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Guide to the Martin Mason Hazeltine stereoview collection
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of the Collection
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Related Materials
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Martin Mason Hazeltine stereoview collection,
    Dates: circa 1870
    Collection number: H.Mss.0994
    Creator: Hazeltine, M. M. (Martin Mason), 1827-1903
    Creator: Soule, John P.
    Extent: 54 items
    Repository: Claremont Colleges. Library. Special Collectins, Honnold/Mudd Library. Claremont, CA 91711
    Abstract: Fifty-three stereoviews, plus one duplicate, of Yosemite Valley and the California Big Trees scenic views. All marked with the studio imprint of John P. Soule. This "California" series of photographs was produced by the photographer Martin Mason Hazeltine (1827-1903), though no credit is given him on these images. Hazeltine, a Vermont native, moved to California and established a studio in Mendocino in the late 1860s. Among his works, he produced many western images, including this Yosemite series, and one on the Yellowstone. His photos were published by other firms, including J. P. Soule, and Lawrence & Houseworth.
    Physical location: Please consult repository.
    Language of materials: Languages represented in the collection: English.

    Administrative Information


    This collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Martin Mason Hazeltine stereoview collection (H.Mss.0994). Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library, Claremont University Consortium.

    Source of Acquisition

    Purchase by Lisa Crane with Kemble funds, June 2012.


    No additions to the collection are anticipated.

    Processing Information

    Stereoscopes were placed in individual mylar sleeves and housed in an archival box. Titles for the finding aid were transcribed as printed on the front of each stereoview including punctuation and capitalization. Those titles which did not include "No." in the title on the photograph were added using brackets [].


    Martin Mason Hazeltine was a first-class itinerant photographer and a major source of western stereographic negatives in the 1860s and 1870s. He was born in Vermont on July 31, 1827, the son of Asa and Fanny (Bancroft) Hazeltine, both natives of Vermont.
    Hazeltine's first visit to California was in 1850 when he spent the next two years mining for gold. Upon his return home in 1852, he and his younger brother, George Irving Hazeltine, learned the art of daguerreotypy. In October 1853, the pair departed for California by way of New York, where they visited the Crystal Palace Exhibition before boarding their ship. Two months later they arrived in San Francisco and operated a daguerreotype studio together until 1855. At that time, Martin and George parted ways and began their separate careers as professional photographers and businessmen. In 1855, Martin married Barbara Fabing of Fremont, Ohio.
    Hazeltine traveled widely, photographing the scenery in Yosemite Valley and other places in California, Yellowstone National Park, Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon. During the 1860s and 1870s, he photographed primarily in California, including Yosemite, where he established a summer studio, and Mendocino County, where he and his family occasionally wintered. In June 1876, Hazeltine joined forces with his former competitor, John James Reilly, Yosemite's first resident photographer, and the two agreed to form a monopoly for photographic services in the Valley. In the winter of 1877, Hazeltine lost two of his six children to smallpox.
    Hazeltine marketed many of his images as stereographs, both on his own and through publishers such as John P. Soule of Boston, Thomas Houseworth and Company of San Francisco, Kilburn Brothers of New Hampshire, and John S. Moulton of Massachusetts. He issued many of his images in stereograph sets, titled in various ways, including "Yo-Semite Valley, California." He also assembled sets of stereographs advertising railroads, including the Southern Pacific, Union Pacific and Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, and occasionally he published the work of other photographers.
    In 1878, Hazeltine began moving farther afield. He opened a photography gallery in Reno, Nevada, but by 1883 he had a shop in Boise, Idaho. Ever the itinerant photographer, Hazeltine traveled widely throughout much of his career: Alaska in 1878, Montana in 1880, Idaho and Yellowstone Park in 1883, and to various places in California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington throughout the 1880s and 1890s. He visited Baker City, Oregon, in 1880 and by 1884 he had established there a companion gallery to his Boise studio. Baker City would become his home base for the rest of his life. Following a painful illness of several weeks, Hazaeltine dies at his home in Baker City on February 16, 1903. He was survived by his wife Barbara, son Leland, daughters Viola and Nea, brother George and sister Augusta Hazeltine. One of Hazeltine’s obituaries noted that he had "accumulated the largest and most valuable collection of scenic views on the Pacific coast."
    References for biography:
    Oregon Historical Society Research Library. "Guide to the George I. Hazeltine and Martin M. Hazeltine Photographs, 1866-circa 1920." Accessed July 3, 2012. http://nwda-db.wsulibs.wsu.edu/findaid/ark:/80444/xv55069.
    Palmquist, Peter E. and Thomas R. Kailbourn. Pioneer Photographers of the Far West; A Biographical Dictionary, 1840-1865. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000.

    Scope and Content of the Collection

    Collection consists of 54 stereoview photographs of 53 scenic views of Yosemite and the California Big Trees. One photograph is duplicated. Stereoviews are mounted on yellow card stock and are all marked with the studio imprint of John P. Soule. Views include various lakes, falls, mountains and vistas found in Yosemite as well as the mammoth trees found in Mariposa County. Two stereoviews (no. 1069 and 1080) have a "table of contents" on their reverse which list the numbers and titles of the "California" series, "Views in the Yo Semite Valley" and "Big Trees of Calaveras Co.". Stereoview no. 1075 has two unrelated photographs adhered to its reverse depicting two streets in Boston, Massachusetts, following the Great Fire of 1872.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Stereoviews are arranged in numerical order based on the number in its title.

    Related Materials

    George I. and Martin M. Hazeltine photographs, Org. Lot 467, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.  Collection contains photographs taken by Martin M. Hazeltine and his brother, George I. Hazeltine. The work of Martin M. Hazeltine represents the largest part of the Hazeltine Photographs, with heavy emphasis on scenic views of Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon, and Yellowstone National Park.
    Mendocino County Photographs Taken by M.M. Hazeltine, BANC PIC 1905.13608-.13651--PIC, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.   Collection consists of 44 cartes de visite photographic prints of sites in Mendocino County, taken by M. M. Hazeltine, circa 1867-1869.
    Photographs of Oregon, California, Idaho, and Other Western Scenes, BANC PIC 1905.13652-.13974--STER, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.   Collection contains 310 items - 293 stereographs, 7 cartes de visite, and 10 other mounted albumen prints - taken from 1857 to circa 1895. Most of the prints are the work of M.M. (Martin Mason) Hazeltine, though many are by his brother G.I. (George Irving) Hazeltine. The collection features views from several Western states, especially California, Oregon and Idaho.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Hazeltine, M. M. (Martin Mason), 1827-1903
    Mariposa County (Calif.)
    Yosemite Valley (Calif.)

    Genre and Form of Materials

    Stereoscopic views