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LA ROCHE, Frank (1853-1936)
[Original Photograph Titled:] 1263. Juneau from the Water.
Ca. 1890s. Gelatin silver print ca. 18x23,5 cm (7 ¼ x 9 ¼ in). Mounted on the original photographer's card with blind stamped address and signature "La Roche" on the lower margin. Signed and titled in negative. Mount with minor chipping on the extremities, otherwise a very good photo. "A prolific landscape photographer, he reputedly made over 100 round trips to Alaska. His only trip into the Yukon interior was in the late summer and fall 1897. Views from his summer 1897 journey were copyrighted that year and published in an 1898 souvenir album, one of the earliest printed works to depict the harrowing trip faced by the gold-hungry hordes" ("Camera Workers..." online, vol. 1). "Frank La Roche was born in Philadelphia, where he learned the trade of photography. He arrived in Seattle just after the great fire of June 1889 to find the city in ashes, but soon opened a gallery in the Kilgen block on 2nd Avenue. His studio, in addition to high-class portrait photography, specialized in scenic and industrial views of western Washington state. He produced extensive views of the Seattle waterfront, streets and buildings, early Everett land speculation, ships, logging activities, and American Indians. In addition, he traveled in California, the western United States and along the line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, taking scenic views which he produced for sale to travelers. He also made numerous trips to southeastern Alaska and the Yukon Territory photographing among others, scenes during the Klondike gold rush, ca. 1897-1899. These included views of his experiences traveling from Dyea, Alaska over the Chilkoot Pass into British Columbia to reach the gold fields. He sold mounted prints of his travels, but preferred to reach a larger audience through his six-part album entitled Enroute to the Klondike" (Frank La Roche photograph collection/ University of Washington Libraries online).