Frank La Roche Photographs
Frank La Roche Photographs consists of more than 300 photographs depicting scenes of Seattle, Washington state, Alaska, and the western United States and Canada.
Frank La Roche (1853-1936) 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. Some of the images included in this collection have been annotated from excerpts from this publication. About 1914, he moved his studio to the town of Sedro-Wooley, north of Seattle. Retiring about 1928, Frank La Roche died in Sedro-Wooley on April 12, 1936.
About the Database
The information for the Frank La Roche Photographs was researched and prepared by the UW Libraries Special Collections staff in 1998. Research, writing, and image scanning were done by Kristin Kinsey. Additional research assistance was provided by Richard Engeman. The La Roche collection consists of vintage photographic prints and copy prints that vary in size from 4"x5" to 10"x13". The photographs were scanned using a Microtek Scanmaker 9600L and saved in .jpg format. Some manipulation of the photographs was done to correct for color inconsistencies and to present the clearest possible digital image. The scanned images were then linked with descriptive data using the UW CONTENT program. The original collection resides in the UW Libraries Special Collections Division as the Frank La Roche Collection no. 283.
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