San Luis Valley and Lake, Sierra Blanca
Mounted albumen print of the San Luis Valley, Colorado, circa 1870-1880. The image shows a partially flooded valley with the Sierra Blanca range in the background.
The Hayden Survey expeditions, led by Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden, mapped and documented much of the American West between 1867 and 1878. This photograph is an early example of a photo print used to highlight Hayden's findings for the US Geological Survey of the Territories. William Henry Jackson served as a photographer on multiple expeditions in the 1870s, and used many views like this one to secure his rise as an influential photographer on the national stage. Jackson would go on to operate his own photo studio in Denver between 1879 and 1893, take commission work from major railroad companies, and join the Detroit Publishing Company in 1897.
This photograph is part of a larger collection taken by William Henry Jackson, which encompasses multiple donations to History Colorado. In 1939, Jackson gave several of his original negatives and prints to the Edison Institute in Dearborn, Michigan starting in 1939. In 1949, the Institute gave the Colorado Historical Society (now History Colorado) many of the negatives and copy prints that represented sites geographically West of the Mississippi River. Photographs East of the Mississippi were transferred from the Edison Institute and Colorado Historical Society to the Library of Congress around the same year.
Printed on recto: "Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey of the Territories. Prof. F.V. Hayden in charge." Printed from original negative: "121. San Luis Valley and Lake, Sierra Blanca". Handwritten on recto: "WH Jackson Phot. 1874". Stamped on recto: "State Historical and Natural History Society, Denver, Colorado". Handwritten on verso: "San Luis Valley, c.c., P.P. Acc. no. 154", "Neg # F-26,631", "OH526-10"