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Photographs of Alaska by Frank La Roche
photCL 95  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Additional collection guides

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Photographs of Alaska by Frank La Roche
    Dates: ca. 1892
    Collection Number: photCL 95
    Creator/Collector: La Roche, Frank (1853-1936)
    Extent: 54 photographs in 1 box; prints 23 x 17 cm. (9 x 6.5 in.). See itemized list under "Additional Collection Guides."
    Repository: Huntington Library. Photo Archives
    San Marino, California 91108
    Abstract: This collection consists of photographs of Alaska taken ca. 1892 by Frank La Roche, depicting Alaskan nature scenes, views of town life (mainly in Sitka and Wrangell), and some Alaskan Natives. This collection provides insight into the Alaskan environment just before the Klondike Gold Rush.
    Language of Material: English


    Access is granted to qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact the Curator of Photographs at the Huntington Library.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Photographs. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    Photographs of Alaska by Frank La Roche. Huntington Library. Photo Archives

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased from Shorey’s Bookstore (Seattle, Washington) on July 25, 1956.

    Biography/Administrative History

    Frank La Roche (1853-1936) was born in Philadelphia. At the age of seventeen, he was employed at a photographic studio and learned the trade for two years. In 1872, La Roche left for Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania to start a general commercial photography business. From 1876-1878, La Roche had a variety of commissions, including making negatives of the planet Mercury for the United States and French governments. His workmanship was recognized in the form of six prizes at the Iowa state fair in 1888. In 1889, he traveled to Seattle, Washington just after the Great Seattle Fire and opened a photo gallery. La Roche took trips through Alaska and Canada, specializing in scenic and industrial photography. Perhaps his most intensive project was photographing the Klondike Gold Rush, which lasted from ca. 1897-1899. La Roche moved his studio to Sedro-Wooley, Washington in 1914. He retired in 1928, passing the business to his son. He died in Sedro-Wooley in 1936 at the age of eighty-two.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection is particularly strong in images of Muir Glacier and the cities of Sitka and Wrangell, ca. 1892. In addition to images of these places, the collection includes images of Alaskan Natives; Alaskan Native totem poles; Killisnoo, Alaska; the Native American community of Kasaan, Alaska; the steamboat Star Queen; various glaciers; and Treadmill Mill and Mine at Douglas Island.

    Indexing Terms

    Indians of North America—Alaska
    Metlakatla (Alaska)
    Totem poles
    Douglas Island (Alaska)
    Juneau (Alaska)
    Kasaan (Alaska)
    Killisnoo (Alaska)
    Sitka (Alaska)
    Wrangell (Alaska)
    Marine photographs

    Additional collection guides