New Mexico and Colorado: 1910-1912.
Softcover. Oblong octavo. Measuring 10½" x 7". Black leather over stiff paper boards. 222 sepia-toned and black and white images, including more than a dozen cyanotypes and four real photo postcards, all measuring between 1¾" x 2¾" and 7" x 5", most with captions below or on the back of the photos. Good only album with the front board detached and heavy wear to the edges including chips, tears and some loss along the spine; interior photos overall near fine with some scattered small creases and a few fading cyanotypes.
The album documents a group of men establishing a ranch in or near La Plata, New Mexico between 1909 and 1912. The images show the men working the land, building a house, drilling a well, taming wild horses, and branding cattle. Photos around the area include downtown La Plata, Florida Mesa, a Mexican style home and Mormon church, indigenous ruins (now part of Aztec Ruins National Monument), and a few images of Mrs. C.W. Fisherdick, an early resident who established a trading post and post office before turning full-time to raising sheep and becoming the first vice president of the New Mexico State Farm and Livestock Bureau. The compiler also includes about a dozen photos of Navajo, Apache, and Ute Native Americans at the local ditch company, around town, and on various trains.
The men travel around the area particularly throughout the San Juan Valley of Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. On Labor Day 1910 the friends traveled to Silverton, Colorado where they photographed a drilling contest and horse race, as well as the roads in and around town, including the Imperial Hotel and City Hall. Later in the album the group travels through Silverton as part of a mule train. Images show the group packing their animals, on horseback, and passing by Silver Lake, Green Mountain, “Old Hundred Mill,” and the Hirchland Mary Mine, along the way to their destination, the railroad at Needleton. Other images in Colorado include Soda Spring, Fort Garland, Alamosa, Tacoma, Vallecito, Denver, and Durango, with shots of the Animas Valley, Perins Peak, and damage from a flood that washed away the local train bridge.
The album ends with a 1912 trip on the Rio Grande Western Railroad passing through the Apache Reservation Columbus, various depots (Osier, Pagosa), several tunnels, and a few small towns on the way to Denver, where the compiler met with friends and attended a Denver University football game against Washburn.
A wonderful album of photograph of young men establishing a ranch in New Mexico just after the turn of the century.