Guide to the Martin Mason Hazeltine stereoview collection

Finding aid prepared by Lisa L. Crane, MLIS
Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library
800 North Dartmouth Ave
Claremont, CA, 91711
Phone: (909) 607-3977
© 2012
Claremont University Consortium. All rights reserved.

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.
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

Box 1, Item 1

No. 1069. Yo Semite Fall, 2,634 feet high. -- Yo Semite Valley.


Two individuals stand at river's edge looking up at the falls. Reverse of stereoview is "table of contents" listing individual titles for numbers 1066 through 1084 under "Views in the Yo Semite Valley" and individual titles for numbers 1085 through 1096 under "Big Trees of Calaveras Co.".
Box 1, Item 2

No. 1072. Hutching's Hotel and Sentinel Rock. -- Yo Semite Valley.


Men and horses are depicted in front of hotel.
Box 1, Item 3

No. 1074. On the Merced River, near El Capitan. -- Yo Semite Valley.

Box 1, Item 4

No. 1075. Samon's Cabin, and North Dome, 3725 feet high, -- Yo Semite Valley.


A man sits in front of cabin. Reverse side of stereoscope contains two photographs from Boston, Massachusetts after the Great Fire of 1872. Handwritting identifies photos as "view down Meilk St." and "view down Devonshire St.".
Box 1, Item 5

No. 1077. Mirror Lake. -- Yo Semite Valley.

Box 1, Item 6

No. 1080. Mirror Lake. -- Yo Semite Valley.


Reverse of stereoview is "table of contents" listing individual titles for numbers 1066 through 1084 under "Views in the Yo Semite Valley" and individual titles for numbers 1085 through 1096 under "Big Trees of Calaveras Co.".
Box 1, Item 7

No. 1128. The Vernal Fall, 350 feet high. -- Yo Semite Valley.

Box 1, Item 8

No. 1129. The Vernal Fall, 350 feet high. -- Yo Semite Valley.


A man stands next to river at right side of photograph.
Box 1, Item 9

[No.] 1163. Yo-Semite Valley, from South Dome.

Box 1, Item 10

[No.] 1165. Mt. Watkins, from South Dome; Mt. Hoffman in distance, perpetual snow in foreground.

Box 1, Item 11

[No.] 1168. Mt. Starr King, (5600 ft. above Valley) from South Dome.

Box 1, Item 12

[No.] 1172. Clouds' Rest, from Lake at foot of South Dome.

Box 1, Item 13

[No.] 1173. Vernal and Nevada Falls, from Glacier Point; Mt. Hoffman in distance.

Box 1, Item 14

[No.] 1176. South Dome, Mt. Watkins, Clouds' Rest and Cathedral Peak, from Glacier Point.

Box 1, Item 15

[No.] 1177. Yo-Semite Fall, (2634 feet high) from Sentinel Dome.

Box 1, Item 16-17

[No.] 1178. South Dome, Mt. Watkins, Clouds' Rest, &c., from Sentinel Dome.

Physical Description: 2 items
Box 1, Item 18

[No.] 1182. Mt. Clark and the Sierra Nevadas, from Buena Vista Peak.

Box 1, Item 19

[No.] 1184. The Sierra Nevadas, from Buena Vista Peak, looking Southerly.

Box 1, Item 20

No. 1185. Mt. Starr King and South Dome, from Buena Vista Peak.

Box 1, Item 21

[No.] 1186. The Yo-Semite Valley, (4060 feet above Sea) from Mariposa Trail.

Box 1, Item 22

[No.] 1187. The Yo-Semite Valley (4060 feet above sea), from Mariposa Trail.

Box 1, Item 23

[No.] 1189. Yo-Semite Valley, from Mariposa Trail, after Snow-Storm in June.

Box 1, Item 24

[No.] 1190. South Dome, from Clouds' Rest. (Perpetual Snow.)

Box 1, Item 25

No. 1191. Clouds' Rest (6450 feet above valley), from Nevada Fall Trail.

Box 1, Item 26

No. 1193. Cap of Liberty, from Trail.

Box 1, Item 27

[No.] 1196. Cloud's Rest, (6450 feet above Valley) from Cap of Liberty.

Box 1, Item 28

No. 1200. Bridal Veil Fall (940 ft. high). Near view.

Box 1, Item 29

[No.] 1202. Bridal Veil Fall, (940 feet high). Blown into Mist.

Box 1, Item 30

[No.] 1203. Bridal Veil Fall, (940 feet high) from the Harding Trail.

Box 1, Item 31

No. 1204. Nevada Fall (700 ft. high), from the New Trail.

Box 1, Item 32

[No.] 1205. Nevada Fall, (700 feet high) and Cap of Liberty, from the New Trail.

Box 1, Item 33

[No.] 1206. Nevada Fall, (700 feet high.) Near View.

Box 1, Item 34

[No.] 1208. Nevada Fall, (700 feet high) from Foot Bridge, after Snow Storm in July.

Box 1, Item 35

No. 1209. Foot-bridge leading to Nevada Fall, after snow-storm in July.

Box 1, Item 36

[No.] 1210. Vernal Fall, (350 feet high) from above, after Snow Storm in July.

Box 1, Item 37

[No.] 1211. Vernal Fall, (350 feet high).

Box 1, Item 38

[No.] 1212. Vernal Fall, (350 feet high) and Cap of Liberty, 4600 feet above Valley.


A man stands at side of river on right side of photograph.
Box 1, Item 39

[No.] 1213. Ladders at Vernal Fall.

Box 1, Item 40

[No.] 1223. Yo-Semite Fall (2634 ft. high) from the Glacier Cascade.

Box 1, Item 41

No. 1226. North Dome and Washington Column (3725 ft. and 2400 ft. above valley), from Merced River.

Box 1, Item 42

No. 1231. South Dome (6000 feet above valley), from near Hutchings.

Box 1, Item 43

[No.] 1232. South Dome, (6000 feet high) from head of Valley.

Box 1, Item 44

No. 1237. Ribbon Fall (1800 feet high), from the Merced River.

Box 1, Item 45

[No.] 1242. El Capitan, (3100 feet above Valley) from Merced River.

Box 1, Item 46

[No.] 1243. El Capitan, (3100 ft. above Valley) from foot of Three Graces.

Box 1, Item 47

No. 1247. Three Brothers (4300 feet above valley), from Merced River.


A man fishes at center.
Box 1, Item 48

[No.] 1248. Mirror Lake and Mt. Watkins.


Four men and two women sit in a wooden boat in the foreground.
Box 1, Item 49

[No.] 1253. Glacier Rock and Mirror Lake.

Box 1, Item 50

[No.] 1256. Sentinel Rock, (3270 ft. above Valley) from near Three Graces.

Box 1, Item 51

[No.] 1274. Grizzly Giant, (circum. 101 feet -- the largest Tree known) Mariposa Co.


A man [John Muir?] sits at the base of the tree.
Box 1, Item 52

[No.] 1276. Horse-Back Ride through Big Tree (88 feet circum.) Mariposa Co.


A man stands in front of the tree and a cabin can be seen in the background through opening in the tree.
Box 1, Item 53

No. 1277. Big Tree (94 feet circum.). Mariposa Grove, Mariposa Co.

Box 1, Item 54

No. 1288. Crescent Lake, at head of the Merced River, from Castle Rock, Mariposa Co.