William Henry Jackson Exhibit: Views of Western North Carolina–1902

Currently on view in the North Carolina Room

William Henry Jackson (1843-1942), was one of the earliest and most important American photographers. From 1869 to 1878 he was the official photographer for the U.S. Geological Survey of the Territories. Jackson’s images of the Rocky Mountains, especially of the Yellowstone region, taken in 1871 and widely published, significantly influenced Congress’s decision the following year to designate the area as the USA’s first national park.

William Henry Jackson came to Western North Carolina in 1902 during his last active year as a renowned landscape photographer. Jackson visited this area when he was part owner and chief photographer for Detroit Photographic Company.  His trip to WNC is mentioned in the 1902 diary of photographer Henry Scadin, housed at UNCA Ramsey Library Special Collections. Scadin writes, “Tuesday, June 3. I was sent for this morning and when I got to Sapphire I found that Mr. Jackson, the most noted view photographer of America, was there and I had the pleasure of going with him to make some views. It has been a fine day.”

William Henry Jackson’s view of Asheville looking west towards the Battery Park Hotel and the postcard made from it. Click on image to enlarge.

jackson 1


Colored photo-offset, view of Asheville, looking west from somewhere on Beaucatcher; Battery Park Hotel (1886) on the right, with smoke billowing from tall chimney. Undivided back: copyright 1902 by Detroit Photographic Co.

Jackson’s view  of the hotel in closer view.

jackson 2


File:Detroit Photographic Co.'s Special, William Henry Jackson (LOC det.4a20188).jpg
Photograph of W.H. Jackson seated at a table in a passenger train, 1902. Library of Congress photo.


The Library of Congress has the William Henry Jackson collection of prints taken of Asheville and Western North Carolina. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/det

Information in this post from Asheville Art Museum exposition program, Vibrant Visions: William Henry Jackson’s photographs of Asheville and Western North Carolina, 2002.

Post by Zoe Rhine, Librarian

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s