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Francis Hill photograph albums, 1940s-1980s

Overview of the Collection

Hill, Francis E., 1927-2001
Francis Hill photograph albums
1940s-1980s (inclusive)
1950s (bulk)
2 albums containing 158 photographs (1 box, 1 folder) ; sizes vary
2 greeting cards
Collection Number
Photographs of Seattle female impersonators in the 1960s and 1970s and of Frances (Francis) Hill who was a transvestite who was among the first to attend parties at the Double Header bar, the oldest gay bar in Seattle
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Francis E. Hill (1927-2001) was born in Spokane, Washington, where he worked making railroad tracks until his mid twenties, when he relocated to Seattle in the early 1950s. Hill became one of the first transvestites to attend parties at the Double Header in Pioneer Square, the oldest gay bar in Seattle.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Two albums of photographs of Seattle transvestite Francis Hill, showing Hill as a child and as a soldier, but largely in his later female persona, Francine. Many of the photographs depict Francine, other drag queens, and others at private parties. Some were taken at The Double Header in Pioneer Square, Seattle's oldest gay bar, and at the Casino Pool Room, nicknamed Madame Peabody's Dance Academy, in the basement of the Double Header. Also includes several photographs of other servicemen from Hill's time as a soldier.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

For this collection, when gender is unknown, it is determined by the clothes the individual is wearing. In reference to Francis Hill, the name Francine is used when Hill appears in drag. Francis Hill is used when he appears in men's clothing.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Album 1Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/1 1-1a
Francis Hill posing with motorcycle  
circa 1930
1/1 1-1b
Francis Hill seated on bench  
circa 1930
1/1 1-1c
Francis Hill standing with three horses
Written on verso: To Mama. Oct. 6/34.
October 6, 1934
1/1 1-1d
Francis Hill kneeling in field
circa 1930
1/1 1-1e
Francis Hill seated in front of rock
circa 1930
1/2-1/9 1-2a - 1-9c
Female impersonators in various costumes at a house party  
October 1956
1/10 1-10a
Two men sitting at a bar
1/10 1-10b
Man wearing white western-style shirt
1/10 1-10c
Men and a female impersonator at a bar or party  
circa 1950
1/11 1-11a
Countess Estelle standing in front of a curtain
Countess Estelle began performing in drag in high school and performed in USO shows in 1946 and 1947. She was a regular performer at the Garden of Allah. Estelle worked as a cook in Seattle until her death in 1995.
circa 1961
1/11 1-11b
Female impersonator in glasses seated in front of a curtain
Written on verso: 10/10/72. To my daughter, True I am older, but don't you think your mother looks well preserved. Love you Rony. P.S. Call me one of these week-ends soon & lets get your hair done.
1/11 1-11c
Female impersonator standing indoors holding a clutch purse
1/11 1-11d
Countess Estelle on stage in front of a microphone  
circa 1961
1/11 1-11e
Man singing on stage with pianist behind him
1/12-1/16 1-12a - 1-16c
Female impersonators in various costumes at a house party  
circa 1956
1/17 1/17a
Francine in a party dress
1/17 1-17b-d
Female impersonators standing indoors  
1/18 1-18a-b
Francine wearing glasses
1/18 1-18c
Countess Estelle with two people in dresses  
1/19 1-19a-d
Men sitting in a bar  
circa 1976-1978
1/20 1-20a-b
Polaroid photo of two men sitting at a bar  
Loose photos from Album 1
Box/Folder item
1/21 2
Studio portrait of young child
Written on verso: Hill, Jan 10, 1903.
January 10, 1903
1/21 3
Portrait of man in navy uniform
1/21 4
Portrait of Francis Hill in uniform  
Written on photo: All my love Francis, 50.
1/21 5
Francine on stage wearing a waitress costume
circa 1970s
1/21 6
Francine seated indoors
1/21 7
Female impersonator perched in the back of a convertible  
circa 1980s
1/21 8
Female impersonator and a man serving drinks
Written on verso: Lucie & Mike, 505 1 #58 285-2704, work 611 2 ave. 345 9430.

Album 2, 1940s-1970sReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/22 9-1a-b
Female impersonator in costume in basement  
1/22 9-1c
Person in head scarf standing in front of a door
Written on the verso of one of the photos: With Love Bobbie.
1/22 9-1d
Person in head scarf standing in front of a door
This is a picture of the individual in the previous photo from the back.
1/22 9-1e
Person seated at a counter
The photo is cut so the person's head is not visible.
1/22 9-1f
Three people posing in a basement  
Two of the people are seated and the third is standing next to them, wearing joke glasses with a fake nose and mustache.
1/23 9-2a
Portrait of Freddie Stewart  
Written on recto: Sincerely, Freddie Stewart.Freddie Stewart was a band singer and lead actor in a series of movies starring Freddie Stewart and the Teen Agers, a group of wholesome, clean-cut high schoolers in the 1950s.
circa 1940s-1950s
1/23 9-2b
Portrait of man in uniform
Written on recto: To Fran From Terri, True Friends Always.
circa 1950s
1/23 9-2c
Man in uniform standing by a mantle
Adrian DeVries, Spokane WA (Photographer)
Written on verso: To A. Swell Guy Vergie. Also stamped on verso: Adrian De Vries Photographer R. 1739 227 W. 21st Spokane, WA
circa 1950s
1/23 9-2d
Man with arms crossed seated on couch
Written on verso: AW Douglas. To a real good friend.
1/23 9-2e
Two men, one in uniform, standing in front of a car  
1/24 9-3a
Portrait of a young man, possibly Victor
1/24 9-3b
Victor with puppy, Lady, sitting on a porch  
Written on verso: Victor & Lady, August 1955. To Fran, From a "drag" to a "hag"!! Hehe. Vic.
August 1955
1/24 9-3c
Young man with hands on hips standing in front of a house
1/24 9-3d
Photobooth portrait a woman
1/24 9-3e
Portrait of a young man
1/24 9-3f
Photobooth portrait of a man
1/24 9-3g
Young man with hands in pockets standing in front of a house
1/24 9-3h
Female impersonator lounging on couch holding a dog and a cat  
December 1952
1/25 9-4a-d
Female impersonators posing indoors  
1/26 9-5a-b
Female impersonator
1/26-1/27 9-5c - 9-6d
Men and female impersonators at a party  
One of the people pictured is Countess Estelle.
circa 1960
1/28 9-7a-b
Female impersonator in an evening gown  
1/28 9-7c
Bartender reading a magazine behind the bar
1/29 9-8a-b
Female impersonator posing indoors
1/29 9-8c
Two men seated at a bar  
Oct. 1961
1/29 9-8d-e
Female impersonator posing indoors
1/30 9-9a
Man and two women outside
1/30 9-9b-d
Men and female impersonators at a party  
Countess Estelle is pictured in some of the photos.
1/31 9-10a
Man and woman standing behind a bar
1/31 9-10b
Man with glasses seated at a bar
Feb. 1962
1/31 9-10c
Woman and two men seated at a table
1/31 9-10d
Female impersonator looking at a hand mirror in a living room  
1/32 9-11a
Man and three female impersonators
1/32 9-11b
Three men in a field holding a large dog and a puppy
1/32 9-11c
Francine Hill sitting on a couch
1/33 9-12a
Two people hugging, one is African-American  
1/33 9-12b
Man and woman behind a Chrysler convertible  
1/33 9-12c
Man in sunglasses in front of a building
1/33 9-12d
Two people hugging in front of a sign
Sign behind the couple reads: Warning, Dangerous, No life guard patrol beyond this point.
circa 1950s
1/34 9-13a
Bartender pouring drinks at a bar  
1/34 9-13b
Man holding a snake standing in front of a ferris wheel  
Written on verso: To F.E. Hill, My one and only Friend, Gene II.
1/34 9-13c
Vern in polka dot shirt
Written on verso: To my sincere friend Francis. Written on photo: Vern.
1/35 9-14a
Man and woman sitting indoors
1/35 9-14b
Man with his arm around a female impersonator
Photo is scratched and creased.
1/35 9-14c
Three female impersonators and possibly a male impersonator at the Golden Horseshoe  
In the early 1960s, the Golden Horseshoe became the first regular hours bar where men could dance with men.
1/35 9-14d
Female impersonator sitting in front of a brick wall
circa 1971
1/36 9-15a-d
Female impersonator with microphone on stage  
Countess Estelle is the performer in two of the photos.
1/37 9-16a
Man with two female impersonators in evening gowns  
1/37 9-16b
Man standing in living room
Written on photo: Jan. 25, 81 - Kim.
January 25, 1981
1/37 9-16c
Man and two children standing on a porch
Written on photo: Jim.
1/37 9-16d
Close-up photo of a man and a woman
1/38 9-17a-d
Countess Estelle posing and performing  
1/39 9-18a
Two men at a bar
Written on verso: To Fran with much love and respect! Kim Tutt.
1/39 9-18b
Female impersonator wearing white feathered hairpiece  
1/39 9-18c
Man with two female impersonators  
1/39 9-18d
Francine Hill sitting on a couch
1/40 9-19a-e
Female impersonators including Countess Estelle  
1/41 9-20a-c
Female impersonator wearing evening gown  
circa 1961
Loose photographs and ephemera from Album 2
1972, undated
Box/Folder item
1/42 10
Hand colored studio portrait of a man in a suit
Dojacs, Spokane (Photographer)
circa 1930s-1940s
1/42 11
Hand-drawn greeting card addressed to Francine
Drawn inside the card is a partially naked man wearing a heart crown. Card reads: To the Queen of Hearts! Francine. From Brad. Happy Valentines Day.
1/42 12
Holiday photo greeting card  
Card reads: To Francis, Season's Greetings. Tokyo Rose 1972.