George and Louisa Frye family papers, circa 1860-1946  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
George and Louisa Frye family
Title
George and Louisa Frye family papers
Dates
circa 1860-1946 (inclusive)
Quantity
4 boxes, ( 1.8 cubic feet)
Collection Number
1990.45
Summary
Photographs, albums, scrapbooks, clippings and documents relating to early Seattle history and pioneer families
Repository
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
98108
Telephone: 206-324-1126
Fax: 206-780-1533
library@mohai.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public by appointment.

Languages
English.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

George Frederick Frye (1833-1912) was born in Germany and immigrated to Seattle in 1853 when he was 20 years old. He was first employed by Henry Yesler at his steam sawmill, and soon became friends with the Seattle pioneer family of Arthur Armstrong Denny (1822-1899) and Mary Ann Boren Denny (1822-1910). The Denny party had arrived at Alki Point on Elliott Bay in 1851, after traveling from Illinois to Oregon by wagon train with their young daughters Louisa Catherine (1844-1924) and Margaret Lenora (1847-1915). The Denny sons Rolland Hershel (1851-1939), Orion O. (1853-1919) and Charles Latimer (1861-1919) were born in Seattle. Arthur Armstrong Denny became one of Seattle’s wealthiest citizens and served as a member of the territorial legislature in Washington D.C.

Louisa Catherine Denny had just turned 17 when she and George F. Frye were married in 1860. Together they had six children: James Marion Frye (1861-1905), Marie Louise Frye Kirk (1864-1937), Sophie Frye Bass (1867-1947), George Arthur Frye (1869-1893), Roberta Gertrude Frye Watt (1875-1963), and Elizabeth Helen Frye Bogue (1878-1961). The family resided at 1306 Madison Street.

George and Louisa Frye were active business partners and started a number of successful early Seattle companies. They built the first established theater, Frye’s Opera House, located at First Avenue and Lenora Street. George Frye also organized Seattle’s first brass band. From 1870 to 1874, George Frye was the purser and later captain of the J.B. Libby , a steamer that delivered mail in northern Puget Sound.

George Frye personally managed the construction of the Louisa C. Frye Hotel when he was in his late seventies. The hotel is located in Pioneer Square at Third Avenue and Yesler Way. Designed by architects Charles Herbert Bebb (1856-1942) and Louis Leonard Mendel (1867-1940), it was the finest hotel north of San Francisco when it opened in 1911. At eleven stories, it was one of the tallest of Seattle’s new steel frame skyscrapers, with an ornate Italian Renaissance design and an interior finish of mahogany and marble. It contained 350 deluxe rooms with exterior window views, 200 with private baths. President Theodore Roosevelt was a guest at the grand opening. Shortly after the Louisa C. Frye Hotel opened in 1911, George Frye died. Louisa Frye continued to manage the hotel and their other business interests until her death in 1924.

In the early 1970s the hotel was converted into low-income apartments. In 1997, the residents were at risk of being displaced by private development and signed a petition to Seattle Mayor Norm Rice to save their homes. The Low Income Housing Institute purchased the hotel and renovated the lobby and 234 units. The Frye Apartments continues to serve homeless and low-income households.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The photographs in the collection include early Seattle scenes and images of pioneer families and Native Americans. Outdoor photographs and formal portraits by noted photographers such as Edward S. Curtis depict the Arthur Armstrong Denny family and the family of George Frederick and Louisa Catherine Frye. A series of photographs of the Frye Hotel includes views of the furnished guest rooms, lobby, front desk, elevator, dining room and coffee shop. A bound album contains additional photographs of Denny and Frye family members, some identified.

The memorial scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings and articles relating to the obituaries and estates of the Denny and Frye families. A separate memorial album is dedicated to George H. Fortson, the husband of Mary Louise Frye. A carte de visite album owned by Margaret Lenora Denny contains photographs taken when Arthur Denny served as a representative in Washington D.C. Photographers include Alex Gardner and Matthew Brady. Included in the album is a photograph of Arthur Denny in front of the Dexter Horton Bank in Seattle, and of Father Chirouse with Indian pupils at Tulalip.

The Sophie Frye Bass personal papers include correspondence, maps, research data, sketches and annotated story drafts. A collection of unsigned, typewritten poems is attributed to Sophie Frye Bass.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format by clicking on the camera icons in the inventory below.

Restrictions on Use

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

George and Louisa Frye family papers, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Photographs,  circa 1864-1945Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
1990.45.1: Louisa Catherine (Denny) Frye in a carriage near Madison Street house
Handwritten caption on back: Louisa C. Frye in backyard of Madison St. House
circa 1900
1/2
1990.45.2:   Group of seven people sitting in automobile
Handwritten identifications on back: Sophie Frye Bass, George Frederick Frye, and Louisa Catherine Frye
circa 1908
1/3
1990.45.3: Studio portrait of the Denny family
Handwritten identifications on back: Rolland Hershal Denny, Orion Orvil Denny, Charles Latimer Denny, Arthur Wilson Denny, Arthur Armstrong Denny, Margaret Lenora Denny, Louisa Catherine Denny, Mary Anne Boren Denny
circa 1900
1/4
1990.45.4: Indian encampment on the shore of Lake Washington at Montlake
Dewet (photographer)
Handwritten identification on front: Lewis Knighton
1889
1/5
1990.45.5: Copy of portrait of Chief Sealth
1864
1/5
1990.45.6: Copy of portrait of Princess Angeline
1896
1/6
1990.45.7: Chief Sealth statue by John Wehn
Located at Tilikum Place, 2701 5th Ave. Seattle
circa 1915
1/7
1990.45.8: David Denny cabin at Gold Creek mine
Lindsley, Lawrence Denny, 1878-1975 (photographer)
Handwritten note from Lawrence D. Lindsley to Roberta on back, in part: This is a photo of the last cabin Grandpa [David] Denny worked on - he cut the shakes for the roof. Gold Creek Mines where we all worked and hoped.
circa 1900
1/8
1990.45.9: Street view of Yesler's Pavilion on First and Cherry Street after big snow storm
1880 January 9
1/9
1990.45.10: Portrait of Queen Angeline
McKnight Photo
circa 1900
1/10
1990.45.11: Native American family with young children picking hops
Wilse, Anders Beer, 1865-1949 (photographer)
1899
1/11
1990.45.12: Baskets filled with harvested hops
Wilse, Anders Beer, 1865-1949 (photographer)
1899
1/12
1990.45.13: Field view of hops vines growing on wooden poles
Wilse, Anders Beer, 1865-1949 (photographer)
1899
1/13
1990.45.14: Indian Camp on Ballast Island, view of tent encampment along railroad tracks
Wilse, Anders Beer, 1865-1949 (photographer)
circa 1900
1/14
1990.45.15: Native American woodworker on the beach
Wilse, Anders Beer, 1865-1949 (photographer)
Caption on photo: The Toymaker
circa 1900
1/15
1990.45.16: Native American covered with blanket, seated in front of display of baskets, shells, feathers and artifacts
circa 1900
1/16
1990.45.17: Native American woman on the beach with group
circa 1900
1/17
1990.45.18: Native American man and woman on horseback
circa 1900
1/18
1990.45.19:   Native American seated watching ceremony
Anderson, Oliver P. (Oliver Phelps) (photographer)
Handwritten on mount: Listening to the "WaWa Club"
1899
1/19
1990.45.20:   Chinese worker on cannery wharf filled with salmon
Wilse, Anders Beer, 1865-1949 (photographer)
circa 1900
1/20
1990.45.21: Native American wood carver with small totems
Wilse, Anders Beer, 1865-1949 (photographer)
circa 1900
1/21
1990.45.22: Three men in canoe at Cape Flattery, Tatoosh lighthouse in distance
Photographic postcard
circa 1900
1/21
1990.45.23: Native American group with whale on beach at Neah Bay
Curtis, Asahel, 1874-1941 (photographer)
Caption on photo: Landing whale Neah BayPhotographic postcard
circa 1900
drawer
5A.2 Drawer 4
1990.45.24:   Fishing fleet moored at Ballard Terminal
Webster & Stevens (photographer)
Photographic postcard
1918
Box/Folder
1/21
1990.45.25: Group at Chief Sealth's grave
Identifications handwritten on verso: Mrs. Watt, Mrs. Bass, Miss Beal, Mr. Clark, Edith Williams, Mrs. Temple, Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Thompson, Barbara Bowden, Marya Nordhoff, Rosemary Bowden, Nancy Nordhoff
1934 August 3
1/21
1990.45.26: Princess Angeline
circa 1890
1/22
1990.45.27: James Marion Frye, copy of steel engraving
circa 1890
1/23
1990.45.28:   Mary Anne Boren Denny
M.S. McClaire. Seattle, W.T. (photographer)
circa 1885
Box
4
1990.45.29: Arthur A. Denny as delegate to U.S. Congress
Heavily hand-colored photograph in oval frame.
1866
Box/Folder
1/24
George H. Fortson, Captain 1st Washington Volunteers
Fortson was the husband of Mary Louise Frye.
1898
1/25
1990.45.33: George H. Fortson in Washington Volunteers uniform
Three quarter view in same uniform as in 1990.45.32, and with Washington Volunteers uniform coat and hat.
1898
1/26
George H. Fortson in Washington Volunteers uniform, San Francisco
Haussler, San Francisco (photographer)
1898
1/28
1990.45.36:   Mary Louise Frye Fortson
Haussler, San Francisco (photographer)
circa 1898
1/29
1990.45.37: Map of downtown Seattle with Frye Hotel indicated
circa 1912
1/29
1990.45.38: Frye Hotel promotional postcard with photo of hotel on front
Card advertises "Roomy rooms with Bath $2, $1.50 without Bath."
circa 1912
1/29
1990.45.39: Frye Hotel exterior view
circa 1912
1/29
1990.45.41:   Frye Hotel lobby and reception desk
S.D. Owens, Seattle (photographer)
circa 1948
1/29
1990.45.42: Frye Hotel lobby and elevator
Stamped on back: Hotel Frye, Seattle, Wash.
circa 1940
1/29
1990.45.43: Frye Hotel lobby
Depue, Morgan & Co., Inc., Seattle (photographer)
circa 1923
1/29
1990.45.44:   Frye Hotel bathroom
Stamped on back: Hotel Frye, Seattle, Wash.
circa 1940
1/29
1990.45.45: Business office of Louisa Catherine (Denny) Frye at Frye Hotel
Walter P. Miller , Seattle (photographer)
circa 1920
1/29
1990.45.46:   Guest room with two beds, Frye Hotel
Frank H. Nowell , Seattle (photographer)
circa 1912
1/29
1990.45.48: Frye Hotel lobby with seated guests
Walter P. Miller , Seattle (photographer)
circa 1920
1/29
1990.45.49:   Guest room with one bed, Frye Hotel
Depue, Morgan & Co., Inc., Seattle (photographer)
circa 1923
1/29
1990.45.50: Guest room with two beds, Frye Hotel
S.D. Owens, Seattle (photographer)
circa 1945
1/29
1990.45.51: Guest room with two beds, Frye Hotel
Stamped on back: Hotel Frye, Seattle, Wash.
circa 1940
1/29
1990.45.52: Guest room with one bed, Frye Hotel
Frank H. Nowell , Seattle (photographer)
Handwritten on back: Room 910
circa 1912
1/29
1990.45.53: Frye Hotel lobby
Stamped on back: Hotel Frye, Seattle, Wash.
circa 1940
1/29
1990.45.54: Guest room with one bed, Frye Hotel
Stamped on back: Hotel Frye, Seattle, Wash.
circa 1940
1/29
1990.45.55: Dining room, Frye Hotel
Stamped on back: Hotel Frye, Seattle, Wash.
circa 1940
1/29
1990.45.56: Coffee shop, Frye Hotel
Stamped on back: Hotel Frye, Seattle, Wash.
circa 1940
1/29
1990.45.57: Coffee shop, Frye Hotel
S.D. Owens, Seattle (photographer)
circa 1945
1/29
1990.45.58: Front desk and lobby, Frye Hotel
circa 1923
1/29
1990.45.59: Banquet room, Frye Hotel
S.D. Owens, Seattle (photographer)
circa 1945
1/29
1990.45.61:   Street entrance to Frye Hotel parking garage
S.D. Owens, Seattle (photographer)
circa 1948
1/29
1990.45.62: Dining room, Frye Hotel
circa 1920
1/29
1990.45.63: Frye Hotel lobby and elevator
S.D. Owens, Seattle (photographer)
circa 1945
1/31-1/36
1990.45.66-.72:   Louisa Catherine (Denny) Frye
E.S. Curtis (photographer)
circa 1910
1/37
1990.45.73: Elizabeth Frye Bogue in wedding dress
Handwritten on back: Elizabeth Frye, daughter of Louisa C. Frye. Wedding dress, married Virgil Newton Bogue.
circa 1907
1/38
1990.45.74: Elizabeth Frye Bogue
Braas, Seattle (photographer)
1901 January 19
1/39
1990.45.75:   Elizabeth Frye Bogue
E.S. Curtis, Seattle (photographer)
circa 1900
1/40
1990.45.76:   Portrait of the four daughters of George and Louisa Frye
Elizabeth Frye Bogue, Mary Louisa Frye Fortson Kirk, Sophie Frye Bass, Roberta Frye Watt
1895
1/41
1990.45.77: Elizabeth Frye Bogue
Myers (photographer)
circa 1900
1/42
1990.45.78: Sara Latimer Boren Denny, married to John Denny
Wife of John Denny, Sarah Boren Denny was mother to Mary Ann Boren Denny, Louisa Boren Denny and Carson Boren.
circa 1880
1/43-1/44
1990.45.79-.82:   George Frederick Frye
James & Bushnell, Seattle (photographer)
circa 1910
1/45
1990.45.83: Mary Ann Boren Denny, wife of Arthur Armstrong Denny
1908
1/46
1990.45.84: Arthur Armstrong Denny, father of Louisa Catherine
circa 1890
Box
4
1990.45.85: Mary Ann Boren Denny
Frank LaRoche, Seattle (photographer)
circa 1900
Box/Folder
1/47
1990.45.86: Grace and Arthur Denny, children of Arthur Wilson Denny
Frank LaRoche, Seattle (photographer)
circa 1900
1/48
1990.45.87: Louisa Catherine Denny, Lenora Denny, Rolland Denny, and Orion Denny as children
Two photos reproduced in collage, with photo of Louisa and Lenora dated 1850, and that of Rolland and Orion dated 1857.
1850; 1857
1/49
1990.45.88:   Florence Denny Helliker, daughter of Rolland Denny
E.S. Curtis, Seattle (photographer)
1898
1/50
1990.45.89:  Group in front of Alki Point monument
Identifications on back of photo: (l to r) Louisa Catherine (Denny) Frye, Carson D. Boren, Mary Ann Denny, Rolland Denny, Mary Lou Sinclair
1905 November 13
1/51
1990.45.90: Schoolchildren and teacher in front of schoolhouse
Asahel Curtis (photographer)
Identifications of back of photo: Lizzie Mitchell, Ollie Bartholomew, Abbie Jones, George Dittenmeyer, William Russell, Pierre Ferry, Lillie White, Emma Pritchard, Fredriea Win, Jua Hubbert, Norman Booth, Emmet Russell, Haidie Gosch, Emma Win, Lillie Piper, Matt Nunan, Frank McRae, Bert Graves, Professor E.S. Ingraham, teacher
circa 1875
1/52 circa 1895
1/53
1990.45.92:   Women in carriage at Stanley Park, Vancouver BC
Identifications on back of photo: Mary Ann Boren, L.L. Bacon, Agnes Bacon, Anne Williams, Elizabeth F. Bogue, Sophie Frye, Lilly Maitland, Lenora Denny
1908 August
1/54
1990.45.93: Photo of drawing of log cabin, first post office in Seattle
1853
1/55
1990.45.94: Christmas card from 1851 photograph of Alki Point cabin, sent by Laurence Denny Lindsay, grandson of David T. Denny
1951
1/56
1990.45.95: Outdoor group photograph of members of the National League for Women's Services, WWI
Includes separate sheet with handwritten list of names
circa 1918
1/57 circa 1900
1/58
1990.45.97: Dr. James B. Eagleson
Half-tone printed page with photo of Seattle doctor on patterned background. James B. Eagleson (1862-1928) was head of a base hospital during World War I.
circa 1918

Photograph albums, circa 1860-1920Return to Top

3 photograph albums
Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/30
1990.45.65:  Album of Frye Hotel interior views
Walter P. Miller , Seattle (photographer)
5 photographs on linen backing7.5 x 9.5 in. each
Album with black leather cover and three-hole binding, containing photographs of the Frye Hotel lobby, meeting room, lounge with piano, and hotel dining room.
circa 1920
Box
2
1990.45.30:  Cartes de visite album
This cartes de visite album was owned by Margaret Lenora Denny. It includes portraits which are probably of people in Washington, D.C. when Arthur Denny served as a representative. Included in the album is a photo of Arthur Denny and Rolland Herschel Denny in front of Dexter Horton Bank in Seattle, and of Father Chirouse and Indian pupils at Tulalip.
circa 1880
2
1990.45.31: Cartes de visite and tintype album
Presented to Louisa C. Frye from George Frye, this album includes portraits of Denny and Frye family members, some identified.
circa 1860

Scrapbooks, circa 1900Return to Top

4 scrapbooks
Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
3/1-13
1990.45.98: Capt. George Haley Fortson memorial scrapbook
Clippings, correspondence and memorabilia relating to the life and death of George Haley Fortson. Includes 12 folders of loose materials removed from the scrapbook.
circa 1900
3/14
1990.45.99: Arthur A. Denny family memorial scrapbook
Newspaper clippings, obituaries and news articles relating to members of the Denny family.
circa 1900
3/15
1990.45.100: Arthur A. Denny memorial scrapbook
Obituaries and news stories relating to Arthur A. Denny.
1899

Papers, 1890-1946Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
3/16
1990.45.101: Seattle Historical Society membership list, meeting notes, lists of donations
1942-1945
3/17
1990.45.102: Sophie Frye Bass personal files, including sketches, maps and correspondence
Research materials relating to books Bass authored on Seattle history, aided by Kate Archibald.
1890-1946
3/18
1990.45.103: Draft sections for "Pigtail Days in Old Seattle"
Typewritten drafts not included in children's book written by Sophie Frye Bass, Auntie Opie's "Pigtail Days in Old Seattle." Stories and personal narratives relating to Howell Street, Renton Avenue, Greenwood Avenue, Carkeek Drive and Surber Avenue neighborhoods.
circa 1930
3/19-23
1990.45.104: Correspondence, handwritten notes, story drafts with revisions, poetry, clippings
Written by Sophie Frye Bass, or possibly Elizabeth Frye Bogue
circa 1921-1940

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Native Americans--Photographs
  • Pioneers--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Personal Names :
  • Denny, Arthur Armstrong, 1822-1899
  • Denny, Mary Ann, 1822-1912
  • Fortson, George H.
  • Bogue, Elizabeth Frye
  • Corporate Names :
  • Hotel Frye (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Geographical Names :
  • United States--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Titles within the Collection :
  • Pigtail Days in Old Seattle
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Bass, Sophie Frye (creator)
    • Frye, George Frederick, 1833-1912 (creator)
    • Frye, Louisa Catherine Denny, 1884-1924 (creator)