Lawrence Denny Lindsley photographs, circa 1890-1925  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Photographer
Lindsley, Lawrence Denny, 1878-1975
Title
Lawrence Denny Lindsley photographs
Dates
circa 1890-1925 (inclusive)
Quantity
3 boxes, (1.09 cubic feet)
Collection Number
1969.5072
Summary
Photographs of Washington State landscapes, including mining at Esther Mine, the Cascade range and Lake Chelan. Also includes photographs of Denny family members and of historic Seattle collected by Lindsley.
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

While working as a miner, woodsman, and wilderness guide as well as a photographer, Lawrence D. Lindsley took thousands of photographs of the Washington State landscape, from the Cascades to the Olympic coast, and east to Lake Chelan. Lindsley photographed everything from grand landscapes to the individual blossoms of native plants, as well as mining camps, early settlements, and home and family scenes.

Lawrence Denny Lindsley (1878-1975) was the grandson of Seattle pioneer and entrepeneur David T. Denny, who arrived in Seattle in 1851 with the first party of the city's founders. Lindsley's mother, Abbie Denny Lindsley (born 1858), was David and Louisa Boren Denny's third child, and his father, builder Edward L. Lindsley, arrived in Seattle in 1873. The couple married in 1877 and Lawrence, their first child, was born in 1878.

Lindsley grew up with a love of the outdoors and a pioneer's spirit of adventure. At the age of 11, Lindsley helped his father with the construction of his grandfather's real estate office, a log cabin at the foot of Queen Anne Hill near Republican Street. Now known as the Denny Cabin and relocated to the Historic Cabin Park in Federal Way, the structure was several blocks northwest of the Great Seattle Fire which swept through downtown Seattle five weeks after the cabin's completion. A frightened Lindsley watched from his Denny Hill home with his sister Mabel on his lap as the fire destroyed several city blocks, but spared the newly constructed cabin.

In 1895, Lindsley went to work at the Esther Mine at the head of Gold Creek in Kittitas County. David Denny owned the Esther Mine in Ptarmigan Park, and many Denny men worked at the mine, including Lindsley's uncle Victor W.S. Denny, who appears in many of Lindsley's photographs. Around the same time, David Denny was also in charge of the construction of a wagon road across Snoqualmie Pass. In the late 1890s, Lindsley worked and took pictures at both the road project and the mine, documenting at the latter the mine itself as well as life at the mine cabin. Later, Lindsley and Rolland Herschel Denny climbed the ridge connecting the Four Brothers formation--name for David Denny's sons John, Thomas and Victor, and his son-in-law Edward Lindsley-- to Chikamin Peak. It was probably on this trip that Denny and Lindsley inscribed their names on the rock immediately northwest of Four Brothers peak, as depicted in Lindsley's photograph. An early explorer of the North Cascades, Lindsley became a charter member of the Mountaineers Club in 1907. He became famous for his many photos of Mount Rainier, the Lake Chelan region, Snoqualmie Pass and other areas, and he avidly studied the native plants and wildlife which he captured in his photographs.

In 1903, Lindsley started work at the W. P. Romans Photographic Company in Seattle, which Asahel Curtis then purchased in 1910. He later worked for Edward S. Curtis, helping to develop some of the gold tone negatives that Curtis used in his famous “Indians of North America” series. Sometime between 1910 and 1914, Lindsley moved to Lake Chelan and lived on his parent’s land near 25 Mile Creek. During this time, he worked for the Great Northern Railroad photographing Glacier National Park for the railroad’s tourist literature. He also began his extensive photographic study, lasting several years, of Lake Chelan and the North Cascades. In these Chelan years and later, Lindsley worked as a wilderness guide, probably for the Mountaineers, leading parties along the lake and into the Stehekin wilderness. In September 1916 Lindsley, with Dan Devore, was hired by the Great Northern Railroad as the guide, cook and packer for the party of author Mary Roberts Rinehart through the Lake Chelan area. The taciturn Lindsley figured prominently as “Silent Lawrie” in Rinehart's published account of the expedition, and in a later novel based in the Cascades.When Lindsley returned to Seattle he resumed working in Edward Curtis’s studio, continued work on his own landscape and nature photography throughout the 1920s, and worked on the technique of lantern slide photography.

Lindsley was also a prolific writer, and kept journals for most of his adult life. He wrote lengthy captions on the backs of many of his photographs, expanding on the content of the photo by adding history, context and detail which cumulatively provide a lively and personal depiction of early Seattle and Washington State.

Lindsley married twice. His first marriage, to Pearl A. Miller in 1918, ended when his wife and newborn daughter, Abbie, died in 1920. In 1944, Lindsley married photographer and coloring artist Sarah Sonju, working with her in his studio until her death in 1960. Living in Seattle’s Wallingford District for over fifty years, Lindsley continued to photograph into his 90s. Lawrence D. Lindsley died in 1975.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection is comprised of four separate accessions: Accession No. 1969.5072; Accession No. 1974.5903; Accession No. 1975.6169; and Accession No. 1987.89

The collection includes representations from Lindsley's various photographic series. The most extensive group depicts Lindsley and others, including Victor W.S. Denny, at Esther Mine in Kittitas County, part of Lindsley's "Gold Creek" series. Other images depict Mount Rainier and other Cascades landscapes, Lake Chelan, rock formations and native plants.

Lindsley also collected and copied images of historic Seattle for his "Old Seattle" series. These images includes depictions of early Seattle, of historic Seattle events such as the Great Fire, of Indian settlements, of ships on the waterfront, and of Denny family members and Denny residences, including the original Denny cabin at Alki Point. The collection includes a number of these images, including a set of lantern slides which Lindsley probably used to illustrate talks to community groups.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

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

Lawrence Denny Lindsley Photographs, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

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

Photographs, Return to Top

Arranged by accession:
  • Accession No. 1987.89
  • Accession No. 1974.5903
Container(s) Description Dates
Accession No. 1987.89
82 photographs
Photographs of the Denny family mine, Esther Mine, owned by David Denny, near Gold Creek. Also includes photographs of Denny family members.
Arranged in photographer's number order. Photographer's number given in parentheses after description.
circa 1895-1921
Box/Folder
1/1
1987.89.1: Victor Denny's car on snowy road near summit of Snoqualmie Pass (2348)
1916
1/1
1987.89.2: Lindsley's grandfather David Denny and Uncle Win at mouth of B tunnel at Esther Mine near Gold Creek, Kittitas County (3200)
1899 October
1/1
1987.89.3: Lindsley doing blacksmithing work on a Snoqualmie Pass road (3207)
1899
1/1
1987.89.4: Victor W.S. Denny with Winchester rifle standing outside Esther Mine cabin in snow (3208?)
1899 October
1/1
1987.89.5: View of Ptarmigan Park from Esther mine tunnel (3209)
circa 1899
1/1
1987.89.6: Victor Denny, Charles Giddens and Roy Denny in the Esther Mine camp cabin at night (3210)
1899
1/1
1987.89.7-8: Lake Keechelus from Esther Mine cabin (3211-3212)
undated
1/1
1987.89.9: Western Mill log boom in Lake Union (3214)
undated
1/1
1987.89.10: Victor Denny's saddle horse "Tug" near lake, probably near Esther Mine (3215)
circa 1899
1/2
1987.89.11: Victor Denny and "McMillan" near Esther mine cabin in Ptarmigan Park (3217)
circa 1899
1/2
1987.89.12: Little Ridge in Ptarmigan Park (3218)
circa 1897
1/2
1987.89.13-15: Ptarmigan Park in snow (3220-3223)
One photo shows the top shake of the Esther Mine cabin poking through the 11 feet of snow.
1900 June
1/2
1987.89.16: Huckleberry Mountain in snow, from Ptarmigan Park (3223)
1900 June
1/2
1987.89.17: Lindsley with saddle horse "Big Jim" near Esther Mine cabin (3224)
1900 June-July
1/2
1987.89.18: Gold Creek Mountain (3226)
circa 1900
1/2
1987.89.19: Ptarmigan Glacier, Washington (3228)
circa 1900
1/2
1987.89.20: Victor Denny standing at foot of Ptarmigan Glacier, Washington (3229)
circa 1900
1/3
1987.89.21: Victor Denny with rifle climbing Ptarmigan Glacier (3232)
circa 1900
1/3
1987.89.22: Seven men outside Esther Mine cabin (3233)
Caption on verso: "Esther Mine crew: V.W.S. Denny, Billy Beau, L.D. Lindsley, J.K. Smiley, Raymond Blaud, Harry Bestwick, Joe Sharick"
circa 1900
1/3
1987.89.23: Victor Denny, William Denny and Dan Hines outside mine headquarters cabin at head of Lake Keechelus (3237)
1901
1/3
1987.89.24: Lindsley and Victor Denny standing in entrance to tunnel B at Esther Mine (3239)
1901
1/3
1987.89.25: Ptarmigan Park showing Esther Mine cabin on knoll (3241)
1901
1/3
1987.89.26: View from above Esther Mine showing Alaska Mountain, Mount Thompson and Huckleberry Mountain (3244)
1901
1/3
1987.89.27: Basket grass on Hogback Mountain with peaks in distance (3245)
1901
1/3
1987.89.28: Ptarmigan Lake with Alaska Mountain and Mount Thompson behind (3246)
circa 1900
1/3
1987.89.29: Victor Denny with rifle and dead mountain goat at Goat Pasture above Esther Mine (3251)
1901
1/3
1987.89.30: Lindsley and Victor Denny with dead mountain goat on Lemah Peak Ridge (3252)
1901
1/4
1987.89.31: Victor Denny and Lindsley at Esther Mine cabin at Lake Keechelus (3255)
circa 1901
1/4
1987.89.32: Victor Denny and Lindsley drilling in B tunnel at Esther Mine (3257)
1901
1/4
1987.89.33: Lindsley's Uncle Win in B tunnel at Esther Mine (3258)
1901
1/4
1987.89.34: Victor Denny's car in snow on west side of Snoqualmie Pass (3267)
1916 November
1/4
1987.89.35: Dirt road near Lake Keechelus, built by David Denny (3272)
1913 September
1/4
1987.89.36: Victor Denny hunting goats on east side of Little Ridge (3297)
1913 September
1/4
1987.89.37: Victor Denny with binoculars on Little Ridge about Esther Mines
1913 September
1/4
1987.89.38: Granite rock with names chipped into it (3307)
Inscription visible on rock: "V. Denny, R. Denny, L. Lindsley, US 1899"
1913 September
1/4
1987.89.39: Mount Stewart from ridge above Esther Mines (3349)
undated
1/4
1987.89.40: Lindsley standing on remains of cabin (3352)
1921
1/5
1987.89.41: Little Ridge from top of Hogback Mountain showing tree growth in 25 years since avalanche (3353)
1921 October 2
1/5
1987.89.42: Hogback Mountain on trail to Esther Mine showing trees killed by fire (3355)
1921 October
1/5
1987.89.43-49: Historical Seattle photographs copied by Lindsley
Includes photographs from the late 1800s of Seattle scenes, including the Bark Windward, an 1865 view of Seattle, the Seattle fire, the Seattle waterfront, an Indian camp, and 1879 and 1884 views of Seattle copied from magazine illustrations.
late 1800s
1/5
1987.89.50: Thirteen star American flag (3794)
undated
1/6
1987.89.51: David and Louisa Denny's cedar cabin at Licton Springs (3811)
circa 1900
1/6
1987.89.52-59: Historical Seattle photographs copied by Lindsley
Includes photographs from the late 1800s of Seattle scenes including Westlake Bridge and streetcar, Indian scout Pat Kanim, painting of Steamer Addie, David Denny house on Republican Street, Lake Washington log canal, Ballast Island, Denny home on Queen Anne, and Native American "Lake Union John."
undated
1/6
1987.89.60: David Denny's broadax (3879)
undated
1/7
1987.89.61: Copy of drawing of Congregational Church on University Street
undated
1/7
1987.89.62: Copy of photograph of the Yesler Mill cook house
1866
1/7
1987.89.63: Lindsley reading to his grandmother, Louisa Boren Denny at Broadway home(3955)
1913
1/7
1987.89.64: Louisa Boren Denny and daughter Inez Denny in front room of Licton Springs home (3956)
circa 1906
1/7
1987.89.65: Louisa Boren Denny and daughter Abbie Denny Lindsley (Lindsley's mother) at Broadway home (3957)
1913
1/7
1987.89.66: Louisa Boren Denny, Abbie Denny Lindsley, Mabel Lindsley and Inez Denny at Broadway home (3959)
1913
1/7
1987.89.67: Sulphur Spring (3966)
undated
1/7
1987.89.68: Sweet briar roses (5246)
undated
1/7
1987.89.69: Photograph of drawing of ship Exact (5270)
undated
1/7
1987.89.70: Victor W.S. Denny by gate of Republican St. home (5299)
early 1900s
1/8
1987.89.71-74: Historical Seattle photographs copied by Lindsley
Includes photographs of the exterior of Denny home on Republican St.; Louisa Boren Denny with daughters, Inez, and Madge Denny, and Lillie Franklin;
late 1800s
1/8
1987.89.75: Christmas party at David and Louisa Denny home on Kilburn Avenue (5312)
Pictured: John Bauer, Victor Denny, Ed Lindsley, Irene Lindsley, Norman Lindley, Winnie Lindsley, Nellie Denny, Tommy Denny, Inez Denny, Louisa Denny, Claudia Denny, David Denny, Abbie Denny Lindsley, Mabel Lindsley, Harold Denny, Anna Denny.
before 1903
1/8
1987.89.76: Mrs. Victor Denny, her son and Madge Denny picnicking near Snoqualmie River (5326)
circa 1917
1/8
1987.89.77: Victor and Elizabeth Denny, Victor Denny Jr. and Jack Harris in car on Salal Prairie (5329)
circa 1917
1/8
1987.89.78: Victor and Elizabeth Denny, Victor Denny Jr. and Jack Harris near car on Snoqualmie Pass Road (5332)
circa 1917
1/8
1987.89.79: Native American family-Zacuse with his wife and young son (5334)
Zacuse was David and Louisa Denny's gardener
undated
1/8
1987.89.80: Lake Keechelus looking northwest (9011)
undated
1/8
1987.89.81: Snoqualmie Pass from above the Falls (9023)
undated
1/8
1987.89.82: Copy photograph of David Thomas Denny
undated
Accession No. 1974.5903
Many of the photographs in this accession are unsigned, but are probably by L.D. Lindsley.
circa 1907-1910; undated
Lake Chelan series
Four photographs from one of Lindsley named series, captioned and signed on front of photo.
Box/Folder
1/9
1974.5903.1: Lake Chelan with clouds overhead (434)
1907
1/9
1974.5903.2: Lake Chelan in snow (441)
1908
1/9
1974.5903.3: North fork of Bridge Creek from Cloudy Pass (478)
1910
1/9
1974.5903.4: Lake Chelan (920)
1911
folder:oversize
OS 2
1974.5903.4: Lake Chelan (920)
4 copies: oversize
1911
OS 2
1974.5903.41: Lake Chelan showing Fields Hotel (457)
2 copies: oversize
1910
OS 2
1974.5903.42: Sheep drinking, possibly Lake Chelan (556)
undated
Box/Folder
1/10
1974.5903.5-8: Trees
undated
1/11
1974.5903.9-13: Mountain views
5 photographs
Includes 2 images of Mineral Park. These photos are not signed but are probably by Lindsley.
undated
1/12
1974.5903.14-16: Plants
3 photographs
Photographs of flowers and plants
undated
1/12
1974.5903.17-18: Grouse carcasses
2 photographs
undated
1/13
1974.5903.19-25: Miscellaneous mounted photographs
6 photographs
Includes 3 photographs of lakes, including Lake Keechelus; an image of a fir trunk supporting young hemlock trees in Licton Park; the steamer Flyer at Alki Point; and flowers on a mountainside.
undated
2/1
1974.5903.26-29: Waterfalls
4 photographs, including 2 cyanotypes
undated
2/2
1974.5903.30: Packhorse on trail
undated
folder:oversize
OS 1
1974.5903.31: Beaver damage to tree trunk (18357)
undated
OS 1
1974.5903.32: Beaver house on water (18425)
undated
Box/Folder
1/14
1974.5903.33: Denny cabin at Licton Springs
undated
2/3
1974.5903.34-38: Other photographers
5 photographs
Includes photographs of shoreline by Walter Miller; Puget Sound by Boyd & Braas; Moore's Point on Lake Chelan by Victor W.S. Denny; falls by W.P. Romans; and a stereograph of an ice grove at Niagara Falls, NY by C. Bierstadt.
undated

Photograph albumsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
2
1974.5903.39: Album 1
56 photographs 5"x7" and smaller
Photographs span Lindsley numbers 1385 through 1462, with some numbers missing. Photographs depict Mount Rainier, rock formations, sailboats, wildlife, shorelines and other unidentified landscapes.
undated
Box/Folder
2/4
1974.5903.40: Album 2
94 photographs
6 photographic postcards (not by Lindsley)
Several of the photographs are duplicates of other photographs in the collection. Album includes early images of Lindsley with his horse, and with Victor Denny, probably during the period when they worked at Esther Mine; a cabin, possibly a miner's cabin; unidentified mountains, lakes and falls, including Snoqualmie; house and streets in snow; photographs of family members and family outings, including road trips; Alaska (Thorne Arm, Gold Banner, Ketchikan); and the 1914 plaque honoring Louisa Boren placed by the Washington Women's Pioneer Auxiliary in Louisa Boren Park, Seattle
circa 1899-1920
Box
2/5
1969.5072.1: Album 3
65 photographs
These photographs are unattributed but are possibly by Lindsley.
Unidentified houses, mining operations, landscapes including lakes and waterfalls, cabin, possibly an old miner's cabin; rock formations; and camping.
undated

Lantern slides, undatedReturn to Top

48 lantern slides

Lantern slides, many hand colored, of a selection of Lindsley's "Historical--Old Seattle" photographs. These were possibly produced for one of Lindsley's lectures for local groups. The slides are comprised largely of copy photographs of Seattle and Washington State, including images of the Great Fire, the waterfront, and logging operations. The group also includes images of Louisa and Mary Boren (Denny), David Denny's house on Republican Street, and the sulphur spring at Licton Springs, some of which may be copies of Lindsley photos.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
3
1975.6169.1-.48: Historic Seattle lantern slides
undated
Box/Folder
1/15
1975.6169.49: Lantern slide inventory
Looseleaf binder apparently created by Dorothy V. Lindsley to accompany the lantern slides. Her introduction reads:
"The following note correspond by number to the accompanying slides.
Some of the notes are the original notes written by Lawrence Denny Lindsley; the others are verbatim copies of the original notes.
This procedure was made necessary by the fact the several numbers were written on one page--all numbers of Historical-Old Seattle negatives did not refer to slides.
It was appropriate to retain original note as much as possible, for the corresponding negatives."
The folder also includes 7 photocopies of inventory pages (different from the looseleaf binder) with accompanying images. A few of these correspond to the lantern slides, but the pages include other images not included in the lantern slides.
1975

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Dwellings--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Miners--Dwellings--Washington (State)--Kittitas County
  • Miners--Washington (State)--Kittitas County
  • Women pioneers--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Personal Names :
  • Denny, David Thomas--Photographs
  • Denny, Louisa Boren--Photographs
  • Denny, Victor--Photographs
  • Lindsley, Abbie Denny--Photographs
  • Geographical Names :
  • Chelan, Lake (Wash.)
  • United States--Washington(State)--King County--Seattle
  • United States--Washington(State)--Kittitas County--Ptarmigan Park
  • United States--Washington(State)--Ptarmigan Park
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Lantern slides
  • Photograph albums
  • Photographic prints