Hayden Survey 1874 Los Pinos

The 1874 Hayden Survey team visited the Los Pinos Agency where they photographed the landscape and the Ute Indians who inhabited it. The men were careful to record details of the location and features in each photograph.

“The 1874 Photographic Division on the way to Los Pinos and Mesa Verde. Left to right: Smart, Anthony, Mitchell, Whan, Ernest Ingersoll, and Charley, the cook. Dolly, the mule, stands between Charley and Ingersoll. Colorado. 1874. ”

“View on the White Earth River, looking down, where the trail from Los Pinos to Antelope Park crosses the White Earth; is a handsome little pocket of a valley, surrounded by high walls of the variously colored trachytes, characteristic of this region. The river canyons cut deeply, both in entering and leaving this valley. Gunnison and Hinsdale Counties, Colorado. 1874.”

Photographs by William Henry Jackson from the U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library

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Studying the West, 1874

 The 1874 Hayden Survey visited Colorado. The team included surveyors and geologists, photographers and artists. They travelled with horses and mules through remote and rugged territory to record geographic features of the state.

Photographers captured surveyors working in precarious places.


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They made detailed notes about each photograph:

 “Arastra Gulch, looking up from across the Animas, which is here sunk far out of sight, in the gorge running across the foreground of the ravine. The wrecks of the old arrastras, that were put in some 12 or 14 years ago, in Baker’s time, have given the gulch its name. It was also worked in that time for gold in placers, but with no success. It is now more favorably known through its silver mines, which are among the richest of this region. San Juan County, Colorado. 1874.”

Sometimes they took stereo photographs   like this one of Dr. Hayden looking over the shoulder of sketch artist Walter Paris.

Sketch of rock formation by a Hayden Survey artist.

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Photographs by William Henry Jackson from the U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library

Surveying the American West

In 1867 Congress authorized the first survey of the western territories of the United States. The purpose was to study the geology and natural resources of this vast area.

The Liberty Cap, Pleasant Park, Douglas County, Colorado. 1874.

Four great surveys were led by: Clarence King, graduate of Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School; Ferdinand V. Hayden, M.D., a medical doctor who had been exploring the Great Plains since 1853; John Wesley Powell, Professor of Geology at Illinois State Normal University; and Lieutenant George Wheeler, an Army Engineer. In addition to trained surveyors and geologists, these teams included artists and photographers who captured images of the areas being mapped and writers who described not only the landscape but the experiences of the team.

Photo by William Henry Jackson from the 1874 Hayden Survey.

Ouray by William Henry Jackson

 

This photo of Ouray was taken by William Henry Jackson on the porch of the Ute Agency at Los Pinos in August 1874.  Author Aylesa Farsee in William Henry Jackson: Pioneer Photographer of the West (Viking Press, 1964), said Jackson was surprised to find Ouray dressed in a tailored suit and shiny black boots. It is part of the William Henry Jackson Collection at Brigham Young University.

Published in: on October 25, 2010 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Closing Era

On the east side of Colorado’s State Capitol grounds, the lithe figure of an Indian stands over the body of a bison, an image from a past era captured in bronze. 
     The sculpture was big news in 1892. The Rocky Mountain News reported the Fortnightly Club met in the basement of the First Congregational Church on the afternoon of Feb 27, 1892. Mrs. Eliza Routt called the meeting to order at 2:30 in the afternoon. The women viewed an artist’s sketch of the statue, titled The Closing Era,” which they planned to raise $10,000 to purchase. 
     Mrs. E.M. Ashley reported a proposal to substitute Chief Ouray’s face for that of the generic Indian on the statue.
     Mrs. Ashley said, “We hope to have [it] cast in best bronze, sent to the Columbian exposition as a work of art from Colorado and, after the close of the exposition, placed permanently on our capitol grounds as a gift from the women of Denver to their state…” 
          “To those present who have lately come to make Colorado their home this may seem an insignificant change, but to the many old-timers who are present, it is an important one, for Ouray, too, was an old-timer. Twenty years ago his face was as familiar on the streets of Denver as is now the face of our governor. He was connected with and is a part of the history of Colorado…”
          Apparently, the idea did not suit sculptor Preston Powers. The completed figure bears no resemblance to Ouray but it is does effectively represent pre-settlement life in what is now Colorado. 
          Thanks to Joyce Lohse, author of First Governor, First Lady: John and Eliza Routt of Colorado, for this tidbit of history.