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American West Photographs

refer to caption


Cover photograph: A Pioneer Family in Loup Valley, Nebr., ca. 1886. Cropped from Item 134. (69-N-13606C)



By 1848 the United States had acquired official title to the contiguous land stretching westward to the Pacific, south to the Rio Grande, and north to the 49th parallel. The West had long been explored and settled, however, the opportunity for legitimate land ownership along with other historic events caused a greater number of people to travel. The religious persecution of the Mormons had led them to begin their migration westward by this time. The discovery of gold would soon draw thousands more across the country.

This transition from a "wild" western frontier into organized segments of a federal union is documented in photographs. Private citizens and Government officials took the recently developed camera on their western adventures to record nature's curious sights and the marks that they made on the landscape. It is indeed a wonder that so many photographs have survived the hardships of the western experience, because early negatives were made of large glass plates. Some of these photographs have found their way into the National Archives as record materials of several Federal bureaus and offices, such as the Bureaus of Land Management (Record Group 49), Indian Affairs (Record Group 75), Public Roads (Record Group 30), Weather (Record Group 27), Agricultural Economics (Record Group 83), and Reclamation (Record Group 115); the Fish and Wildlife Service (Record Group 22), the Geological Survey (Record Group 57), Boundary and Claims Commissions and Arbitrations (Record Group 76), Office of the Chief of Engineers (Record Group 77), the Forest Service (Record Group 95), and the Signal Corps (Record Group 111). Listed below is a selection of photographs from the records of these agencies within the holdings of the Still Picture Branch at the National Archives.

While the records of Federal agencies continue to document changes on the face of western America and the efforts toward effecting some kind of progress, an arbitrary cutoff date of 1912 has been used. At that time Arizona, the last of the contiguous 48 United States, was admitted to the Union. 

The captions in quotation marks are those of the photographer or the person who cared for the photographs before they came into the custody of the National Archives. Within quoted captions, bracketed material has been added by the compiler of this list. Information following quoted captions and all captions without quotes has been provided by the compiler. The name of the photographer together with the date of the item is given if available. 

In addition, the listings are arranged by subject--such as transportation, Native American life, military life, and mining--and thereunder chronologically. An index appears at the end of the list. The index is arranged by State, the names of which usually are the same as their former territorial designations. Some entries appear under more than one State; others could not be indexed by State.

To inquire about images within this list, please see the contact information below for the Still Picture Branch. There are no known copyright restrictions for the photos listed here. Many photographs of the American West are not included in this list. Separate inquiries about them should be as specific as possible, including names, dates, places, and other details.

The research, selection, and arrangement in preparing this select list was done by Charlotte Palmer, who also wrote these introductory remarks in 1974. Additional updates to this introduction were made as recently as May 2021.


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Interpreters of the Western Experience

National Archives Identifier Local Identifier Number Title 
530893  111-SC-85703 "Press representatives accompanying excursion party to a point on 100th meridian--275 miles west of Omaha, Nebraska [Terr.]." By John Crbutt for the Union Pacific Railroad, October 24, 1866.  
517302    57-HS-718 Staff of the Daily Reporter in front of their office. Corinne, Boxelder Co., Utah Terr. By William H. Jackson, 1869.  
523916   106-WA-145 "Fred W. Loring, in his campaign costume, with his mule `Evil Merodach.' Taken about 48 hours before he was brutally murdered by Apache--Mohaves, while en route from Prescott, A. T. [Ariz. Terr.] to San Bernadino, Cal., by stage. Loring had been with the [Wheeler] expedition as general assistant and correspondent, and was returning to the East with a mind stored with rare adventure and scenic wonders." By Timothy H. O'Sullivan, 1871.  
530796  111-SC-82307  "McKay, the San Francisco Bulletin correspondent taking notes on the battlefield near Gen. Gillem's camp. At the left are two Warm Springs scouts, on the lookout for Modocs." Modoc Indian War, in California and Oregon lava beds, 1872--73. 
519723  77-WE-11  "Distant view of Ancient Ruins in lower part of Cañon de Chelle [Ariz. Terr.] ... Showing their position in the walls and elevation above bed of cañon." A member of the Wheeler Expedition is sketching the ruins from the foreground of the photograph. By O'Sullivan, 1873.  
517983  57-PS-809  John K. Hillers at work with his negatives. In camp, Aquarius Plateau, Utah Terr. Hillers was a photographer with the John Wesley Powell Geological Survey. By Hillers, ca. 1872.  

Surveys and Expeditions

National Archives Identifier Local Identifier Number Title 
519537 77-KS-4-112 A member of Clarence King's Geological Exploration of the 40th Parallel is surveying from a rock. Shoshone Canyon and Falls, Idaho Terr., in background. By O'Sullivan, 1868.
  77-KS-3460 Timothy O'Sullivan's ambulance wagon and portable darkroom used during the King Survey rolls across the sand dunes of Carson Desert, Nev. By O'Sullivan, 1867.
516891 57-HS-282 A noon meal in Ferdinand V. Hayden's camp of the U.& Geological Survey. Red Buttes, Wyo. Terr., August 24, 1870. Hayden sits at far end of table in dark jacket; W. H. Jackson stands at far right. By Jackson.
  57-HS-414 The U.S. Geological and Geophysical Survey of the Territories, conducted by Hayden, en route with pack train upon the trail between the Yellowstone and East Fork Rivers "showing the manner in which all parties traverse these wilds." Wyo. Terr. By Jackson, 1871
517819 57-PS-471 First camp of the John Wesley Powell expedition, in the willows, Green River, Wyo. Terr. By E. 0. Beaman, 1871.
518033 57-RS-97 An overland caravan laden with boats. Robert B. Stanton's Denver, Colorado Canyon, and Pacific Railway Survey, 1889-90.
519682 77-MB-442D "Rebuilding Monument 40." By D. H. Payne, under the direction of the U.S. section of the International Boundary Commission, along the Mexican border west of the Rio Grande, 1892--94.

Paths of Persistence

National Archives Identifier Local Identifier Number Title



30-N-49-126 "Frank E. Webner, pony express rider~," ca. 1861.
530892 111-SC-85700 Directors of the Union Pacific Railroad on the 100th meridian approximately 250 miles west of Omaha, Nebr. Terr. The train in background awaits the party of Eastern capitalists, newspapermen, and other prominent figures invited by the railroad executives. By John Carbutt, October 1866.
533792 165-XS-28 "End of the Track. Near Humboldt River Canyon, Nevada." Campsite and train of the Central Pacific Railroad at foot of mountains, 1868. By Alfred A. Hart.



30-N-36-2994 Joining the tracks for the first transcontinental railroad, Promontory, Utah, Terr., 1869.
520085 79-JAG-9 "The overland stage road between Ogden and Helena crossing the Beaver Head River at Point of Rocks ... by means of a plank bridge." By Jackson, 1871.
519427 77-HQ-264-854 Column of cavalry, artillery, and wagons, commanded by Gen. George A. Custer, crossing the plains of Dakota Territory. By W. H. Illingworth, 1874 Black Hills expedition.
533171 165-FF-2F-14 Cinching and loading pack mule with flour during starvation march of Gen. George Crook's expedition into the Black Hills. By S. J. Morrow, 1876.
530894 111-SC-85704 Horsedrawn stretcher carrying a wounded man from the Battle of Slim Buttes, Dak. Terr. By Morrow, 1876.
530883 111-SC-83751 "The Rosebud, historic old Missouri River boat that went up the River from Bismark, N.D. to Coalbanks in Montana, head of navigation." ca. 1878.
533790 165-XS-7 "Mormon emigrants." Photograph of covered wagon caravan by C. W. Carter ca. 1879.
530930 111-SC-89099 Ox train used to transport supplies in Arizona Territory, 1883.
530929 111-SC-89096 "Government pack mules and packers". Photograph taken near Mexican border 1883.
530931 111-SC-89105 Co. B~ 10th Infantry~, crossing Gila River in buckboard wagons near San Carlos, Ariz. Terr., ca. 1885.
530910 111-SC-87712 Typical stage of the Concord type used by express companies on the overland trails. Soldiers guard from atop, ca. 1869.
530908 111-SC-87350 Climbing Pike's Peak, Colorado, in winter, rounding Windy Point, ca. 1890.
522970 92-F-95-19A Steamer Bessie on the Rio Grande River loading up at Fort Ringgold, Tex., en route to Brownsville, ca. 1890.
522969 92-F-79B-21 Laying tracks on the extreme front of Prescott and Eastern Railroad in Arizona Territory, ca. 1898.
519428 77-H-3155-3 Construction workers on the military road, from Fort Washakie to Buffalo Fork near the Continental Divide, drive their wagonload of equipment up the summit of To-Gwo-Tee Pass, Wyo. Terr., 1898.
  83-FB-2033 "Pieces all saved." Man with parts of his wagon and equipment on muddy floor of Canyon de Chelly, Navajo Reservation, Ariz. Terr. By D. Griffiths, September 13--19, 1903.



30-N-36791 "Two common methods of hauling water in Old Mexico and southwestern United States ... Encinal, Tex., 1905."
523019 95-FP-3-11 A rider fills his keg from a desert well 30 miles north of Palomas, Ariz. Terr. His horse refreshes himself nearby. By Stanton G. Smith, April 5, 1907.
531915 115-JM-264 "Steamer Expansion; makes weekly trips on the Yellowstone River between Mondak and Glendive, Montana." The riverboat also carried freight for the lower Yellowstone reclamation project. August 9, 1907.


(Old ID: 200-NJ-302)

Discovery party and horses on hot, slick rocks west of Navajo Mountain on their way to Rainbow Bridge, Utah. By Neil M. Judd, August 13, 1909.



30-N-7089 Automobile helped through sandy wash onto mesa, 7 miles northwest of Yuma, Calif. by A. L. Westgard, November 20, 1911.



30-N-6180 Buckboard and coaches zigzagging down the "W" Pike's Peak carriage road, Colorado, 1911.
135799045 30-N-8940 An AAA Good Roads Official on his transcontinental auto trip passes the only road sign in evidence along the dusty, desolate road near Glendive, Mont. By A. L. Westgard, July 1912.
513359 83-FB-8341 Noon camp of a surveying outfit, southwest part of Jornada Range Reserve, New Mexico, October 17, 1912.



30-N-9014 Members of the Denver Motor Club and Chamber of Commerce test-driving the Denver to Salt Lake Exposition route near De Beque, Colo. By A. L. Westgard, October 1912.



30-N-9006 Covered wagon with jackrabbit mules encounters an automobile on the trail near Big Springs, Nebr. By A. L. Westgard, 1912.  

Soldiering in the West

National Archives Identifier Local Identifier Number Title
530927 111-SC-88170 An afternoon of croquet. Ladies, gentlemen, and children on the lawn at Fort Bridger, Wyo. Terr., ca. 1873. Officers' quarters at left, hospital and men's barracks to the right in background.
530877 111-SC-83652 "Brig. Gen. Frank Wheaton, U.S. Army [standing center with white plume in hat], with officers and members of their families, Fort Walla Walla, Wash. Terr., 1874~."
519425 77-HQ-264-801 A panoramic view of the camp at Hidden Wood Creek. By Illingworth, 1874, during Custer's Black Hills expedition.
519426 77-HQ-264-847 "Our First Grizzly, killed by Gen. Custer and Col. Ludlow." By lllingworth, 1874, during Black Hills expedition.
530885 111-SC-83991 Hunting and camping party of Custer (standing in center) and invited guests. Fort A. Lincoln on the Little Heart River, Dak. Terr., 1875.
533168 165-FF-2F-2 Valentine T. McGillycuddy, surgeon and topographer on hunger march with General Crook's expedition to the Black Hills, Dak. Terr., 1876.
533170 165-FF-2F-12 "Gen. Crook's headquarters in the field at Whitewood [Dak. Terr.]. On starvation march 1876." Closeup of a camp scene shows tents improvised from wagon frames during the Black Hills expedition.
530869 111-SC-82966 "Scene of Gen. Custer's last stand, looking in the direction of the ford and the Indian village." A pile of bones on the Little Big Horn battlefield is all that remains, ca. 1877.
530878 111-SC-83709 General view of the corral and surrounding area at Camp Apache, Ariz. Terr., 1877.
531107 111-SC-98367 "Officers quarters at Ft. Rawlins, Wyoming, May 7, 1877." Two men and a woman holding a baby sit in front of the crude structure.
530921 111-SC-87810 "Execution of a soldier of the 8th Infantry at Prescott, Arizona, 1877."
530897 111-SC-85746 "Heliographic station #3 Bowie District system [Ariz. Terr.] ... Used exclusively in the Apache Indian War." ca. 1885.
530872 111-SC-83340 Sixth Cavalry training horses at Ft. Bayard, N. M., ca. 1885.
530882 111-SC-83746 "Junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers near Ft. Snelling, Minnesota. Headquarters of the 25th Infantry, ca. 1886." Romantic view showing young woman looking wistfully at the fort across the river.
530909 111-SC-87369 Troop`C,' 5th Cavalry, which arrested boomers and squatters prior to opening of Oklahoma, ca. 1888.
531100 111-SC-97321 Crude building under construction at Fort Keogh, Mont., ca. 1889.
531106 111-SC-97995 "Skating party, Ft. Keogh, Mont., about 1890."
531127 111-SC-104138 Officers in tent by fire during the Pine Ridge campaign, 1890--91.
531103 111-SC-97980 "Return of Casey's scouts from the fight at Wounded Knee, 1890--91." Soldiers on horseback plod through the snow.
530887 111-SC-85680 "Brig. Gen. Nelson A. Miles and Buffalo Bill viewing hostile Indian camp near Pine Ridge Agency, South Dakota." By Grabill, January 16, 1891.
531104 111-SC-97981 "The Good Old Days-canteen at Ft. Keogh, Mont., 1890-94;"
531105 111-SC-97983. "German Singing Society, 22nd Infantry, Ft. Keogh, May 13, 1894." An open-air songfest.
The Disinherited
National  Archives Identifier Local Identifier Number Title
531079 111-SC-95986 "Gen. William T. Sherman and commissioners in council with Indian chiefs at Ft. Laramie, Wyo.." ca. 1867-68.
533041 165-AI-2 "Drawing rations at the agency on issue day." Indians form a line while officers' wives and issuing agent stand in center with sacks of flour at Camp Supply, Indian Terr. [now Oklahoma], ca. 1871.
519139 75-lP-1-23 "Blacksmithing at the Indian training school, Forest Grove, Ore., 1882."
533175 165-FF-9G-3 Indian reception of President Chester A. Arthur at Fort Washakie, Wyo. Terr.,1883.
530797 111-SC-82320 Band of Apache Indian prisoners at rest stop beside Southern Pacific Railway, near Nueces River, Tex., September 10, 1886. Among those on their way to exile in Florida are Natchez (center front) and, to the right, Geronimo and his son in matching shirts. By A. J. McDonald.
513105 22-FM-18-1 "Makah tribe of Indians from Nee-oh Bay resting on the beach at Port Townsend [Wash.] while en route for the hop fields up Pudget-Sound. Photo by J. M. McMurry." ca. 1890.
530805 111-SC-82412 "Big Foot, leader of the Sioux, captured at the battle of Wounded Knee, S.D." Here he lies frozen on the snow-covered battlefield where he died, 1890.
530890 111-SC-85685 "Villa of Brule. The great hostile Indian camp on River Brule near Pine Ridge, S. D." By Grabill, 1891.
530919 111-SC-87800 "Shoshone Indians at Ft. Washakie, Wyoming Indian reservation .. . Chief Washakie (at left) extends his right arm." Some of the Shoshones are dancing as the soldiers look on, 1892.
531125 111-SC-104128 "Saber Exercises, Troop 'List Cavalry, Ft. Custer Mont., 1892." An Indian troop of U.S. soldiers.
531124 111-SC-104113 "Apache Indians delivering hay, Fort Apache, Ariz., 1893."
530804 111-SC-82401 "Indian Day parade, Omaha, Neb., Aug. 4, 1898."
  75-SE-5 "A Council with the Agent in 1900." Cheyenne and Arapaho lndians at Seger Colony, Okla. Terr.
519190 75-SE-39A "Indian teams hauling 60 miles to market the 1100 bushels of wheat raised by the school. It brought four cents more than wheat raised by white farmers near by and was sold for seed." Seger Colony, Okla. Terr., ca. 1900.


(Old ID: 200-NJ-301)

The William B. Douglas party, including Navaho and Paiute Indians, celebrate their discovery of Rainbow Bridge, Utah, as they eat watermelon in Paiute Canyon, 1909. By Judd.
The Law of the West
National Archives Identifier Local Identifier Number Title 
530933 111-SC-89496 "Clifton, Arizona, jail. Built about 1881 by Lezinsky Bros., original owners of the copper mines at Clifton. Contract for blasting cells in face of cliff secured by a Mexican, Margarito Barela, who was its first prisoner imprisoned for a`shooting up' celebration."
530989 111-SC-93377 "The lynching of John Heith at Tombstone, Arizona, Feb. 22, 1884. He was implicated in the robbery of the Goldwater-Castan[e]da store in Dec. 1883, wherein there were three men and one woman killed. The other five men were apprehended and legally hanged at Tombstone, March 6, 1884."
530990 111-SC-94129 "Dodge City [Kans.] Peace Commissioners. L to R: Chas. Bassett, W. H. Harris, Wyatt Earp, Luke Short, L. McLean, Bat Masterson, Neal Brown." By Camillus S. Fly, ca. 1890.
513123 22-WB-886 Wooden jailhouse in Wyoming Territory. By C. Hart Merriam, 1893.
530985 111-SC-93343 "Judge Roy Bean, the `Law West of the Pecos,' holding court at the old town of Langtry, Texas in 1900, trying a horse thief. This building was courthouse and saloon. No other peace officers in the locality at that time."
530987 111-SC-93358 "Black Jack Ketchum getting fitted with a new necktie." He is being hanged at Clayton, N. Mex. Terr., 1901.
530988 111-SC-93363 "John Sontag of the firm of `Evans & Sontag' of Calif. fame. Sontag was shot to death about Sept. 14, 1904. He was not yet dead when this picture was taken."

Life from the Land

National Archives Identifier Local Identifier Number Title
  208-CN-8644 "This picture, taken by [Eadweard] Muybridge, of San Francisco, at Buena Vista Vineyard, Sonoma, California, in the early 1870's, was captioned `Champagne Corking.' It shows a shed where various processes of disgorging, perfecting the fill and recorking were carried on. The man inspecting the labeled bottle is B. E. Auger for many years an officer and trustee of the Buena Vista Vinicultural Society. Wicker baskets shown were woven by Chinese employees of the vineyard society; the finished champagne was packed in them for the market. The box near the disgorging apparatus bears the words, `National Grape' the name of one of Buena Vista's champagnes. The building at the rear of the shed is the brandy distillery operated in conjunction with the winery."
517462 57-HS-950 "Interior of Sawtell's Ranch." Men gathered around fireplace, Henry's Lake, Fremont County, Idaho Terr., 1872. By Jackson.
516622 57-HS-15 "A Montana ranch, comfortable if not elegant, and the home of many well-to-do persons engaged in mining or stock-raising." By Jackson, 1872.
520094 79-M-1B-1 "Trail of the hide hunters." Buffalo lying dead in snow, 1872.  
520093 79-M-1B-3 "Rath & Wright's buffalo hide yard in 1878, showing 40,000 buffalo hides, Dodge City, Kansas."
530879 111-SC-83712 "Irrigation ditch under construction at San Carlos Indian Agency, Arizona-1 886."
523552 108-FAA-40B "Mormons at Mormon Dairy." Two women and their small children pose before a building at what is now known as Mormon Lake, Ariz. Terr. By E. A. Ames, 1887--89.
523555 106-FAA-92B "Some of [Aztec's] Punchers." Aztec Land & Cattle Company, Holbrook, Ariz. Terr. By Ames, 1877--89.
559326 PRAIT-M10-6 "Lamon's log cabin, the first built in Yosemite Valley, Calif." Their work completed, two men sit on stumps in front of the finished product, ca. 1895.
530947 111-SC-89608 A family group poses with dog, Indian domestic, and young children outside a log cabin in New Mexico Territory, ca. 1895.
516377 48-RST-3B-1 "Cattle Ranch, Graham Co. Ariz." Dude with his lassoed steer ca. 1896--97.
516434 48-RST-7B-3 "Oklahoma Cotton Field." Overseer and Negro cottonpickers, ca. 1897--98.
516378 48-RST-3B-6 "Cattle Round Up." Close view of a steer downed for branding, ca. 1896--99, Arizona Territory.
516435 48-RST-7B-4 "Residence of G. L. Rule Feb. 18, 1898. Have lived here since Sept. 1893." Family stands in foreground; sod building and cabin in background, Arizona Territory.
516436 48-RST-7B-23 "Picking cherries on an Oklahoma Fruit Ranch." A baby in a stroller watches the busy family at work, ca. 1900. Copy of halftone.
516437 48-RST-7B-28 "Gathering the Fruits of an Oklahoma Farm--Apples, Peaches, Plums, Pears, Grapes, and Melons." Children at their chores, ca. 1900.
533791 165-XS-27 Roundup on the Sherman Ranch, Genesee, Kans. Cowboy with lasso readied looks beyond the herd on the open range to his fellow cowpunchers waiting on the horizon, ca. 1902.
513124 22-WB-6681 Panoramic view of California wheatfield, windmill, and ranch buildings at foot of mountains. By C. Hart Merriam, 1903.
531563 115-JAE-239 "Inside view of Cold Springs reservoir." A panoramic view of men at work on the Umatilla reclamation project in Oregon. Horsedrawn carts, a train, and a crane are diverse technological applications in this irrigation project. By William J. Lubken, September 17, 1907.
531560 115-JAA-2667 "Trappers and hunters in the Four Peaks country on Brown's Basin [Ariz. Terr.]. Two Crab Tree boys, their father and the dogs and burrows [sic] which they hunt with. Their cabin is located on Long Creek, at the entrance of Hell's Hip Pocket in Brown's Basin, between Four Peaks and Salt River." By Lubken, January 1908.
523028 95-G-76223 Buffalo grazing near buffalo yards, Wichita National Forest, Okla., March 11, 1908.
531559 115-JA-176 "Turning over first sod on homestead." Sun River Mont. By Lubken, November 5, 1908.
531562 115-JAD-224 "Hancock homestead. Settler from Benson, Minn." Little girl feeding chickens against background of house, buckboard wagon, and ridge of plateau, Sun River, Mont. By Lubken, June 23, 1910.

Life by the Sea

National  Archives Identifier Local Identifier Number Title
513088 22-FA-197 "N. P. Railway, Tacoma [Wash. Terr.] Shipping first cargo of halibut caught in Puget Sounds by crew of schooner Oscar and Hattie. September 20, 1888." By N. B. Miller.
513085 22-FA-139 "Husking shrimps--treading out dried shrimps, San Francisco Bay, 1888--89." By Charles H. Townsend.
513087 22-FA-148 "Chinese drying shrimps and mending nets, ca. 1889." San Francisco Bay By Townsend.
513086 22-FA-145 View of Chinese fishing camp against a hillside. Drying grounds, nets cast out to sea, and shanties hugging the shoreline. Point San Pedro, San Francisco Bay, ca. 1889. By Townsend.
513082 22-CA-223 "[Reeling] up a gill net. To dry." Near San Francisco, ca. 1891.
513107 22-MDF-3 Italian fishermen mending nets on wharf at foot of Union Street in San Francisco. Boats are lined up on the wharf for painting and repairs, ca. 1891. By Townsend.
513106 22-MDF-2 Fishermen's Wharf at foot of Union Street, San Francisco. Circular crab nets and large fish nets are spread out to dry. A three--masted ship is on distant horizon and small feluccas thrust protruding masts and graffs above the wharf's railing, ca. 1891. By Townsend.
520072 79-HPA-3-22 "On the wharves, San Francisco, 1900." Moored schooners' masts form a wall around the dock. By Henry G. Peabody.
513093 22-FFC-756 "Sardine Industry: Wharf and sun dry process." Monterey, Calif., ca. 1908.
513094 22-FFB-892 "Baird, Calif. Hauling seine." ca. 1908.

Bonanzas from the Earth

National Archives Identifier Local Identifier Number Title
519506 77-KN-127 Goldhill, Nev. General view of the town and mines. By O'Sullivan, 1867--68.
519484 77-KN-83 Orena, Nev., Montezuma silver smelting works. Ox teams and men at rest. By O'Sullivan, 1867.
519527 77-KS-1-15 Miner working inside the Comstock Mine, Virginia City, Nev. Taken by O'Sullivan using the glare of burning magnesium for a flash of light, 1867--68.
519526 77-KS-1-13 Cars coming out of shaft, Comstock Mine, Virginia City, Nev. By O'Sullivan, 1867-68.
516669 57-HS-62 Hydraulic gold mining near Virginia City, Mont. Terr. A flume is laid upon bedrock in the bottom of Alder Gulch and the waters of the creek brought through it, carrying the auriferous sand. The sides of the gulch are washed away into sluiceboxes where the gold is collected. By Jackson, 1871.
517433 57-HS-909 Panning for gold near Virginia City, Mont. Terr. By Jackson, 1871.
517434 57-HS-910 Man with a rocker cradling for gold near Virginia City, Mont. Terr. By Jackson, 1871.
517451 57-HS-932 Quarrying granite for the Mormon Temple, Utah Territory. The ground is strewn with boulders and detached masses of granite, which have fallen from the walls of Cottonwood Canyon. The quarrying consists of splitting up the blocks. 1872.
517164 57-HS-566 "Camp of the Miners of the North Star and Mountaineer Lodes, on King Solomon Mountain, above Cunningham Gulch." By Jackson, 1875, in San Juan County, Colo. Terr.
533169 165-FF-2F-10 Mining crew drifting for gold below discovery point, Deadwood, Dak. Terr. Bystanders pose for photographer S. J. Morrow, ca. 1876.
516372 48-RST-4D-1 Ore teams on a dusty road, Pinal Co., Ariz. Terr., ca. 1897.
516373 48-RST-4D-12 Panoramic view of reduction works and copper mines, Globe, Ariz. Terr., ca. 1898--99.
516380 48-RST-5A-2 Loading coal in the strip pits, Wilburton, Indian Terr. [Oklahoma], ca. 1898.
  64-CN-7318 The Mesabi Range. A panoramic view of the Shenango iron mine, ca. 1910. Beginning in 1892, the rich Mesabi Range in northern Minnesota was a major source of high--grade iron ore.

The Scramble for Newly Opened Lands

National Archives Identifier Local Identifier Number Title
518267 69-N-13606C "The Covered Wagon of the Great Western Migration. 1886 in Loup Valley, Nebr." A family poses with the wagon in which they live and travel daily during their pursuit of a homestead.
516443 48-RST-7B-79 "Looking For A Town Lot." Guthrie, Ind. Terr. [Oklahoma], ca. 1889.
516442 48-RST-7B-77 "Holding Down A Lot In Guthrie." By C. P. Rich, ca. 1889.
516441 48-RST-7B-76 "First Blacksmith Shop in Guthrie." ca. 1889.
516453 49-AR-18 "Boomers Camp. Arkansas Cty., Kan. Waiting For the Strip To Open Mar. 1st, 1893."
516454 49-AR-19b "The Nine Booths at Orlando [Okla. Terr.] Sept. 15th, (18)'93, Where 36,000 Registered."
516452 49-AR-7 "First train [and wagons] leaving the line north of Orlando For Perry [Okla. Terr.], Sept. 16, 1893."
516458 49-AR-32 "In Line At The land Office, Perry, Sept. 23, 1893. 9 o'clock A.M. waiting to file."
516456 49-AR-28 "Hells Half--Acre, Perry, 0.(kla). T(err)., 93."
516455 49-AR-22 "Wild West Hotel, Calamity Av., Perry, 0.T., Sept. 93."
516460 49-AR-36 W. H. McCoy's claim, Perry, Okla. Terr., October 1, 1893.
516459 49-AR-35 "Clerical force & U.S. Deputy Marshalls, U.S. Land Office, Perry, Okla. Ter. Oct. 12, 1893."
516445 48-RST-7B-81 "Anadarko Townsite [Okla. Terr.] Aug. 6, [1901]--a cornfield."
516446 48-RST-7B-86 Anadarko Townsite, Okla. Terr., August 8, 1901. Tent city in the cornfield.
516444 48-RST-7B-80 Anadarko Townsite, August 8, 1901. Auction in progress in lumber company booth. Temporary bank buildings and the beginnings of a lodging house nearby.
516431 48-RST-7-17 "Bankers' and Railroad Men's Party on Blue Grass Lawn at Calexico." The California Development Co. was in hopes that after this campout the men would invest in Imperial Valley schemes, ca. 1904.
516432 48-RST-7-25 "First Auction Sale of Lots at Imperial April 12, 1904." Inside the tent with the California Development Co. and hopeful landowners.
Towns out of Dust and Rock
National Archives Identifier Local Identifier Number Title
533174 165-FF-7B-1 "East Side of Plaza, Santa Fe, N. M." 1866.
519490 77-KN-93 1/2 View of Virginia City, Nev. , from a nearby hillside, 1867--68. By O'Sullivan.
517300 57-HS-716 "Street view in Corinne, Boxelder Co., Utah." Close-up view of several shops. By Jackson, 1869.
531115 111-SC-100867 "Cheyenne, Wyo., 1876." General view of this town on the Oregon Trail.
533172 165-FF-2F-15 "Deadwood in 1876." General view of the Dakota Territory gold rush town from a hillside above. By S. J. Morrow.
531114 111-SC-100863 "Gayville in Deadwood Gulch, Black Hills [Dak. Terr.], 1876." Log cabins under construction at the foot of a hillside.
516449 48-RST-8D-1 "Gardiner Park Co., Montana, Looking North East, 1887." A onesided street backed up to rocky foothills.
530906 111-SC-87337 Oklahoma City, lnd. Terr., in 1889 showing U.S. Government dwellings, water tank, railroad station, hotel, post office and store, stage stables, tents of 13th Infantry detachment guarding lumber and an uncompleted cemetery.
516374 48-RST-3A-12 "Birds Eye View of Winslow, looking East." Atlantic and Pacific Railway cars on converging tracks in the foreground of the arid Arizona terrain, ca. 1890.
516439 48-RST-7B-41 "Harrison Ave Guthrie [Okla. Terr.] looking east from 1st St., May, (18)'93."
540099 233-TRP-64 "General view of North West Round Pond from Court House Square." Panoramic view of Oklahoma Territory flatlands. By Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kennett, January 1894.
513279 27-S-2 "Sand storm that passed over Midland, Texas, February 20, 1894 at 6:00 p.m." Windmills and houses visible just below the whirling sand.
516375 48-RST-3A-18 "Nogales, Santa Cruz Co. Showing boundary line between Arizona and Mexico." General view of center of town from hillside, looking west along International Street, ca. 1898-1899. By W I Neumann.
516371 48-RST-4B-1 7 Flagstaff, Ariz. Terr. Street view of post office, other buildings, and people, with mountains in background, ca. 1899. By G. Ben Wittick,
516433 48-RST-7-97A "City of Imperial, from ice plant water tank, July 9, 1904." Panoramic view.
516440 48-RST-7B-69 "Cleveland. The City of Oil Derricks." Panoramic view of an Oklahoma Territory town a year after the discovery of oil there. By Dick Man, 1905.
523029 95-G-77538 Tent town in a mountain valley in Idaho. By Burt L. Wheeler November 1909.

Old Institutions in New Surroundings

National Archives Identifier Local Identifier Number Title
530935 111-SC-89530 "Hovey's Dance Hall at Clifton, Arizona. Taken 1884. Anton Muzzonvich next to tree."
530881 111-SC-83730 "Officers and guests lunch under giant cactus near Fort Thomas, Arizona." February 18, 1886.
523551 106-FAA-110 "An Arizona Poker Party, at John Doyle's ranch; Doyle, Judge Brown, and the Prof. [Burrison] at play." By E A. Ames, ca. 1887-89.
523556 106-FAA-102 "Target shooting, in Arizona." John Doyle's ranch, ca. 1887-89. By Ames.
516457 49-AR-31 "First water works of Perry [Okla. Terr.]. Martin Bro's. Prop., Oct. 10th, 93."
516438 48-RST-7B-36 "Guthrie Cotton Market." Peak of trading on Harrison Avenue is captured by Photographer Swearingen, after 1893.
540094 233-TRP-47 Close-up view of Broadway Street, Round Pond, Okla. Terr. Shopkeepers and customers pose in doorways. By Kennett, January 1894.
540090 233-TRP-25 At work in McDonald's Brickyard. Round Pond, Okla. Terr. By Kennett, January 1894.
540096 233-TRP-50 In front of the Central Hotel, Round Pond, Okla. Terr. By Kennett, January 1894.
540095 233-TRP-48 In the furniture and undertaking business, Broadway Street, Round Pond, Okla. Terr. By Kennett, January 1894.
540093 233-TRP-46 "[The] English Kitchen, meals 20 cts. Broadway St., Round Pond, Okla." By Kennett, January 1894.
540091 233-TRP-42 "Claims bought and sold. U.S. Land Office practice--contests a specialty." Attorneys and surveyors in front of office, west of Court House Square, Round Pond, Okla. Terr. By Kennett, January 1894.
540092 233-TRP-43 Gathered around the kegs at Kelley's saloon "The Bijou." Round Pond, Okla. Terr. By Kennett, January 1894.
516448 48-RST-7B-97 Teacher and children in front of sod schoolhouse. Woods Co., Okla. Terr., ca. 1895.
516447 48RST-7B-95 "Territorial University at Norman." Oklahoma Terr., ca. 1897-98.
523021 95-FRC-366 "A Mesa Creek Valley rancher's daughter en route to school." The little girl on her burro takes leave of her mother for the day. Battlement Mesa Reserve, Colo. By George B. Sudworth, ca. 1898.
516404 48-RST-5B-10 "Sunday school, Indians and white[s]." Indian Territory [Oklahoma], ca. 1900.
530986 111-SC-93344 "Orient Saloon at Bisbee, Arizona... Faro game in full blast. Recognized: Left to right-Tony Downs (standing with derby) part owner; Doyle, a concert hall singer at corner of table, sitting, with derby; back of him standing is Dutch Kid; Sleepy Dick, the porter, to right with light felt; Charlie Bassett, with soft felt hat in rear next to wall; dealer is Johnny Murphy, and Smiley Lewis in silk hat." By C. 5. Fly, ca. 1900.
520071 79-HPA-1-47 "Cliff House and Seal Rocks." An outing at the beach in San Francisco. By Peabody, 1902.
532037 115-JQ-390 "Saloons and disreputable places of Hazen [Nev.] June 24, 1905." By Lubken.
532039 115-JT-385 "Her daily duty." Cow with seven small boys on her back poses in front of schoolhouse in Okanogan, Wash. By Frank Matsura, 1907.
523027 95-G-75383 Children in their Sunday clothes pose in front of adobe church, Alamo National Forest, N. Mex. Terr. [now Lincoln National Forest]. By A. M. Neal, May 13, 1908.



30-N-2803 Townspeople of Ehrenburg, Ariz. Terr., greet a stranger in an automobile on his pioneer cross country tour. Saloon in background. By A. L. Westgard, ca. 1911.


Celebration of the American Spirit

National Archives Identifier Local Identifier Number Title 


(Old ID: 200-M-112)

Civil War Veterans, Fourth of July or Decoration Day, Ortonville, Minnesota. On review in center of town, ca. 1880.
533173 165-FF-6G-6 "Parade of U.S. Infantry through Kearney, Nebraska, 1888."
516430 48-RST-5D-1 "In Wind Cave, S.D. 350 feet below the surface at Odd Fellows' Hall." William Jennings Bryan and Governor Lee in center front of group. By W. R. Cross, ca. 1897.
516370 48-RST-8B-1 "Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Yellowstone National Park." American flags flap in the breeze as holiday passengers arrive. The stage coaches are met by other vacationers on the hotel veranda. By F. Jay Haynes, ca. 1899.
559373 SHELL-M104-104 "Col. Roosevelt, Reno, Nev." Campaigning from an open touring car decorated with American flags, ca. 1910. Theodore Roosevelt is No. 3; his chauffeur is at the crank.
531561 115-JAA-2267 "Dedication ceremonies of Roosevelt dam [Ariz. Terr.], Col. Roosevelt speaking, March 18, 1911." By Lubken.


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