Photographs of Los Angeles and Vicinity by W.H. Fletcher

Huntington Library. Photo Archives
Huntington Library. Photo Archives
Photograph Collections, 1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
(626) 405-2129

Descriptive Summary

Title: Photographs of Los Angeles and Vicinity by W.H. Fletcher
Dates: ca. 1880s-1890s
Collection Number: photCL 435
Creator/Collector: Fletcher, W.H. (William H.)
Extent: 25 card photographs; prints 12.5 x 19.5 cm (5 x 7.5 in.)
Repository: Huntington Library. Photo Archives
San Marino, California 91108
Abstract: This collection of William H. Fletcher card (cartes-de-visite) photographs focus mainly on Los Angeles during a period of industrial expansion and population growth, with special attention on Los Angeles Street (which passes through Downtown Los Angeles) and what is now the Historic Core and Civic Center districts. There are also town and nature views of Pasadena, Santa Monica, Ventura, Redondo Beach, and Burbank. Images of Missions San Fernando Rey, San Luis Rey, and San Juan Capistrano are also included.
Language of Material: English


Access is granted to qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact the Curator of Photographs at the Huntington Library.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Photographs. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Preferred Citation

Photographs of Los Angeles and Vicinity by W.H. Fletcher. Huntington Library. Photo Archives

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Mead Kibbey, December 30, 1999

Biography/Administrative History

William H. Fletcher was born in Hollis, New Hampshire in 1838 before his family moved to Lyndon, Vermont that same year. He learnt photography while working in the pharmaceutical and jewelry industries. Fletcher moved to Los Angles in 1885, thinking to establish himself as a druggist; however, an overabundance of pharmacies obliged him to turn to photography. Fletcher went into commercial photography but did not establish a formal studio or gallery of his own. The subjects of his photographs focused on Los Angeles just when it began to expand with immigrants and new businesses. He also traveled through the areas surrounding Los Angeles, photographing scenes from San Pedro, Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, Pasadena, and Ventura, aiming to tempt New Englanders to vacation out west. Many of Fletcher’s photographs were sold as card photographs to curio dealers to sell to tourists. Sometime after 1900, Fletcher retired from professional photography and went into the oil business; he died in 1922.

Scope and Content of Collection

This photograph collection has images of various views around Los Angeles, which include Los Angeles Street and some of its intersections, the Main and Spring Streets junction, Old Chinatown, the College of Medicine at University of Southern California (in its second incarnation on Buena Vista Street, now North Broadway), Llewellyn Iron Works, Elysian Park, the Hollenbeck Home for retirees, and what may be William H. Fletcher’s residence (see attached list for more information). Also included are photographs of Colorado Boulevard, Fair Oaks Avenue, and Devil’s Gate in Pasadena; the Los Angeles River; the Hotel Arcadia in Santa Monica; the Point Fermin Lighthouse in San Pedro; Ventura; Redondo Beach; and the California missions San Luis Rey, San Juan Capistrano, and San Fernando Rey.

Indexing Terms

California missions
City & town life—California—Los Angeles—1890-1900
Chinatown (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Llewellyn Iron Works
Parks—California—Los Angeles
Point Fermin Lighthouse
Rest homes—California—Los Angeles
San Fernando, Rey de España (Mission : San Fernando, Calif.)
San Luis Rey Mission (Calif.)
University of Southern California. College of Medicine
Burbank (Los Angeles County, Calif.)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Los Angeles River (Calif.)
Pasadena (Calif.)
Redondo Beach (Calif.)
Santa Monica (Calif.)
Ventura (Calif.)
Aerial views
Card photographs

Additional collection guides