Picturing Longmont Lecture

The Longmont Museum (Longmont, Colorado) is presenting a program featuring early photographs of Longmont on Thursday, February 29 at 7 pm in the Museum’s Stewart Auditorium.   Director Erik Mason and the museum’s new Curator of History Elizabeth Beaudoin will show images selected from the Museum’s photo archive.

Charles W. Boynton, photographer. 300 block of Main Street, Longmont,between 1897-1905. Courtesy of the Longmont Museum

The program is presented in conjunction with the Museum’s “Picturing the West” exhibition.  The show comprises 48 images from the collection of Michael Mattis and Julia Hochberg– mostly albumen prints, including mammoth, double-mammoth, and even triple-mammoth plates. They are some of the most sumptuous photographs to survive from the Era of Exploration and provide a rare opportunity to compare the photographers’ approaches to capturing the “sublime” in the unspoiled Western landscape.

Featured are nineteen photographs by Carleton E. Watkins, eight by William H. Jackson, and four by Eadweard Muybridge. Other artists include William Bell, Henry Hamilton Bennett, Frank Jay Haynes, John Hillers, Thomas Johnson, Timothy O’Sullivan, William Rau, and Charles Savage. Andrew J. Russell’s rare album The Great West is also on display.

The show closes on May 5.

George Stephan, Photographer, Attorney, and Lieutenant Governor of Colorado

George Stephan was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 30, 1862, to John C. Stephan and Elizabeth Watson Stephan.  His father worked as a dentist.  George attended Cleveland public schools, graduating from high school in 1878.  George moved to Denver four years later, where his uncle Henry W. Watson ran a photography studio.  George likely learned photography from his uncle.


George Stephan, Photographer. Portrait of Ernest N. Petersen, circa 1885. Collection of the author.

For about six years, George Stephan earned his living as a photographer in Denver.  When he departed Denver for Salt Lake City in 1888, Stephan left Elmer E. Pascoe in charge of his studio. Pascoe continued to run the business (Stephan & Pascoe) until 1892 when the firm was shuttered.

In 1890, George Stephan returned to Colorado, residing in Delta.  He was active in banking and real estate.  By 1900 he had been admitted to the bar and established a large practice.  He held many local and state offices in Colorado.  Stephan was elected  Lieutenant Governor in 1918 and a U. S. district attorney in 1924.  He retired to California and died in La Jolla, California on September 9, 1944.  He was interred in the family plot at Delta Cemetery.

Thanks to Cindy Motzenbecker for gifting me the studio portrait, which inspired this post.  Kellen Cutsforth, Denver Public Library (DPL), provided scans from DPL.

“Come to Colorado” exhibition at Amon Carter Museum

Come to Colorado, photographs by William Henry Jackson, William G. Chamberlain, C. W. Erdlen, and many other photographers, is on view at the Amon Carter Museum (Fort Worth, TX) through January 7, 2024.  The collection is drawn from the Fred and Jo Mazzulla collection.  In 1976, the Amon Carter Museum  acquired the collection of  more than 6,000 photographs, postcards and memorabilia relating to the history of Colorado.  

W. G. Chamberlain, photographer. [David Bruce Powers’ Train of Fort Leavenworth at Denver], June 20, 1865. Albumen silver print.
On Wednesday, November 1, 2023 at 5:30pm, Eric Paddock, curator of photography at the Denver Art Museum and Colorado native will join the Amon Carter’s retired Senior Curator of Photographs John Rohrbach to discuss photography’s role in shaping Colorado’s image as an economic resource and outdoor playground. 

William Henry Jackson, photographer. Tunnels 10 an 11, 11 Mile Cañon Colorado Midland R.R., 1887. Albumen silver print.

Charles Henry Clark in Salida

A native of Oxford County, Maine, Charles Henry Clark’s parents Thomas Green Clark and Martha Bumpus Clark worked as farmers.  Born in October 1847, Charles Clark was the youngest of five children.  By 1860, the Clark family had settled in Eagle, Illinois.  In June 1864, C.H. Clark mustered into the 138th Illinois Infantry, Company I, serving 100 days on garrison duty at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. 

After the war, Clark worked as an artist in Streator, Illinois.  In 1880, he took charge of Albert Barker’s photography gallery in Ottawa, Kansas.   

C. H. Clark, photographer. [Donkey Foal], 1884, Salida.  Albumen silver print.  Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas.
His exact arrival in Colorado is disputed, but in December 1881 he purchased  L.K. Oldroyd’s gallery in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He published oversized stereoviews  of Denver, Colorado Springs, and scenes along the Denver & Rio Grande Railway.  In 1883, Clark worked out of Gunnison. He published and was the general trade agent for George Mellen’s photographic views.

In June 1884, he set up a studio in Salida, where his life-size, hand-colored portraits were consistently praised in the press. A display of his views and portraits was included at the 1887 Saguache County Fair.  In January 1888, a devastating fire broke out in Salida, just as Clark was moving his studio to new quarters.  The studio sustained $1300 in damages, and all of Clark’s early negatives of Salida were ruined.  

Mining scene
C. H. Clark, photographer. Shamrock Mine, Taylor Gulch, near Garfield, Colorado, 1887. Albumen silver print.  Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas.

In the fall of 1888, Clark formed a partnership with C. W. Erdlen.  Clark & Erdlen worked as partners until April 1889 when Clark left Salida, and Erdlen took over the gallery. Clark’s departure followed the death of his young daughter, Ada. The Clark family practiced the Christian Science religion and were criticized in the local press for not providing adequate care of Ada during her illness. The Clark’s settled in Manitou, Colorado. His future whereabout are unknown until 1919 when Civil War records indicate he was living in a home for disabled soldiers in Los Angeles.  He died in 1925 in San Diego.

Thank you to Elisabeth Parker, former assistant chief, Prints & Photographs Division, Washington, D.C., for  proof-reading this post.