Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Howard W. Wright Family Collection of Photographs: Finding Aid
photCL 222  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (100.78 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Table of contents What's This?

Collection Contents


Container List


Series I. Journals. 1899-1901.

Physical Description: approximately 210 photographs in 4 volumes in 1 box
Box  1 , Volume  I

Subseries A. The Wrights in 1899. 1899

Physical Description: approximately 80 photographs, text 39 pages

This volume describes a vacation taken by the Wright family and friends on Santa Catalina Island, where they stayed at a friend's cottage. Photographs depict the steamer on which the family traveled, the S. S. Hermosa; birds-eye views of Avalon Bay; interior and exterior views of the cottage; beach scenes and fishing trips; people including Walter S., Bernice, Howard, Catherine, and Adaline Wright and friends; Sugar Loaf; camping excursions, including a trip by Howard W. Wright with a group to Eagles' Nest Canyon; and Howard and Adaline Wright in a cave. The volume also includes a photograph of Walter S. Wright at work in his study and a few photographs of family trips to Santa Anita Canyon and Mount Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains; some of the photographs were taken by commercial photographers. Additionally, at the end of the volume is a two-page letter from a young Howard to Walter S. Wright describing a trip collecting birds' eggs and a children's drawing by an unidentified person.
Box  1 , Volume  II

Subseries B. How Thompson Shows His Mines. 1899

Physical Description: 26 photographs, text 21 pages

This volume recounts events from the summer of 1898, in which Walter S. Wright and associates including James H. Holmes, described as someone who "runs a tavern in Pasadena"; H. C. Steele of San Bernardino; C. P. Morehouse; and William R. Staats journeyed to Mexico in order to work with J. D. Thompson to build a railroad from San Jorges Bay in the Gulf of California in Sonora to the Los Pintos Mines. In a handwritten note to wife Bernice dated June, 1899, Wright states that "our Mexican trip was a hurried one," and that the volume "was arranged to illustrate the haste and some other features of the trip"; in the body of the account, he describes himself as someone who "runs a law office in the same town" as Holmes.
The photographs depict portions of the journey to Mexico via Arizona, with images of Ajo, Arizona including a woman who is shown baring her breast and a saloon in a tent house; exterior and interior views of a silver mine and pumping station at an unidentified location in the state and of a Tohono O'odham feast house; a mill in Quitovac in Sonora, Mexico; and mines and Mexican miners at the Los Pintos mines, with mention of mines named "Dolores" and "Bonanza." Photographs also include portraits of various business partners and images of them engaged in various activities, such as cooking and preparing for visits to mines.
Box  1 , Volume  III

Subseries C. About that Mexican Trip: How they Landed the Concession for the Railroad for Exploiting Los Pintos Mines. 1900

Physical Description: approximately 80 photographs, text 69 pages

This volume describes the efforts of Walter S. Wright, J. H. Holmes (here referred to as John H. Holmes), and their partners to secure the concession to build the San Jorges Bay and Eastern Railroad to the Los Pintos Mines, detailing a meeting with Judge Ygnacio Sepúlveda, former judge of the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles, who facilitated American capital investment in Porfirian Mexico. The volume contains an appendix, Memoranda of the Concession, that outlines the terms granted to Holmes and partners "to construct and exploit a railroad on public domain from Sierra Pinta to San Jorges Bay in Sonora, Mexico." The journal account includes a business card from the Mexican Herald and describes a story in that newspaper claiming that Wright and Holmes were in Mexico in order to persuade President Porfirio Díaz to overthrow the current government of El Salvador and restore deposed President Carlos Ezeta to office.
Photographs in the volume include depictions of Walter S. Wright; J. H. Holmes, including an image with Ezeta; President Díaz entering a carriage; Judge Sepúlveda; and several thumbnail portraits of various business partners. Photographs also show pilgrims on the way to the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe; indigenous people with their children and selling goods; people and street scenes in Mexico City, including some taken from the Hotel Iturbide, where the business partners stayed; the American Club and Cathedral of Mexico; palace guards and Mexican soldiers; markets, including the Flower Market; the floating gardens and Viga Canal; a bullfight; the Paseo de la Reforma; and images from a train journey, some taken from within the train and some on stops, of fruit sellers and residents of villages. One photograph features the daughter of the Reverend E. L. Conger and her husband, Mr. Vose, on their honeymoon; she is described as "a fair Pasadenan" (page 25).
Box  1 , Volume  IV

Subseries D. A Summer Cruise. 1901

Physical Description: 23 photographs, text 26 pages

This volume, a reprint given to Howard W. Wright by Hancock Banning, Jr., describes a three-week cruise on the yacht La Paloma taken by Captain Hancock Banning, First Mate N. W. Bell, Second Mate William R. Staats, Steward Paul Bolin, passenger George S. Patton, and two seamen, identified only as John and Hanse. Photographs show people on board the yacht and on board another yacht, the Ramona out of San Francisco, which accompanied them as they sailed towards Point Loma and San Diego and then back again to the Channel Islands; interior views of La Paloma; views of Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara Islands; Avalon Bay; and Sugar Loaf.

Series II. Photograph albums. approximately 1878-1930, 1896-1917

Physical Description: approximately 1310 photographs in 7 volumes in 3 boxes
Box  2 , Volume  V

Subseries A. The Wright Family: Home and Travels. approximately 1896-1910

Physical Description: approximately 350 photographs, album 102 pages

Photographs depict the Wright family home on North Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena; winter and summer views of Mount Wilson, including images of members of the Wright family and of Charles Dewey, Mrs. William R. Staats, James H. Holmes, W. L. Wotkynes, members of the Bart Club, and others; trips to Avalon Bay and the city of Avalon on Santa Catalina Island, with images of fish drying on racks, children dressing up as Indians, and people on boats, including the Seabird and other yachts; a pack trip on Santa Catalina Island in 1900; birds and bird collecting, including during the Wright family's trip to the Channel Islands in 1909; the Tournament of Roses in 1906; a tour of Mexico in 1907 including Puebla, Oaxaca, Ocatlan, and Mitla, with images of markets and street scenes; journeys on the Seabird to San Clemente Island in 1908 and to the Coronados Islands in Mexico in 1908 and 1910, with images of birds, boats, and seascapes; the Catalina Island race in 1910; and a pack trip to the High Sierras. Photographs also include depictions of Haley's Comet, taken with a telephoto lens; Andrew Carnegie and Dr. George Ellery Hale on Mount Wilson in 1910; and a nighttime view from Mount Wilson of Pasadena, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Palos Verdes, San Pedro, and Santa Catalina Island.
Box  2 , Volume  VI

Subseries B. Pasadena, Santa Catalina Island, San Gabriel Mountains, and Mexico. approximately 1899-1906

Physical Description: approximately 250 photographs, 94 pages

Photographs depict family trips to Santa Catalina Island, with views of the island and of Avalon; hiking, fishing, camping, and scenes from a house party; interior and exterior views of the family's Pasadena residence and of people, including an African American man sitting with a boy by a garden plot and children playing outside; the Tournament of Roses parade in 1902; and trips to Mount Wilson and the San Gabriel Mountains, including images of parties at Martin's Camp and Henninger Flats, the Mount Wilson Hotel and cottages, and people on trails. Some of the photographs of Mount Wilson, including a view of the Mount Wilson Hotel with Walter S. Wright and James H. Holmes, were taken by William R. Staats.
Photographs of Mexico depict a train and a town new San Jorges Bay; people, including women washing clothes in a river; the construction of a state prison; people boarding a train to Guaymas; views of Guaymas and Guaymas Bay; and scenes from a trip to Hermosillo taken by Walter S. Wright and William R. Staats, with views of the Palacio, the mayor's home, street scenes, and ruins of a church. A few photographs of the Palacio evidence conflict with Yaqui Indians, including one image showing Yaqui arms in a courtyard and others of soldiers. Several photographs depict indigenous people, including one image of Walter S. Wright looking at women sitting on a street corner, captioned "Street."
Box  3 , Volume  VII

Subseries C. The Wright Family Album. approximately 1899-1910

Physical Description: 50 photographs, 50 pages

Photographs depict the San Gabriel Mission, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the William Money octagonal adobe in San Gabriel; the Mount Lowe railway; people outside of residences; El Molino Viejo (or Old Mill) in San Marino; the Hotel La Pintoresca (or Painter Hotel) and the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena; beach scenes; and Sugar Loaf at Santa Catalina Island.
Box  3 , Volume  VIII

Subseries D. Channel Islands and Mexico. 1911-1912

Physical Description: approximately 260 photographs, approximately 250 pages

Photographs, many of which show Walter S. Wright and Howard W. Wright, depict cormorants, birds' nests, and seals; the city of Avalon, including scenes from a storm and its aftermath in 1912; views of the Siwash during the Santa Barbara race in 1911, when the vessel won a prize; views from cruises to Santa Barbara Island; Anacapa, including the arch and cave; San Clemente Island; Pelican Bay; Santa Cruz Island; Tinker's Bay; Frye's Harbor; San Miguel Island, including a ranch house buried in sand and the husk of a wrecked boat; scenes from a Stanford University fraternity trip, including fishing for albacore and group portraits; and views from the Trans-Pacific Yacht Race of 1912 and the Arbitrary Handicap at Santa Barbara. The album also includes photographs of a camping trip to Mecca, California and a visit to the Salton Sea; and views of Mexico, including a bullfight in Ensenada and cormorants, pelicans, ospreys, wrens, and other birds on Saint Martin Island and at Todos Santos Bay.
Box  3 , Volume  IX

Subseries E. Stanford University. 1911-1915

Physical Description: 49 photographs

Photographs depict chiefly athletes engaged in sports, especially track and rugby; portraits of teams, including the crew team, and players; and scenes from games, including with the "New England All Blacks" team. One photograph shows a crowd watching a game at night, and one depicts an audience taking in a "Plug Ugly" show, a celebration featuring hats and performances that was a Stanford ritual from 1898-1915.
Box  4 , Volume  X

Subseries F. Japan, China, and Philippines; World War I Naval Service; Baja, Mexico; and Channel Islands. approximately 1916-1930

Physical Description: approximately 340 photographs, 96 pages

Photographs chiefly depict Japan, China, and the Philippines and Howard W. Wright's military service during World War I; images also depict various islands off of Baja, California, and the Channel Islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara. Photographs show the ship Tenyo Maru leaving San Francisco and scenes from on board, including a gymastics competition; views of Honolulu, Yokohama, Kobe, Kyoto, Shanghai, Nara, and Nagasaki, including coal barges and coaling operations; houses and animals pulling wares in Manila; the bay and city of Hong Kong; river boats, street scenes, and a pagoda in Canton and a 1300-year-old pagoda on the Pearl River; boats and people in Macao; and carvings by Hidari Jinguro. Photographs depicting Howard W. Wright's Naval service include views of various ships, including a coaling ship in Acapulco and various images from on decks; Navy crews at work; portraits of Naval units; and the Miraflores lock at the Panama Canal. Views of Baja include cormorants on San Martin Island; Naval ships at sea; and boats and rocky shorelines at Todos Santos, with Punta Banda in the distance; and views of the Channel Islands include scenes of sailing at Santa Cruz Island and birds, wild boar, and images of boats at Santa Barbara Island.
Box  4 , Volume  XI

Subseries G. Miscellaneous photographs. approximately 1878-1917

Physical Description: 10 loose photographs in sleeve

Photographs depict a fire in Avalon in November, 1915, including views of destruction in the city and of the Hotel Metropole before and after its chimneys were destroyed; images of destruction of the Lincoln Kindergarten and of Howard W. Wright's garage from a storm described by the caption as the "Pasadena Cyclone of 1917"; a portrait of Throop High School's class of 1910, with a listing of the students, including Howard W. Wright; and reproductions of images of Avalon from September 1888 and between 1894-1896 and of San Pedro from approximately 1878, taken by J. B. Banning, Senior. Some of the prints are reproductions of photographs owned by Hancock Banning, Junior, who wrote extensive captions on versos detailing the history of the areas depicted and describing the contents of the images.