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Sequoia Photographer, C.C. Curtis

Please consult the  Sequoia and Kings Canyon Official Website  due to the temporary closure of Park roads and facilities.

Sequoia Photographer, C.C. Curtis

The Summer home and photography studio of C.C. Curtis perched on a Sequoia stump among the big trees. Curtis is with his daughter in the door, and his wife is in the window.

Legendary pioneer and Sequoia ‘Big Tree’ photographer, Charles Clifford (C.C.) Curtis who lived from 1862-1956 once stationed his photography studio on top of a felled Sequoia. Curtis, a member of the Kaweah Colony was well known for his incredible historical images, and helped to document the great destruction of Sequoia Groves including Converse Basin just north of Grant Grove and now currently west of Hume Lake. His iconic photo of the felling of the 331 foot tall Mark Twain Sequoia which reportedly started growing in 550 A.D. was photographed during its fall along with the loggers who brought it down with axes, and a two crosscut saws forged together. The pioneer efforts of Curtis were filled with great challenge and financial hardships, yet his gift remains with us today.

“When the giant Sequoias fell, a pioneer with a camera was there to make certain the people never forgot…”

Ralph W. Andrews speaking of Curtis in “Photographers of the Frontier West.”
Copyrighted 1892 by Charles C. Curtis. The woman’s name is unknown, but loggers were known as Bill Mills at bottom, and S.D. Phips with a missing finger. This photograph shows loggers posing with slab of Giant Sequoia, Kings River Grove (now part of Kings Canyon National Park), California, felled in 1891, to be exhibited in the Natural History Museum in New York.
Constantly on Hand at Reasonable Prices. Here is C.C. Curtis’ logo that appeared on the back of his photographic prints. He also used the city of Handford, CA on other prints.
Scene in sequoia woods near Gen. Grant Park. Woodcutters (men with axes) standing and sitting on fallen redwood. Redwood labeled Sequoia, diameter 76 ft. Oct. 24, 1891. Curtis, C. C. 1892.
Men, women and children standing on the Fallen Monarch, Gen. Grant National Park by C.C. Curtis 1892.
More tourists posing by the Fallen Monarch. Photograph by C. C. Curtis. Circa 1891

Mark Twain Photo Credit

End of Mark Twain log, diameter 18 ft. For the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park, New York

Digital ID: (digital file from original, front) ds 12646 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ds.12646 

Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ds-12646 (digital file from original, front) LC-DIG-ds-13006 (digital file from original, back)

Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

Scene in Sequoia Woods Credit

Title: Scene in sequoia woods near Gen. Grant Park [graphic].

Material Type: Visual material

Creator: Curtis, C. C.

Subject: Giant sequoias–California–Tulare County.

Subject: Loggers–California–Tulare County.

Subject: Kings Canyon National Park (Calif.)–Photographs.

Subject: Tulare County (Calif.)–Photographs.

Subject: Photographic prints.

Subject: Photograph albums.

Description: Woodcutters (men with axes) standing and sitting on fallen redwood. Redwood labeled Sequoia, diameter 76 ft. Oct. 24, 1891.

Description: ca1777.

Date of Publication: c1892.

The Fallen Monarch, Gen. Grant National Park Photo Credit

Material Type: Visual material

Creator: Curtis, C. C.

See Also

Subject: Giant sequoias–California–Tulare County.

Subject: Kings Canyon National Park (Calif.)–Photographs.

Subject: Tulare County (Calif.)–Photographs.

Subject: Photographic prints.

Subject: Photograph albums.

Description: Men, women and children standing on fallen redwood.

Description: ca1776.

Date of Publication: c1892.

Date: c1892.

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