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Oct. 23: Noted biographer to discuss the life of Will Thrall, hiker, writer, conservationist, explorer

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Sometimes called “Southern California’s John Muir,” Will Thrall dedicated his life to the preservation of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Thrall’s acclaimed biographer, Ronald C. Woolsey, will present a program on his life story at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at the Community Center, 730 E. Altadena Drive, sponsored by the Altadena Historical Society.

Woolsey will accompany his talk with an exhibit of memorabilia about Thrall, and copies of his book will be available for purchase.

The program will be free and open to the public.

From his arrival in the 1880s to his death in the 1960s, Thrall reveled in and defended the beauty of the San Gabriel Mountains, documenting the Great Hiking Age, working on the Mount Lowe Railway, organizing hiking clubs and promoting conservation of natural resources.

“He embraced the spirit which connected people with the San Gabriels, and his life is a study in Southern California itself,” said Woolsey, a history professor at Citrus College and El Camino College and author of the book “Will Thrall and the San Gabriels; A Man to Match the Mountains.”

Thrall is one of five men featured in the Historical Society’s new exhibit, opening Saturday, Nov. 4, “Five Men Inspired by the San Gabriels.”