Chalcraft-Pickering Photographs, 1862-1941

Overview of the Collection

Chalcraft, Edwin L., 1855-1943
Chalcraft-Pickering Photographs
1862-1941 (inclusive)
2.5 Linear feet of shelf space, (4 Boxes + Oversize)
Collection Number
PC 82 (collection)
Various portraits of the Chalcraft-Pickering family and glass lantern slides of the Chemawa Indian Training School near Salem, Oregon.
Washington State University Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library Suite 12
Pullman, WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Access Restrictions

This collection is open and available for research use.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Edwin L. Chalcraft was born on November 13, 1855, on his father's farm near Albion, Illinois, where he lived until his marriage to Alice Pickering on October 13, 1880. The following summer, Edwin, a teacher in the Albion Public School and a county surveyor, and Alice also a school teacher, accepted the invitation of her brother William to visit him in "Squak Valley" (now Issaquah), thirteen miles east of Seattle.

Originally they had planned to stay only for a short visit; but in the spring of 1883 Edwin met Mr. Charles M. Anderson, a. recent graduate of the engineering department of the Territorial University. Anderson and Chalcraft subsequently formed a partnership and opened an office in civil engineering. Meanwhile in Squak Valley the residents learned that Alice had taught school and persuaded her to instruct the very first "Squak Valley" school.

In the summer of 1886, however, the city of Tacoma succeeded in securing the rail terminal for the Northern Pacific Railroad. The ensuing depression in Seattle caused the Anderson-Chalcraft firm to suffer along with other businesses. Then Chalcraft learned of an opportunity to enter the Government Service as Superintendent of the Chehalis Indian Reservation and Boarding School, seventy-five miles southwest of Seattle. Chalcraft had agreed to stay at Chehalis for one year, but worked there until 1889; when he became superintendent of the Puyallup Agency near Tacoma. At Puyallup Chalcraft battled to protect the Indians from the greedy designs of white land grabbers and from the less savory temptations of white civilization.

In 1894 the Agency sent Chalcraft and Alice to superintend the Indian Training school at Chemawa, near Salem, Oregon. Edwin and Alice found Chemawa to be a most congenial place to live and work; but when the Democrats swept into office Chalcraft found through personal experience that political sympathies often outweighed considerations of merit in placing and replacing people in federal jobs. In 1895 the Indian Agency dismissed Chalcraft, without apparent reason other than his Republican political affiliation. Thus Edwin and Alice returned to Seattle, where Edwin resumed his surveying activities. During the years between 1895 and 1900 Edwin surveyed, managed a grocery store and a shingle mill at Mt. Vernon. But in 1900 Republicans under the leadership of William B. McKinley- returned to office and among the people they brought with them were the Chalcrafts. The Agency reinstated Chalcraft then sent him to the Shoshone Reservation in Wyoming. Within a few months the Commissioner appointed Chalcraft to be Supervisor of Indian Schools. In this capacity Edwin was responsible for inspecting the operations of the Indian Schools in their entirety and for evaluating and if necessary correcting any charges of maladministration or wrongdoing.

In 1904, after having traveled throughout the country in discharging his responsibilities, Chalcraft requested and received reassignment to the Salem Indian Training School at Chemawa, Oregon, the place he and Alice liked so well and from which he had been so rudely removed in 1895. Edwin and Alice and their two children lived and worked happily at Chemawa until 1911, when an assistant managed to persuade the Indian Commissioner to remove Chalcraft on the basis of several charges that Edwin was able to prove groundless. Though Chalcraft was able to exonerate himself of these charges, the Agency Commissioner nevertheless transferred him to the James Male Academy in Oklahoma. Chalcraft spent two rather hot and unpleasant years at James Male Academy, but nevertheless admired the abilities of the Indian students there.

In 1914, however, Chalcraft succeeded in getting a transfer to the Siletz Agency in western Oregon. At Siletz Chalcraft pursued the normal duties of Superintendent, teaching, organizing fairs and bands, basketball, baseball and football teams, combatting the evil influence of liquor and generally endeavoring to impart to the Indian students the practical abilities with which to integrate themselves with white society. In 1925, as the time for his retirement approached, Chalcraft recommended to the Indian Commissioner that the Siletz Agency be abolished and its remaining functions integrated with the Chemawa, Agency. In Chalcraft's view, the Agency at Siletz had accomplished its purpose of giving the Indians the practical skills to cope with the white world. The Indian Commissioner complied with Chalcraft's request, and on his birthday, November 13, 1925, Chalcraft and his wife Alice, who had come to Chehalis to stay for a year, retired after forty-one years of service. He and his wife returned to live at their home at 923 Cherry Street in Seattle. Their son, a newspaperman, and their daughter also lived in Seattle.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of two types of materials, Chalcraft-Pickering family portraits and glass lantern slides of the Chemawa Indian Training School near Salem, Oregon.

There are 105 family portraits of various sizes, including oversize, depicting Edwin L. Chalcraft, his wife, Alice Fawcett (Pickering) Chalcraft, their children, Edwin Pickering Chalcraft and Alice Pickering Chalcraft, as well as sundry relatives. Included is a portrait of William Pickering, Governor of Washington Territory from 1862-1866, and grandfather of Alice Fawcett Chalcraft. At the end of the series is seven negatives and an identification folder.

The more substantial and historically significant part of the collection consists of 166 glass lantern slides, assumed to be the work of Edwin L. Chalcraft. The slides were taken at Chemawa, the Indian Training School near Salem, Oregon while Chalcraft was superintendent in 1894-1895, and again in 1904-1911. Included are classroom scenes, sports, music, and work activities of the students, and scenes from a Chatauqua held at Oregon City, Oregon. Along the glass slide bindings are descriptive notes by Chalcraft and the students.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Preferred Citation

[Item description]

Chalcraft-Pickering Photographs, 1862-1941 (PC 82)

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The collection is divided into the family portaits and lantern slides. The portraits are in a rough chronological sequence of familial groupings. Two oversized portraits are separated for storage purposes. The lantern slides follow Chalcraft's original order.

Acquisition Information

The Chalcraft-Pickering Family Papers, including these photographs, were acquired by the Washington State University Libraries in 1986 (MS86-54) from Florian Shasky, a dealer in out-of-print books and manuscript materials.

Separated Materials

The photographs were seperated from the Chalcraft-Pickering Family Papers, 1821-1954 (Cage 560)

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Chalcraft-Pickering Family PortraitsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 1
Gov. William Pickering of Washington Territory
2 items.
1 2
Richard and Emily Pickering; Pickering coat of arms
5 items.
1 3
Richard and Lucy Chalcraft
3 items.
1 4
Family homes and town views, Albion, Ill.
4 items.
1 5
Edwin L. and Alice F. Chalcraft and children Alice P. and Edwin P.
5 items.
1 6
Alice Fawcett Chalcraft
4 items.
1 7
Edwin L. and Alice F. Chalcraft
3 items.
1 8
Alice Pickering Chalcraft
10 items.
1 9
Unidentified portraits, probably Alice P. Chalcraft
6 items.
1 10
Edwin Pickering Chalcraft
7 items.
1 11
Edwin P. Chalcraft, wife Alma Ross and son Walter
12 items.
1 12
Maurice and Mabel Chalcraft and family
2 items.
1 13
Rosa C. Gooch and son John
3 items.
1 14
Flower family
4 items.
1 15
Henry J. Phillips and wife Mary Pickering and family
4 items.
1 16
Family and friends
11 items.
1 17
Alma Ross' school; Ross and Edge family portraits
6 items.
1 18
Mr. John F. Kennedy and Mrs. J. F. Ross Kennedy
2 items.
1 19
Unidentified portraits
4 items.
1 20
Negatives (7), and one identification folder
8 items.
Unidentified house with two men and two women
Panoramic view of Chemawa

Lantern slidesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
2 1
Site where Chemawa school began (Feb. 25, 1880), Forest Grove, Oregon.
2 2
Entrance to grounds at Chemawa
2 3
Grounds and bandstand at Chemawa
2 4
School grounds at Chemawa (tinted)
2 5
Part of Chemawa school grounds
2 6
Part of campus at Chemawa
2 7
Rose Avenue at Chemawa, snow of grounds
2 8
Rose Ave. looking north from the superintendent's home
2 9
Rose Ave., superintendent's house at right
2 10
Rose Ave. at Chemawa
2 11
Unidentified slide (grove of trees)
2 12
Edwin L. Chalcraft taking photo of rose bush
2 13
Rosebush growing, building at Chemawa
2 14
An inspecting officer visiting Chemawa
2 15
A visiting superintendent at Chemawa
2 16
Miss Jennie Bowman
2 17
Mr. Cooper and blooming sweetpeas
2 18
Academic Building
2 19
Employees cottage
2 20
Dormitory for medium size boys
2 21
Mitchell Hall, large boys home
2 22
2 23
Domestic Science Building
2 24
Habitat Building
2 25
Mechanics Building
2 26
Steam engineering, heating and electrical plant
2 27
Unidentified building
2 28
2 29
Interior of Bakery
2 30
Wagon made in shop
2 31
Blacksmith shop
2 32
Chemawa graduate in his own Blacksmith shop at Bellingham, WA
2 33
Harness shop
2 34
Storage room for harness
2 35
Carpenter shop
2 36
Wagon wood work shop
2 37
Part of canned fruit room
2 38
Vegetable storage building
2 39
2 40
Wash room in laundry
2 41
Ironing and drying room in laundry
2 42
Engine room in steam plant
2 43
Boiler room in steam plant
2 44
Filling a silo at dairy barn
2 45
Taking up garbage
2 46
Gathering Chemawa strawberries
2 47
Chemawa boys at work
2 48
Clearing land at Chemawa
2 49
Part of Chemawa farm
2 50
View of Chemawa farm (man plowing)
2 51
Part of Chemawa farm (cutting grain or hay with horses)
2 52
Part of Chemawa farm (cornfield)
2 53
Part of school farm
2 54
View of part of Chemawa farm
2 55
Mealtime in Chemawa stock yard
2 56
Bear pit at Chemawa
2 57
Female deer at Chemawa (a Chemawa pet)
2 58
A couple of fawns
2 59
Three "Deers" at Chemawa
3 60
Chemawa boys starting out to pick hops
3 61
Chemawa students picking hops in Charles MacNary hop yard
3 62
Chemawa boys hauling hops to dryer
3 63
Chemawa girls going out to pick hops
3 64
Sorting prunes for drying
3 65
Gathering prunes at Chemawa
3 66
Chemawa prune orchard
3 67
Chemawa prune orchard
3 68
Chemawa prunes
3 69
Chemawa prune orchard in bloom
3 70
Chemawa prune orchard in bloom
3 71
Thanksgiving display at Chemawa (potato)
3 72
Thanksgiving display at Chemawa (apples)
3 73
Thanksgiving display (potatoes)
3 74
Thanksgiving display (potatoes, cabbage, squash)
3 75
Thanksgiving display
3 76
Floral display
3 77
Pupils room at Chemawa
3 78
Pupils room at Chemawa
3 79
Interior of pupils room
3 80
Interior of pupils room
3 81
Interior of pupils room
3 82
Classroom at Chemawa
3 83
Classroom at Chemawa (sewing, tailoring)
3 84
Classroom at Chemawa
3 85
Classroom at Chemawa
3 86
Classroom at Chemawa
3 87
Classroom at Chemawa
3 88
Joe Purns (with tuba) at rest
3 89
Bandstand at Chemawa (gazebo)
3 90
Schoolband at Chemawa
3 91
Chemawa band on parade grounds
3 92
Special band at Chemawa
3 93
Special band at Chemawa
3 94
Musical trio (violinist, cellist, pianist)
3 95
Y.M.C.A. group at Chemawa
3 96
Y.M.C.A. girls at Chemawa
3 97
A literary society group (girls)
3 98
Mrs. Smith and her literary society boys at Chemawa
3 99
Nesika Club at Chemawa
3 100
Dona May? Smith (baby sitting in tuba)
3 101
Edwin Smith and daughter Dona May
3 102
Edwin Smith and daughter Dona May
3 103
Visiting football team at Chemawa
3 104
Football team; Edwin Smith, coach
3 105
Football sic. team at Chemawa School, i.e. Baseball
3 106
Football team at Chemawa
3 107
Chemawa football team
3 108
Joe Dillstrom, Chemawa student
3 109
Joe Yebo, football coach and player at Chemawa (in baseball uniform)
3 110
Chemawa girls basketball team
3 111
Baseball game at Chemawa
3 112
Athletic sports at Chemawa
3 113
Relay race (Salem to Portland)
3 114
Salem-Portland relay race
3 115
Relay race, YMCA
3 116
Relay race, Chemawa member
4 117
Student parade on athletic grounds at Chemawa
4 118
Group of Alaskan boys and girls at Chemawa
4 119
An Alaskan pupil at Chemawa
4 120
Two Chemawa students
4 121
A group of girls at Chemawa School
4 122
A new group entering school at Chemawa
4 123
Nora and Rena Mann, Chemawa students
4 124
Fourtunato Jayme, a Philipino student at Chemawa
4 125
Chemawa student officer at Oregon City Chatauqua
4 126
Chemawa students camp at Oregon City Chatauqua
4 127
Chemawa students "Dining Hall" at Oregon City Chatauqua
4 128
Chemawa students camping at Oregon City Chatauqua
4 129
Attending Chatauqua session at Oregon City (l to r, Edwin Pickering Chalcraft, Mrs. Alice F. Chalcraft, Alice Pickering Chalcraft)
4 130
Chemawa students "cook," Tent at Oregon City Chatauqua
4 131
Charlie Larsen at Oregon City Chatauqua
4 132
David Brewer, a most worthy man
4 133
David Brewer, a most worthy man
4 134
Indian family, unidentified
4 135
Unidentified Indian woman, child and white girl
4 136
Unidentified Indian woman
4 137
Two unidentified Indian man
4 138
Unidentified Indian family
4 139
Unidentified Indian man
4 140
Unidentified Indian man
4 141
Unidentified Indian man
4 142
Unidentified Indian man
4 143
Two unidentified Indian man
4 144
Unidentified little girl
4 145
Mrs. Woods and daughter Evaline at Chemawa
4 146
Alice Pickering Chalcraft, "Hallie"
4 147
Hallie (Alice Pickering Chalcraft) at Chemawa, Oregon
4 148
Alice Pickering Chalcraft, "Hallie" (tinted)
4 149
Alice Pickering Chalcraft, "Hallie"
4 150
Edwin L. Chalcraft at Silver Creek Falls camp, Oregon
4 151
Family group (Chalcrafts and Pickerings)
4 152
Grandpa Pickering, Hallie and Marie
4 153
Cemetery at Wanborough, Illinois
4 154
Old mud house at Wanborough, Ill.
4 155
Old mud house at Wanborough, Ill.
4 156
Old mud house at Wanborough, Ill.
4 157
Albion, Illinois, from Richard Chalcraft farm
4 158
Bridge over "Deep Cut," Albion, Ill.
4 159
Block house at Grand Ronde, built by General Sheridan
4 160
Horace Craigs house, Canyon City, Colorado
4 161
Where [we?] lived in Canyon City, Colo.
4 162
Unidentified house
4 163
Unidentified houses
4 164
Two unidentified houses

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Indians of North America -- Education -- Oregon -- Photographs

Personal Names

  • Chalcraft, Alice, 1858-1938 -- Archives
  • Chalcraft, Edwin L., 1855-1943 -- Archives
  • Pickering, William T., 1798-1873

Corporate Names

  • Chemawa Indian School -- Photographs

Family Names

  • Chalcraft family
  • Pickering family

Geographical Names

  • Chemawa (Salem, Or.) -- Photographs
  • Washington (State) -- Photographs

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Chalcraft, Alice, 1858-1938 (creator)