Frank Kuykendall’s Views of the Central Rockies

Frank Kuykendall (1855-1920) was born in Douglas County Oregon to George and Candace (Stark) Kuykendall.  He attended Umpqua Academy, a public school organized by the Methodist church in Wilbur, Oregon.  The family moved to California in the mid-1860s and by 1870 had settled in Santa Rosa.  Frank learned the carpentry trade from his father, before mastering the art of photography.

Frank Kuykendall, photographer. Episcopal Church in Silver Cliff, 1880, albumen silver print. Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

In 1877, Frank and  Nettie Louse Hadcock were married in Sonoma County.  (They would later divorce, and Frank would remarry  twice.) By 1880, they lived in Silver Cliff, Colorado, and Frank had begun photographically  documenting  local business houses, street scenes and landscapes.  If the numbers scratched into his negatives are accurate, Kuykendall’s inventory included about  1,000 views of Saguache, Gunnison, Salida, Silver Cliff, Maysville and the surrounding area.  The bulk of his output consisted of stereoviews, but he also made larger prints.  His prints were stamped with “Fine Portraits and Views, S.W. Cor. of Ohio and Emery Sts., Near Colorado House, Silver Cliff, Colo.”

street scene
Frank Kuykendall, photographer. [Saguache County Bank and Ruby Saloon], ca. 1882, albumen silver stereoview.  Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Street scene
Frank Kuykendall, photographer. [Silver Cliff, CO.], ca. 1881, albumen silver stereo view.  Amon Carter Museum of American Art.
Log bridge
Kuykendall & Whitney, photographers. [Six workers on a log bridge], ca. 1885, albumen silver stereo view.  Amon Carter Museum of Art.
In 1882 Kuykendall joined forces with William H. Whitney (1855-1936) and they would continue to work together until 1885, first in Silver Cliff and later in Ouray, as Kuykendall & Whitney.  

By 1890, Kuykendall had moved to Santa Rosa, California, where he would end his photographic career.  Later, he farmed in Washington and Arizona, and then took up carpentry again, working in San Diego until his death on February 29, 1920.  He is buried at Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery, in Santa Rosa, CA.

Giant trees
Frank Kuykendall, photographer. A redwood tree 68 feet in circumference on Eel River, near Scotia, Humboldt County, Cal., from which a section was sent to the World’s Fair at Chicago in 1893, albumen print. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.









For more information about stereoviews and how to see them in 3D: