Walter H. Foreman, Photographer and Sportsman

Walter Henry Foreman was born in the County of Surry, England in 1865, arriving in the United States in 1884.  He settled in Denver with his mother and gained employment with photographer George Stephan in 1886.  The following year Foreman opened his own studio on Larimer Street in Denver.  He exhibited photographs alongside William Henry Jackson at the 1886 Colorado Manufacturers Exposition in Denver.  

W. H. Foreman, photographer. Whitney’s Drugstore and University Bookstore photograph, 1890 or 1891. Boulder Historical Society/Museum of Boulder.

Remaining true to his British roots, Foreman helped organize Denver’s first Cricket Club.  Later, his studio served as headquarters for the Swift’s foot ball club.  Foreman was also active in British social groups, attending picnics and competing in foot races.  In 1887, he won first place in a 100 yard scratch race, beating his opponent by eight yards and taking home a black marble clock.

Walter H. Foreman, photographer. State Normal School football team, Greeley, CO, 1895. 2015.20.0148, City of Greeley Museums, Permanent Collection

Around 1896, Foreman began working for the Black Sisters in Boulder, Colorado.  He purchased their studio in 1898 and added a department that specialized in enlargements.  He left Boulder and ran studios in Loveland and Brush, Colorado before returning to Denver in 1911.  

Foreman’s Design for Turner Moving & Storage Co., 1913.  Rocky Mountain News, September 11, 1913, page 9.

In 1913, a long-time Denver business, Turner Moving & Storage, held a contest to design a new sign.  Foreman won the contest, which drew hundreds of entries.  His illuminated design used 1,800 bulbs, showing a globe with North and South America outlined in green lights. For his efforts, Foreman won $50 in gold.  

After a successful career as a photographer, Foreman’s last place of employment was Elitch Gardens, an amusement park in Denver.  Walter H. Foreman died at his home in Denver on August 1, 1928 at the age of 62, leaving a widow.  His remains rest in Denver’s Fairmount Cemetery.  

The Peter E. Palmquist Memorial Fund for Historical Photographic Research provided funds for the scan from the City of Greeley Museum.  Miranda Todd, Archives Assistant,City of Greeley Museums scanned the image and provided research assistance.

C. C. Wright Photographs Colorado’s Legislature

Charles C. Wright was born in East Livermore, Maine.  He married Sarah Ann Judkins on November 28,1860, in Lawrence, MA.  Marriage records cite his occupation as a teamster.

By 1870, Wright, known professionally as C. C. Wright, operated a photography studio in Lafayette, Indiana where he worked for more than a decade.  In 1882 he arrived in Colorado, setting up a temporary gallery in Central City, before opening a studio in Denver that December over Reithmann’s Drug Store, at the corner of Fifteenth and Larimer streets.

Stereo of Larimer Street
Alexander Martin, photographer. Larimer St. from 15th St., showing C. C. Wright’s photography gallery on the right, between 1882 and 1886, albumen silver stereo view. History Colorado. Accession # 84.192.405.

In 1884, for the July 4th holiday, Wright and his wife accompanied a small group to Silver Plume on the Colorado Central via the recently completed Georgetown Loop, an engineering feat of horseshoe curves and four bridges that were used to link Georgetown with Silver Plume, only two miles apart.

That same year, Wright employed a young Adolph F. Muhr, later known for his portraits of Native Americans.  In 1885, Wright’s brother-in-law, David Roby Judkins, briefly worked at the Denver studio. In December 1855, Wright opened a branch gallery in Central City, employing Morton E. Chase.

CO Senate
C. C. Wright, photographer. Colorado Senate, 1885, albumen silver print. Denver Public Library Special Collections.

Wright photographed the Colorado legislature on more than one occasion, making a composite portrait of the 1885 Colorado Senate.  He also made a group portrait of the pages that assisted the state legislature.  Nine boys wearing hats bearing the words “House Page,” stand in front of a hand painted backdrop.  The backdrop is signed on the lower left corner by Davis and a partner’s name that is illegible.  

Wright was one of six photographers who submitted work to the Colorado Manufacturers Exposition held in Denver in 1886.

House Pages
C. C. Wright, photographer. House Pages, between 1882-1887, albumen silver print. Denver Public Library Special Collections.

On January 20, 1887, Wright was traveling through the city in his carriage when he made a sharp turn.  The carriage tipped over, and Wright landed in the street.  He died less than a week later from injuries sustained during the accident at the age of forty-six.  A large funeral was held with participation of fraternal organizations and many local photographers. The procession led by the Opera House band, walked to Wright’s studio where services were conducted.  The crowd then proceeded to Riverside Cemetery.  

Shortly before his death, Wright had opened a new studio at 910 Sixteenth street. His wife is listed as a photographer in the 1887 Denver City Directory.  Henry Rothberger took over the studio by October 1887.

Thank you to Beverly W. Brannan, former curator of photography, Library of Congress, for proof-reading this post.

David J. Lamon’s Search For Fame And Fortune

David Lamon was born in April 1864 to Robert Lamon and Anna Early Lamon, the oldest of three children.  The Lamon’s lived in Hebron, New York a farming community near the Vermont border, about 60 miles northeast of Albany.  In the mid 1880s, David left home to seek his fortune in the West.  Along the way, he learned photography.

Champa Street
D. Lamon, photographer. 587 and 589 Champa Street, Denver, 1886.  Albumen silver print on cabinet card mount. Collection of the author.

Lamon likely opened his Denver  studio at 1740 Larimer Street in the spring or summer of 1886, just after the publication of the annual city directory, as he is not listed in that directory.

His photograph of S. A. Doll’s Market at 587 Champa Street provides a good example in dating photographs.  Doll’s Market first appears in the Denver City Directory in 1886. The street number, 587, can be seen painted on the window below the valance.  With the tree fully leafed out, we can narrow the date to late spring through early fall.

Detail of 587 Champa Street.         

Doll formed a partnership with W. G. Smith in 1887, changing the firm’s name to Doll & Smith.  In addition, in 1887 Denver’s streets were renumbered.  587 Champa became 2205 Champa.  The men standing in front of the store may be Sigismunda A. Doll and his clerk, Theodore H. Kuhlenbeck.

Charlie Hong
D. Lamon, photographer. Portrait of Charlie Hong, Feb. 28, 1887. Albumen silver print on cabinet card mount. History Colorado, Denver, accession number: 95.19.1.

In the 19th century, Denver’s religious institutions organized Bible studies, English classes and social events for Chinese immigrants.  In  1887, Lamon photographed Charlie Hong, interpreter for the Chinese Sunday School run by Denver’s Trinity Methodist Church.  Trinity Methodist’s 1899 Christmas program drew 500 attendees.  The Rocky Mountain News wrote: “Charlie Hong added laurels to his wreath of popularity, too, by the masterly manner in which he related a history of the school.”  A few years later, Hong was replaced as interpreter by Y. T. Fong.  In January 1894, in a jealous rage over losing his position, Hong assaulted Fong in the church.

D. Lamon, photographer. Portrait of three unidentified men, 1887. Albumen silver print on cabinet card mount. History Colorado, Denver, accession number: 91.99.5.

In March 1887, Lamon took over J. W. Walker’s Golden studio for 30 days, turning out portraits like the one on the right of  three young men with attitude.  In 1888, Lamon returned to New York state, setting up shop at 67 South Pearl Street in Albany.  He returned to Colorado in 1891.  He accepted a position with Payne & Stockdorf in Leadville, but may have bypassed that opportunity to immediately open a studio in Denver, which he would oversee for the next two years.

In 1894, he opened a jewelry business in Denver, which he would oversee for several years.  But he pursued many other projects that brought him attention.  In 1895, he made national news when he discovered a rich vein of gold near Cripple Creek.  In 1904, Lamon was said to have discovered the lost art of tempering copper to the hardness of steel.  In 1926, Lamon planned to construct an iron and steel plant to produce “Lamon-ite,” a new process of manufacturing iron and steel with a tensile strength of from 25 to 75 per cent greater than steels now in  use.

Lamon died on February 27, 1943 in Denver and is buried at Fairmount Cemetery.

Thank you to Beverly Brannan, former Curator of Photography, Library of Congress, for proof-reading this post.  


A. E. Rinehart: Denver’s Popular Portrait Photographer

Blanche Wannemaker
A. E. Rinehart, photographer. Portrait of Blanche Wannemaker Webber, albumen silver print on cabinet card mount, ca. 1888. Golden History Museum & Park, City of Golden, Bathke Collection.

Alfred E. Rinehart found his niche as a portrait photographer at the start of his career and remained faithful to his craft for decades.  His work documents Denver’s eminent political figures and their families, along with the city’s ordinary citizens.

A. E. Rinehart was born in 1851 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana to John Byers Rinehart and Mary Cooly Rinehart.  His siblings included younger brother, Frank A. Rinehart, who would gain fame for his photographic portraits of Native Americans.

A. E. Rinehart learned photography from Charles C. Wright in Lafayette, Indiana.  Around 1875, Rinehart relocated to Denver, taking a position with George W. Kirkland.  Coincidentally, Wright moved to Denver in the 1880s, where he continued his photographic career.   Rinehart developed his skill as a portrait photographer while working as an operator in the studio of Charles Bohm in Denver.

On March 29, 1880, after five years with Bohm, Rinehart joined  William Henry Jackson, in the firm Jackson & Rinehart.  Jackson devoted his time to landscape photography while Rinehart took charge of portraiture.  They shared darkroom facilities and staff, with Frank A. Rinehart employed as a printer.  By early December, the partnership was dissolved by mutual consent.

Cabinet card
A. E. Rinehart, photographer. Baby Tabor [Lily], Age, 19 Months, February 1886, albumen silver print on cabinet card mount, ca. History Colorado-Denver, Colorado, 2000.129.110.
Rinehart remained at the 413 Larimer Street address through 1887.  He photographed Elizabeth Bonduel Lily Tabor, the first child of wealthy business man Horace Tabor and his second wife, Baby Doe, on multiple occasions.  The card mounts were atypically printed with “Baby Tabor” and the child’s age, a format the studio would continue with later sittings of the young girl.

Rinehart  married Denver socialite, Bessie Mode, on May 11, 1880.  She wore a wine colored bridal dress trimmed with silk of the same color.  After her marriage, Bessie Rinehart seemed to spend more time visiting friends and relatives in the East and South than she did in Denver.  The couple divorced in 1893.

Almost immediately after his divorce, Rinehart planned to marry Mrs. Dora Ellen Thorworth, unaware that a new law required divorcees to wait one year before remarrying.  On the day of his marriage, the county clerk’s office denied Rinehart’s application for a marriage license.  Rinehart returned to the Clerk’s office later that day with a judge.  With a wink and a nod, the marriage license was issued and the couple married that evening.  Dora Rinehart took up cycling, breaking several long-distance records.  In 1898, A. E. Rinehart secured a divorce on the grounds of desertion.

Rinehart’s business was much more successful than his love life.  In December 1887, he opened a new studio, the largest photography establishment in the city, on the upper floor of Wolfe Londoner’s grocery store on Arapahoe Street.  The January 1, 1888 issue of the Rocky Mountain News reported on the opening of the studio in great detail, describing the decor of the handsome reception room, the large skylights and the movable case holding backgrounds in the operating room, the printing room with storage for 40,000  negatives, and Rinehart’s private artist’s studio.  Rinehart presided over all portrait sessions.  Long-time employees John Lehman headed the printing room, Charles Nast oversaw retouching and  Mrs. Lehman framed portraits in the finishing room.

“Photographic: Brilliant and Successful Opening of the Magnificent New and Spacious Gallery of A. E. Rinehart.” Rocky Mountain News, January 1, 1888, page 2, column 1
Randolph Family
A. E. Rinehart, photographer. Portrait of Wellington and Emma Randolph with daughter Mathilda (Tillie), circa 1888, albumen silver print on cabinet card mount. History Colorado-Denver, Colorado, 2020.73.6

The Wellington Randolph family visited Rinehart’s new studio shortly after it opened.   Randolph (1848-1909) was born in Virginia and moved to Colorado in the 1880s.  He earned a living as a janitor.  Tillie was the first of eventually three children.

Another portrait made in the new studio shows Blanche Wannemaker Webber.  In posing Mrs.Webber, Rinehart chose to make a profile view from the back to show off the sitter’s long tresses.  This portrait was probably made soon after Miss Wannemaker’s marriage to Republican political figure Dewitt C. Webber.  After thirteen years of marriage, Mrs. Webber filed for divorce, claiming extreme cruelty, general unkindness and desertion.  The story does not end there, however, about a year after the divorce, Blanche’s father hired two men to kill his former son-in-law.  Mr. Webber learned of the plot and was able to avoid the purported killers.

In 1890, Rinehart claimed to have photographed between thirty and forty thousand Denverites.  He kept all of his negatives, so customers could request additional prints at a later date.  Early in his career, Rinehart thought it might be best to have customers purchase their negatives, as he believed many would never be used again, but that was not standard studio practice.

As early as December 1897, Rinehart placed a brief advertisement in Wilson’s Photographic Magazine, offering his studio for sale.  In June 1910, Rinehart placed another notice, this time more detailed, outlining the contents of his studio including Dalimeyer lenses, cameras up to size 20 x 24, and backgrounds painted by the prominent New York City artist, Lafayette W. Seavey.  Stating he planned to retire, the asking price was  $2,500.  Rinehart was sixty years old.

In 1912 Rinehart moved from his long-time studio on Arapahoe Street to a smaller space on Welton Street.  He died at St. Joseph’s Hospital on May 14, 1915 from complications associated with appendicitis.  He is buried at Denver’s Riverside Cemetery.

Will Colorado, Wills and Probate Records, 1875-1974 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data:Colorado County, District and Probate Courts.
An inventory of Rinehart’s studio was made after his death.  Once all his outstanding bills were accounted for and his studio contents sold, the estate was found to be insolvent. This is a sad ending to such a treasured Denver business, but the visual record of Denver personalities and residents lives on.

Inventory of the  A. E. Rinehart collection at the Denver Public Library.  

My thanks to History Colorado staff Jori Johnson and Cody Robinson, who always help make my onsite visits pleasurable and Viviana Guajardo, for her scanning expertise.   Additional thanks to Vanya Scott, Curatorial Assistant, Golden History Museum & Park, Golden, CO.  Special thanks to Beverly W. Brannan, recently retired photography curator at the Library of Congress, for editing this post.  






John Green, a Black Photographer in Denver

When I started researching 19th century Colorado photographers several years ago, I wondered how many Black photographers worked in the state. So far, I have encountered very few.  In honor of Black history month, here is a brief glimpse into the career of John Green.

Black girl
John Green, photographer. Unidentified woman, tintype. Collection of the author.

Remarkably, John Green  worked in Denver as a photographer for more than 40 years, yet hardly any of his photographs survive today. Tracking down details his life has been complicated as  John Green is a fairly common name and official records provide inconsistent information.

Green was born circa 1854 in Canada to an Irish mother.  Census data provides conflicting information about his father’s ancestry, varying from the West Indies (1900), South America (1910) and Australia (1930).  John Green’s race is listed as mulatto in the 1910 and 1920 censuses, but as White in the 1930 census.  He may have identified as White due to the rise in Klan activity in Denver at this time.

Green first appears in Denver in the 1885 city directory as a colored photographer with his photo business at the corner of Blake and 18th Street.  The 1887 Sanborn map shows his studio was located in a  photo car, probably an old rail car.

Sanborn map, 1887
Sanborn Map, Denver 1887, Sheet 14

Green’s earliest work, tintype portraits of Black and White sitters, are found in a few public and private collections.  This in itself is unusual.  Most tintypes are unattributed.  Green carefully assembled the iron plates (not tin as the name implies)  into paper sleeves, stamped with his name and address on the back.  When the cabinet card format became popular, Green switched to that style of card mount.  

In 1889, Green photographed the Colorado House at the Capital.  This photograph is not known to be extant.  A few years later, Green moved to a permanent building at 1337 18th Street.  In 1910 he moved again, this time to 1952 Arapahoe Street.

John Green never married and I have not been able to track down any siblings.  Green died on May 24, 1930, and is buried at Denver’s Fairmount Cemetery.  Unfortunately I have not found a detailed obituary for Green.  Like many photographers of his time, his story has been lost to the past.

John Green, photographer. Western Steam Laundry, circa 1915, silver gelatin print. History Colorado, object id# 88.713.8








George D. Wakely’s Early Photographs of Denver

In 1859, overblown reports of gold discovered along Denver’s Cherry Creek  brought a stampede of newcomers to the sparsely populated area, including a few photographers.  But it was George D. Wakely who stayed for five  years and produced a large body of work that continues to inspire and inform researchers today.

George D. Wakely was born in England circa 1836.  It is not known when he arrived in the United States, but in 1855 Wakely was living in New York City with his wife, Mathilda Brown and four children from her previous marriage.  (The New York State Census for that year lists Jos. B. Wakeley, age 38, born in England, working as a photographer.  While his name and age are incorrect, I believe this is George D. Wakely, as his wife, Matilda, and her four children are also listed.)

news clipping
Rocky Mountain News, September 29, 1859, p3, c3

The following year, Wakely moved west to Chicago where he made ambrotypes. His peripatetic nature led the Wakely family to Leavenworth, Kansas, in the late 1850s, where George’s three step-daughters, Rose, Louise and Flora, acted in Colonel Charles S. Thorne’s Star Company.  They performed under the last name Haydee.  George was active behind the scenes.  The theatrical troupe was invited to perform in Denver, a city less than two years old.  The troupe loaded up five ox-drawn wagons for the five-week journey to Colorado, arriving in September 1859.  Thorne’s Star Company was the first theatrical company to perform in the “Territory of Jefferson” at Denver’s Apollo Theatre.  After only six performances and rave reviews, Thorne secretly left Denver and returned to Leavenworth.  Undeterred, the Wakely women established their own troupe, the Haydee Star Company.

Meanwhile, George Wakely opened Denver’s first photographic gallery across the street from the Apollo Theatre in 1859.  He produced ambrotypes and photographs on leather.  The latter could be easily sent through the mail to Easterners.   His half-plate ambrotype of Mademoiselle Carolista, an itinerant tightrope walker, performing across Larimer Street on July 18, 1861 is held by History Colorado.

George D. Wakely, photographer. Madame Carolista walking on a tightrope above Larimer Street in Denver, July 18, 1861, half-plate ambrotype.   History Colorado, 86.70.29.

In June 1862, Wakely built a new gallery on Larimer Street across from the post office.  He obtained the latest equipment from New York, and offered the new carte de visite photographs, as well as ferrotypes.  Later that year he enhanced his studio with a mammoth sky light and extra side lights.  In addition to his own photographs, he also sold views of Colorado’s mountain scenery by photographer Henry Faul.

In April 1864, Wakely put his gallery up for sale due to health concerns, offering to teach the art to the buyer.  When no interested parties materialized, Wakely continued to photograph Denver and its environs, documenting the May 1864 Cherry Creek flood. 

Denver Flood
George D. Wakely, photographer. West Denver No 2, May 19-20, 1864, albumen silver print. J. Paul Getty Museum.

On June 27, 1864, Wakely announced:  “I will close my photographic rooms in a few days. Patrons are requested to call and get their pictures.  A few more views of the flood left for sale.”

George D. Wakey, photographer. Mouth of Fall River, View up Clear Creek, Four Miles above Idaho, Colorado Territory, 1862-1865, albumen silver print. J. Paul Getty Museum.

In October 1864, he copyrighted 26 photographs with the First Judical District of Colorado Territory, including views of the Garden of the Gods, Central City, Black Hawk, and mining views in North Empire.  

Wakely had closed his gallery and moved New York by February 1865.  At that time he offered his Rocky Mountain and mining views for sale in Harper’s Weekly magazine.  But later that year, Wakely, now living in Washington, DC, with a studio at 524 Pennsylvania Avenue, produced a series of stereoviews documenting government buildings. 

Patent Office
George D. Wakely, photographer. Interior of Patent Office, circa 1866, albumen silver print. The J. Paul Getty Museum.

In 1869 or 1870 Wakely opened a photographic supply store in Kansas City,  publishing a catalog of the materials he offered for sale. He ran this business until 1877 when he sold out to Fred Mullett. During this time, Wakely also wrote articles for professional photograph journals.  

In the summer of 1877 Wakely relocated to Los Angeles, running a livery stable.  He returned to Colorado in 1879, working in Leadville, and the following year he was back in the photo business with Edward N. Clements as Wakely & Clements.  

By 1884, Wakely was on the move again, this time to Dallas, Texas.  He was employed by Alfred Freeman, a photographer and dealer in pianos and organs.  Working as a traveling salesman based out of Waco, Texas, Wakely sold pianos and organs in 1888 and 1889.  By 1890, he had again opened a photography studio, this time in McKinney, Texas, while also still selling pianos.  In 1894 he joined forces with photographer William F. Cobb, operating as Wakely & Cobb until March 1897.  In November 1898, Wakely started a new gallery in McKinney in the Dr. Metz building.  He worked there until 1901 when he accepted a job for a Dallas music company as a traveling salesman.  For the next several years, Wakely’s  photography took him to various towns in Texas and Oklahoma, before retiring in Dallas.  

In April 1922, Wakely was hit by a car or train.  He died from his injuries on April 22, 1922.  Wakely was survived by his second wife, Etta R. Lawrence.  He is buried at Grove Hill Memorial Park, Dallas.