Lage Wernstedt photographs, circa 1916-1935  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Wernstedt, Lage
Lage Wernstedt photographs
circa 1916-1935 (inclusive)
1 linear ft.
Collection Number
XOE_CPNWS0259Wernstedt (collection)
Lage Wernstedt photographs include photographs and glass plate negatives of mountains, glaciers, rivers, and lakes in the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Wernstedt was a surveyor and cartographer for the U.S. Forest Service in the early and mid twentieth century.
Western Washington University, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Archives Building
808 25th St.
Bellingham, WA
Telephone: 360-650-7534
Access Restrictions

This collection is open to the public.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Lage Wernstedt, born in 1878 in Sweden, attended the Royal Technological School in Stockholm before immigrating to the United States in 1902. He earned a master’s degree in Forestry at Yale University and then moved to the west coast and took a job in 1908 with the United States Forest Service. For 25 years he worked as a surveyor and map-maker throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Almost single-handedly he mapped the Columbia National Forest (now the Gifford Pinchot). He also did mapping in the Willamette, Umpqua, Mt Baker, Deschutes and Chelan Forests and the Pasayten Wilderness. While engaged in his employment he became a noted photographer and mountain climber who was the first to summit many peaks in the Pacific Northwest.

In addition, Wernstedt was proficient in photogrammetry, silviculture, geography, botany, horsepacking, and parachute-assisted firefighting. He also invented aerial stereoscopic photography to produce contour maps.

Wernstedt married Adele (Dot) Wilcox in 1919 with whom he had one son, Frederick, and one daughter, Doris. The Wernstedts lived in Portland, Oregon until Lage's retirement in 1942 when they moved permanently to their summer home on Waldron Island and then Guemes Island. Wernstedt died in 1959 at the age of 81.

References: Geof Childs, “A Ridge Too Far,” Northwest Mountaineering Journal [accessed 6/18/07 ]. Lewis A. McArthur and Victor H. Flach, "We Present: Lage Wernstedt: Pioneer in Photogrammetry," Journal of Forestry, Vol. 43 (Feb. 1945).

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Lage Wernstedt Photograph collection documents some of the mountains, glaciers, rivers, and lakes in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska from 1916 to 1935. The collection primarily consists of glass plate negatives, although there are three photographs. The locations of the majority of the images are unknown; however some have been identified. They include Multnomah Falls, Oregon; the Columbia River Gorge; Reid Glacier and White River Glacier, Oregon; Mt. Hood, Oregon; Mt. Baker, Washington; Adam’s Glacier and Mount Adams Wilderness, Washington.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Lage Wernstedt photographs, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I :  Photographs and Negativescirca 1916-1935 Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Original glass plate negatives and photographs
To view item-level descriptions of images in the Lage Wernstedt collection, follow this hyperlink to the photo database on the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies' website.
Sixty-one glass plate negatives of the North Cascades
circa 1930s
Mt. Baker
Mt. Baker
North Cascades including description
Subseries 2: Scanned Images
Aerial photographs on two CDs

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Glaciers--Oregon--Photographs
  • Glaciers--Washington (State)--Adams, Mount--Photographs
  • Mountains--Alaska--Photographs
  • Mountains--Northwest, Canadian--Photographs
  • Mountains--Northwest, Pacific--Photographs
  • Geographical Names :
  • Baker, Mount (Wash.)--Photographs
  • Cascade Range--Photographs
  • Columbia River Gorge (Or. and Wash.)--Photographs
  • Hood, Mount (Or.)--Photographs
  • Mount Adams Wilderness (Wash.)--Photographs
  • Multnomah Falls (Or.)--Photographs