Daguerreian Society

I am happy to offer you something from my neck of the woods: Washington 
State. To my knowledge, this fellow represents the only daguerreotypist 
that was active in Washington Territory.

On this day (May 13) in the year 1854, the following advertisement 
appeared in "The Pioneer and Democrat," (Olympia, Washington Territory; 
page 3):
- - - - - - - - - - -

              SAMUEL HOLMES,
       D A G U E R R E O T Y P I S T,
              OLYMPIA, W. T.

Will attend to all orders for the taking of Daguerreo-
type LIKENESSES, and all other matters connected
with the art.
  Rooms over the Cabinet Shop of D. C. Beatty.
  May 13, 1854.      36tf

(The advertisement continued through 10 March 1855.)
* * * *
In a later reminiscence, "D. C. Beatty" recounted the following:

  "As the Indians were getting troublesome Uncle Whitworth asked the 
mission fathers if they considered our situation dangerous.  They 
replied, 'Not yet, we will give you warning, if it becomes so, in time 
for you to go the stockade in Olympia.'  In about two weeks this warning 
was given and we fled to town.  Again we carried grandmother in her 
little chair to the water and set her into a canoe.  We found refuge in 
two rooms over Mr. Beatty's shop.  These rooms had been fitted up as a 
photograph gallery by Samuel Holmes father of Fred Holmes and Mrs. 
Robert Frost, and was the first art gallery in the Northwest.  I slept 
right under the big skylight in the roof.
  "Mr. Beatty and I were married in 1856. . ."

(cited from Blankenship, Mrs. G. E., "Early History of Thurston County"; 
Olympia: 1914. Pp. 93-94)

I'll also mention that the Allen Library/Special Collections at the 
University of Washington has two daguerreotypes, identified in a 
contemporary hand, as being taken by Samuel Holmes. The daguerreotypes 
are of noted individuals residing in Olympia, Washington Territory. 
Posted for your enjoyment.     Gary W. Ewer     

Return to: DagNews 1997

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