical Society Library
creatorOf North Country Anvil, Inc. (Winona, Minn.). North Country Anvil records, 1969-1990. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
creatorOf Olson, Sigurd F., 1899-1982. [Letter] 1976 Dec. 12, East-Ely Minn, [to] Elizabeth Belcher, [Eastham, Mass.]. Boston Athenaeum
referencedIn Eisley, Loren Corey, 1907-1977. Papers, 1913-1977. University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
creatorOf Olson, Sigurd F., 1899-1982,. Oral history interview with Sigurd F. Olson, 1976 May 27. Minnesota Historical Society Library
creatorOf Hubachek, F. B. (Frank Brookes), b. 1894,. Grand Portage 1688 stone papers, 1951-1964. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
creatorOf Quetico-Superior Council. Quetico-Superior Council records, 1906-1967 (bulk 1927-1950). Minnesota Historical Society Library
creatorOf Kittleson, J. Harold., 1905-. J. Harold Kittleson papers, 1913-2000. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Marshall, Robert, 1901-1939. Robert Marshall papers, 1908-1939. UC Berkeley Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Dayton, Charles K., 1939- . person
associatedWith Douglas, William O. (William Orville), 1898-1980. person
associatedWith Eisley, Loren Corey, 1907-1977. person
associatedWith Franey, Edward Marx, 1899-1988. person
associatedWith Friends of the Wilderness. corporateBody
associatedWith Friends of the Wilderness. corporateBody
associatedWith Friends of the Wilderness. corporateBody
associatedWith General Session, Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters 1958 : Provo, Utah). corporateBody
associatedWith Herbst, Robert L., 1935- person
associatedWith Hubachek, F. B. (Frank Brookes), b. 1894, person
associatedWith Hubachek, Frank Brookes, 1894- person
associatedWith Izaak Walton League of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Kelly, Charles Scott, 1899-1987. person
associatedWith Kittleson, Harold. person
associatedWith Kittleson, J. Harold., 1905- person
associatedWith Leopold, Aldo, 1886-1948. person
associatedWith Magie, Bill, 1902- person
associatedWith Magie, William Henry, 1902-1982. person
associatedWith Marshall, Robert, 1901-1939. person
associatedWith Matteson, Robert Eliot, 1914-1994. person
associatedWith McKane, John, person
associatedWith Minnesota Emergency Conservation Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith National Parks Association (U.S.). corporateBody
associatedWith Natural History Society of Minnesota. corporateBody
associatedWith North Country Anvil, Inc. (Winona, Minn.). corporateBody
associatedWith Northland College (Ashland, Wis.). corporateBody
associatedWith Oberholtzer, Ernest C. (Ernest Carl), 1884-1977. person
associatedWith Ojala, William. person
associatedWith Olson family. family
associatedWith Quetico Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Quetico-Superior Council. corporateBody
associatedWith Quetico-Superior Council. corporateBody
associatedWith Quetico-Superior Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Reid, Kenneth Alexander, 1895-1965. person
associatedWith Searle, R. Newell, 1943- person
associatedWith Shelford, Victor E. (Victor Ernest), b. 1877. person
associatedWith Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. corporateBody
associatedWith Uhrenholdt family. family
associatedWith Uhrenholdt family. family
associatedWith United States. Advisory Board on National Parks, Historic Sites, Buildings, and Monuments. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. National Park Service. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. President's Quetico-Superior Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. President's Quetico-Superior Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. President's Quetico-Superior Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. corporateBody
associatedWith Weygant, Noemi. person
associatedWith Wilderness Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Wilderness Society (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Winston, Frederick S., 1892-1964. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Quetico Provincial Park (Ont.)
Minnesota
Boundary Waters Canoe Area (Minn.)
Minnesota
Ontario
Alaska
Superior National Forest (Minn.).
Quetico Provincial Park (Ont.).
Quetico-Superior area (Ont.-Minn.).
Quetico-Superior area (Ont.-Minn.)
United States
Boundary Waters Canoe Area (Minn.).
Superior National Forest (Minn.)
United States
Minnesota
Quetico-Superior Country (Ont. and Minn.)
Subject
Conservation of natural resources--Minnesota
Forests and forestry--Minnesota
Adventure travel
Waterways
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives
Nature conservation
Wilderness areas
Outdoor writers
Overpopulation
Wilderness areas--Minnesota
Wilderness areas--Ontario
Book editors
Voyages and travels
Mines and mineral resources--Minnesota
Naturalists
Conservationists
Wolves--Research
Mines and Mineral Resources
National parks and reserves
Philosophy of nature
Conservationists--Biography
Forests and forestry
Canoes and canoeing
Human ecology--Philosophy
Authors and publishers--Minnesota
Wildlife conservation--Law and legislation
Environmental protection
Nature--Effect of human beings on
Authors and publishers
Conservation of natural resources
Natural history
Occupation
Environmentalists--Minnesota
Conservationists--Minnesota
Authors--Minnesota
Outdoor writers--Minnesota
Voyageurs
Educators--Minnesota
Activity

Person

Birth 1899-04-04

Death 1982-01-13

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6d22pzt

Ark ID: w6d22pzt

SNAC ID: 42520259