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A guide to the William L. Shelton photograph collection, circa 1888-1920
P00-019 (SAFR 23842)  
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Collection Contents

Glass storage

Series 1.  Photographs, circa 1888-1920

Extent: 48 photographs (48 physical forms: black-and-white glass plate negatives)

Scope and Content Note

Items 01-48. Contains photographs of CLAXTON (built 1918; destroyer: U.S. Navy), CORONA (built 1888; passenger vessel), IOWA (built 1896; battleship: U.S. Navy), VALLEJO (built 1879; paddle ferry), a river cable ferry, an unidentified three-masted schooner, and other U.S. Navy vessels. The collection also includes views of damage from the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco, California. Two views of parades show San Francisco before and after the earthquake. Other photographs show logging activities, miscellaneous structures (businesses, churches, adobe ruins, bridges, etc.), people participating in recreational activities, and landscape views. Some locations have been identified as California (Humboldt County, Lompoc, Mare Island, Merazo, San Francisco and Yosemite) and Nevada (Flanigan), while other locations are unidentified.

Arrangement

Arranged into three File Units: File Unit 1: Vessels; File Unit 2: San Francisco, California, scenes; File Unit 3: Other locations.
Glass storage

File Unit 1.  Vessels, circa 1888-1920

Extent: 11 photographs.
Physical Description: 11 black-and-white glass plate negatives, 5 x 7 in. and 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Items 01-11. Contains photographs of vessels, including CORONA (built 1888; passenger vessel), a river cable ferry, an unidentified three-masted schooner, IOWA (built 1896; battleship: U.S. Navy), an Indiana class battleship, an Illinois class battleship, VALLEJO (paddle ferry), and CLAXTON (built 1918; destroyer: U.S. Navy). Some locations are identified as Mare Island, California. Other locations are unidentified.
Glass storage

Item No. 01.  Corona (built 1888; passenger vessel) docked, bow view, 1888-1907

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Lumber is stacked on the pier. Groups of men are both aboard the vessel and on the pier. A banner that reads "The California Promotion Company" is attached to the vessel's port side railing. Smoke is coming out of the vessel's smokestack. A Pacific Coast Steamship company (P.C.S.S.) gangway is leading up to the vessel. CORONA was a P.C.S.S. vessel.
Glass storage

Item No. 02.  Cable ferry crossing a river, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

On board are one horse-drawn carriage carrying one man and five men standing on the deck.
Glass storage

Item No. 03.  Cable ferry crossing a river, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Distant view. On board are one horse-drawn carriage carrying one man and two men standing on the deck. A dinghy is being pulled alongside the ferry.
Glass storage

Item No. 04.  Three-masted schooner docked at a lumber mill, stern view, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Logs are floating in the foreground. Lumber is stacked on the pier in the background. Buildings are on the right. On the left, the schooner is docked at the pier, stern view. The vessel's home port is San Francisco, California. The vessel's name is obscured, but two of the letters are possibly "DL" or "BL."
Glass storage

Item No. 05.  Iowa (built 1896; battleship: U.S. Navy) in the stream, starboard broadside view, 1896-circa 1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in.

Scope and Content Note

Two lifeboats are in the water alongside the vessel.
Glass storage

Item No. 06.  Iowa (built 1896; battleship: U.S. Navy) in the stream, starboard broadside view, 1896-circa 1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in.

Scope and Content Note

Two lifeboats are in the water alongside the vessel. An unidentified two-masted schooner is underway on the right.
Glass storage

Item No. 07.  Indiana class battleship docked, bow view, 1893-circa 1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in. The upper right corner is chipped.

Scope and Content Note

The vessel is either the Union Iron Works (San Francisco, California) built vessel OREGON (built 1893; battleship: U.S. Navy) or one of the William Cramp & Sons (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) built vessels INDIANA (built 1893; battleship: U.S. Navy) or MASSACHUSETTS (built 1893; battleship: U.S. Navy).
Glass storage

Item No. 08.  Illinois class battleship anchored in the stream, port quarter view, 1898-circa 1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in. Emulsion loss in the upper left corner.

Scope and Content Note

The vessel is either the Union Iron Works (San Francisco, California) built vessel WISCONSIN (built 1898; battleship: U.S. Navy), the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company (Newport News, Virginia) built vessel ILLINOIS (built 1898; battleship: U.S. Navy), or the William Cramp & Sons (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) built vessel ALABAMA (built 1898; battleship: U.S. Navy). Numerous sailors are on deck.
Glass storage

Item No. 09.  Illinois class battleship in the stream, starboard quarter view, 1898-circa 1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in.

Scope and Content Note

The vessel is either the Union Iron Works (San Francisco, California) built vessel WISCONSIN (built 1898; battleship: U.S. Navy), the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company (Newport News, Virginia) built vessel ILLINOIS (built 1898; battleship: U.S. Navy), or the William Cramp & Sons (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) built vessel ALABAMA (built 1898; battleship: U.S. Navy). Several sailors are on deck. Two lifeboats are in the water alongside the vessel.
Glass storage

Item No. 10.  Vallejo (built 1879; paddle ferry) crowded with passengers while underway at Mare Island, California, broadside view, 1918-1919

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in. Emulsion losses along the top, bottom, and right edges of the plate.

Scope and Content Note

"Vallejo A.M.I.E." is painted on the hull. From 1914-1919, VALLEJO provided transportation for the Association of Mare Island Employees. An unidentified passenger vessel with a camouflage painted hull is in the background.
Glass storage

Item No. 11.  Warships at Mare Island, California, 1918-1919

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in. Emulsion loss along the top, bottom, and right edges of the plate.

Scope and Content Note

CLAXTON (built 1918; destroyer: U.S. Navy) (hull number 140) and an unidentified passenger vessel with a camouflage painted hull. A tugboat is underway on the left. A large crane is also in view.
Glass storage

File Unit 2.  San Francisco, California, scenes, 1898-1909

Extent: 15 photographs.
Physical Description: 15 black-and-white glass plate negatives, 5 x 7 in. and 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Items 12-26. Contains photographs of the damage caused by the April 18, 1906, earthquake and resulting fires that burned for several days in San Francisco, California. Also includes two photographs of parades in San Francisco before and after the earthquake.
Glass storage

Item No. 12.  Parade down Market Street, San Francisco, California, 1898-1906

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in. Areas of emulsion loss long the bottom edge of the plate.

Scope and Content Note

The Call Building, built in 1898 and located at Market and 3rd Streets, is one of the buildings in view. Garlands and U.S. flags are strung above the street. Large crowds of people are lining the road. Uniformed men are on horseback parading down the street.
Glass storage

Item No. 13.  Earthquake and fire damage on Nob Hill, San Francisco, California, after 1906 April 18

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in. Brown stain near the center of the top edge of the plate.

Scope and Content Note

View of collapsed and burned out buildings. The Fairmont Hotel and the James C. Flood Mansion, located at California and Mason Streets, are on the right. The Ferry Building is in the far distance with scaffolding erected around the clock tower.
Glass storage

Item No. 14.  Earthquake and fire damage on Nob Hill, San Francisco, California, after 1906 April 18

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

The James C. Flood Mansion, located at California and Mason Streets, is in view on the left with the Fairmont Hotel partially in view behind it. Some tents are pitched among the rubble. A man, possibly a police officer, is standing on the street corner. The Call Building, located at Market and 3rd Streets, is one of the buildings in the distance.
Glass storage

Item No. 15.  Earthquake and fire damage in San Francisco, California, after 1906 April 18

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

View of collapsed and burned out buildings, possibly as seen from Nob Hill. A man is in the foreground with his back to the camera. The Call Building, located at Market and 3rd Streets, is one of the buildings in the distance.
Glass storage

Item No. 16.  Earthquake and fire damage in San Francisco, California, after 1906 April 18

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

View of collapsed and burned out buildings, possibly as seen from Nob Hill.
Glass storage

Item No. 17.  Earthquake and fire damage in San Francisco, California, after 1906 April 18

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

View of collapsed and burned out buildings, likely as seen from Nob Hill. The Call Building, located at Market and 3rd Streets, is one of the buildings in the distance toward the left. The remains of Temple Emanu-el, located on Sutter Street between Powell and Stockton Streets, are on the right.
Glass storage

Item No. 18.  Earthquake and fire damage in San Francisco, California, after 1906 April 18

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

View of collapsed and burned out buildings, likely as seen from Nob Hill. City Hall is one of the buildings in the distance on the right. The remains of Temple Emanu-el, located on Sutter Street between Powell and Stockton Streets, and the remains of the St. Francis Hotel, located on Powell Street between Sutter and Post Streets, are on the left.
Glass storage

Item No. 19.  Earthquake and fire damage in San Francisco, California, after 1906 April 18

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

View of collapsed and burned out buildings, possibly as seen from Nob Hill. City Hall is one of the buildings in the distance on the right.
Glass storage

Item No. 20.  Earthquake damage at Mission San Francisco de Asis (Mission Dolores) chapel, San Francisco, California, after 1906 April 18

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in. The upper right corner is chipped.

Scope and Content Note

A woman is standing in the cemetery to the left of the chapel. The top portion of a tall tombstone has fallen over and is leaning against the side of the chapel. There is damage to the roof of the church to the right of the Mission and a pile of rubble is on the ground, also to the right of the Mission.
Glass storage

Item No. 21.  Remains of St. Mary's Church at California and Dupont Streets, San Francisco, California, after 1906 April 18

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Damaged during the earthquake and fire. Rubble and one tent are in the foreground. The Merchant Exchange Building and the Kohl Building, both at Montgomery and California Streets, are in the middle distance. The clock tower of the Ferry Building is visible in the far distance.
Glass storage

Item No. 22.  Remains of Grace Episcopal Church at California and Stockton Streets, San Francisco, California, after 1906 April 18

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Damaged during the earthquake and fire. Rubble is in the foreground.
Glass storage

Item No. 23.  Remains of St. Ignatius Church and College at Hayes and Van Ness Streets, San Francisco, California, after 1906 April 18

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Damaged during the earthquake and fire.
Glass storage

Item No. 24.  Soldiers seated and standing in lines outside the Reorganized Church of Latter-day Saints, possibly in San Francisco, California, after 1906 April 18

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in. Emulsion loss along the bottom edge of the plate.

Scope and Content Note

Approximately 100 men are in view, both seated and standing, most holding rifles. The church chimney has fallen against the roof and a pile of rubble is in the foreground. Two tents are pitched in front of the church.
Glass storage

Item No. 25.  Soldiers lined up outside the Reorganized Church of Latter-day Saints, possibly in San Francisco, California, after 1906 April 18

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in. Emulsion loss along the top edge of the plate.

Scope and Content Note

Men are standing in a line and holding rifles at their sides. The church chimney has fallen against the roof. Tents are pitched outside the church. An "Ivory Soap" sign is attached to a fence and a "St. Rose Cigar Stand" sign is in the background.
Glass storage

Item No. 26.  Parade, possibly on Dolores Street, San Francisco, California, 1909

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in. Emulsion loss across the bottom edge of the plate. On the non-emulsion side, there is a brown substance, potentially a mold, across the lower third of the plate.

Scope and Content Note

Uniformed men are on horseback and riding in horse-drawn carriages decorated with U.S. flags. Possibly firemen and fire engines. Spectators are lined up along the street. An Edward P. Shorthall campaign sign is in the background on the left. Shorthall was the Republican party incumbent in the 1909 election for the position of police judge. He was endorsed by the Union Labor Party. Shorthall was first elected as police judge in 1906.
Glass storage

File Unit 3.  Other locations, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 22 photographs.
Physical Description: 22 black-and-white glass plate negatives, 5 x 7 in. and 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Items 27-48. Contains photographs of logging activities, miscellaneous structures, recreational activities, landscapes, and a portrait of a woman. Includes views of the Pacific Lumber Company lumber mill in Humboldt County, California, and men participating in logging activities. (Note: see also File Unit 1, Item 04 for a photograph of an unidentified three-masted schooner at a lumber mill.) Miscellaneous structures include the Humboldt County courthouse in Eureka, California; a building, possibly a train depot, in Merazo, California; adobe ruins, possibly at La Purisima Mission in Lompoc, California; and a post office in Flanigan, Nevada. Structures in unidentified locations include churches; a drugstore and Wells Fargo Express office; a bridge; a Victorian style building; and a man-made waterfall. Photographs of recreational activities include views at a resort, a group on an outing in a horse-drawn carriage, and a group gathered at a gazebo, all at unidentified locations. Also contains photographs of landscapes, including one view of Half Dome in Yosemite, California, and one view of an unidentified valley with a river. One portrait shows an unidentified woman.

Subject Item Ranges:

  • Items 27-29: Logging.
  • Items 30-40: Structures.
  • Items 41-45: Recreation.
  • Items 46-47: Landscapes.
  • Item 48: Portrait of a woman.
Glass storage

Item No. 27.  Pacific Lumber Company mill, likely in Humboldt County, California, 1896-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

The date on the building reads "1896," which likely refers to when the building was constructed.
Glass storage

Item No. 28.  Logging, showing both standing and felled trees, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Two men are a work.
Glass storage

Item No. 29.  Logging activities, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in. Some emulsion loss along the top edge of the plate.

Scope and Content Note

Several men, four young boys, and several horses have stopped their activity to look at the camera.
Glass storage

Item No. 30.  Humboldt County courthouse, Eureka, California, 1904 July 4

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in. Lightly penciled on the emulsion side: "Courthouse at Eureka July 4, 1904."

Scope and Content Note

Numerous people are lined up along the street. A crowd is also gathered on the building's front steps. The front of the building is decorated. There is a horse-drawn carriage with men aboard and decorated with U.S. flags in the street. A parade float is in the street at the base of the front steps.
Glass storage

Item No. 31.  Building at Merazo, California, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in. Emulsion loss along the top edge of the plate.

Scope and Content Note

A small building is on the left, possibly a train depot. A railroad track is in the foreground. Nine men, possibly surveyors, are lined up behind a fence. Two axes have been driven into the top of two fence posts. Two pitched tents are behind the men. Two tripods with telescope-type equipment are set up. A sign in view reads "To San Francisco. 45 4/10 M. Merazo. Elevation 19 Feet."
Glass storage

Item No. 32.  Adobe building ruins, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Possibly at Mission La Purisima Concepcion in Lompoc, California.
Glass storage

Item No. 33.  Adobe building ruins, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Possibly at Mission La Purisima Concepcion in Lompoc, California.
Glass storage

Item No. 34.  Abandoned adobe church, unidentified, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

The plaster along the side of the church has eroded away and exposed the adobe bricks.
Glass storage

Item No. 35.  Church, unidentified, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

A small group of people is gathered to the right of the building. A horse-drawn carriage is behind them. A sign on a building in the right background reads "Cleaning. Repairing. Pressing." A bicycle is leaning against a tree on the left.
Glass storage

Item No. 36.  Drugstore and Wells Fargo Express Office, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Two-story building. "R.M. Parsons" is printed in the window above the door. An advertisement for Foley's Honey & Tar is in the window on the right. A horse-drawn carriage with one man seated inside is to the left of the building. Another man is walking toward the carriage while holding a package. A third man can be seen through the open door of the store, standing behind the counter.
Glass storage

Item No. 37.  Victorian-style building, unidentified, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Three men (two seated, one standing) are on the porch. A small sign attached to the corner of the building reads "Dr. Sullivan."
Glass storage

Item No. 38.  Ten men standing on a bridge over a river, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in. Upper right corner is missing. Areas of emulsion loss and some gelatin separation along the top edge of the plate.

Scope and Content Note

The men are lined up on the bridge, looking at the camera. Houses and a horse-drawn carriage are in the left background. A group of women is also on the bridge on the right, obscured by tree branches.
Glass storage

Item No. 39.  Man-made waterfall at a small creek, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in.

Scope and Content Note

A simple wooden fence has been constructed. Water is flowing from a trough near the top of the fence to a small creek below.
Glass storage

Item No. 40.  Post office and store in Flanigan, Nevada, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in.

Scope and Content Note

One man is seated in the doorway of the building. Two automobiles are parked outside. One man is at the wheel of one car. The other car has two men, one woman, and two children inside.
Glass storage

Item No. 41.  Resort, unidentified, docks view, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in.

Scope and Content Note

Numerous people are in view outside the buildings. Possibly a mountain lake resort.
Glass storage

Item No. 42.  Resort, unidentified, beach view, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in. Emulsion loss along the top, bottom, and right edges of the plate.

Scope and Content Note

View as seen from the water. Numerous people are on the beach. A sign on one of the buildings in view reads "Sandy Beach / Bathing / Hugh Breen." Trees surround the beach. Possibly a mountain lake resort.
Glass storage

Item No. 43.  Resort, unidentified, beach view, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in.

Scope and Content Note

Numerous people are in view, as seen from the beach. Most people are standing and walking on the beach, but some are in the water.
Glass storage

Item No. 44.  Group on an outing in a horse-drawn carriage, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.

Scope and Content Note

Two women and three children are inside the carriage. Two small U.S. flags are attached to the top of the carriage. The background is wooded.
Glass storage

Item No. 45.  Group portrait around a gazebo, 1900-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in. Emulsion loss across the top edge of the plate.

Scope and Content Note

Five men are standing at the gazebo. On the left is a horse-drawn carriage with one man seated inside and a sign hanging from the roof with "Sulphur Springs" visible. On the right, two men are standing by an Auburn 4-Cylinder automobile. An additional automobile is also on the far right. Another man is standing outside the small building in the background.
Sulphur Springs could possibly refer to White Sulphur Springs in Vallejo, California. There was also a Sulphur Springs Road in Vallejo.
Glass storage

Item No. 46.  Half-Dome and valley in Yosemite, California, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in.
Glass storage

Item No. 47.  Landscape of tree-covered hills and a valley with a river, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 6.5 x 8.5 in. Emulsion loss across the top edge of the plate. On the non-emulsion side, there is a brown substance, potentially a mold, across the upper third of the plate.

Scope and Content Note

Some buildings and a railroad track are in the distance.
Glass storage

Item No. 48.  Woman standing in front of a shelter with her arms crossed, circa 1890-1920

Extent: 1 photograph.
Physical Description: 1 black-and-white glass plate negative, 5 x 7 in. Emulsion loss along the left, right, and top edges of the plate.

Scope and Content Note

The entrance to the shelter is covered with a quilt. The unidentified woman is wearing a headscarf.