Louise Arner Boyd
Sept. 16, 1887 - Sept. 14, 1972
Geographer, Arctic Explorer, Photographer, Author & Naturalist
(Marin History Museum Video Biography - 17 min.)
She secretly worked for the United States government during World War II sending one of her unpublished books on Greenland to the State Department while outfitting and leading an arctic expedition for the National Bureau of Standards. Her experience and expertise provided valuable information, maps, charts and photographs that were essential to improving and maintaining radio transmissions between allied pilots and submarines.
Later in life, Louise traveled around the world recording her experiences in journals and at the age of 67 chartered a plane to fly her over the North Pole becoming the first woman to do so. Her thousands of photographs of Greenland and the Arctic are being used today by climate change scientists as baseline images for their research. For a longer biography and timeline, go to the Marin History Museum web page.
The Dedication of Boyd Park (and the Boyd Gatehouse, now the home of the Marin History Museum) in San Rafael was a memorial to Louise's two teenage brothers Seth & John Jr. who died within 7 months of each other from rheumatic fever leaving her parents in an overwhelming state of grief and her as the sole heir to the family fortune.