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Hazard-Dyson Collection : Finding Aid
mssHM 26404 and various photPF call numbers  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note on Verne Dyson
  • Biographical Note on George Hazard
  • Scope and Content
  • Related materials
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Hazard-Dyson Collection
    Dates (inclusive): 1855-1962
    Collection Number: mssHM 26404 and various photPF call numbers
    Creator: Dyson, Verne, 1879-1971, collector.
    Extent: 7 boxes (2.5 linear ft.)
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
    Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains an unpublished manuscript, "California's Romantic Ranchos" (ca. 1962) by journalist and editor Verne Dyson (1879-1971), on the history of the privately-owned California rancho lands granted under Spanish and Mexican rule. The manuscript is complemented by 326 photographs, chiefly dating from the 1890s-1900s and acquired by historian and amateur photographer George W. Hazard (1842-1914), that document adobes, early homes and towns, missions and prominent pioneers of California. There is also a 19th century abstract of title, ca. 1855-1878, providing a history of A. W. Timms’ land transactions on Rancho Palos Verdes, California, as well as some additional illustrations.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Hazard-Dyson Collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    The materials in series I, purchased from Verne Dyson, December 13, 1962.
    The provenance of the photographs in series II is unclear. Acquisition records indicate that 170 Hazard-Dyson photographs were purchased from Dawson's Bookshop in December 1965.

    Biographical Note on Verne Dyson

    Verne Dyson (1879-1971) was born in Calloway County, Missouri, and graduated from Central College, Fayette, Missouri. He started his career in journalism in 1907 as a feature writer at the Kansas City Star, then later the same year moved to Los Angeles to work as a writer and editor at the Los Angeles Times. Dyson became acquainted with historian George W. Hazard, who hired him to edit a work on the history of Los Angeles that Hazard had been working on for many years. Hazard died in 1914 before it was published. Dyson acquired Hazard’s vast collection of materials and photographs from his family.
    Dyson stayed in Los Angeles until 1920, when he went to Shanghai, China to become dean of Williams College. The following year he became professor of English and Chinese history at the University of the Philippines in Manila. From 1940 - 1961 he served as curator of the Walt Whitman Museum in New York, and founded the Brentwood, New York Bulletin, and the Walt Whitman Quarterly. He retired to California in 1961 and died in 1971.
    In the introduction to this manuscript, dated 1962, Dyson writes: "My study of the California ranchos began in 1913 when I bought a large collection of pictures and historical material from George W. Hazard, brother of Henry Hazard, an early mayor of Los Angeles… I sold the larger part of the Hazard collection in New York City fifteen years ago [1947], retaining all of the pictures and historical material dealing with the ranchos. Between the years 1913 and 1920 in Los Angeles, I devoted much of my time to classifying the rancho material and preparing a manuscript… I completed the manuscript recently, having been able to concentrate on it after retiring from active life and coming to San Diego eight months ago." – Verne Dyson, San Diego, May 27, 1962. (See "About this Book," Box 1).

    Biographical Note on George Hazard

    George W. Hazard (1842-1914) was a Los Angeles historian and amateur photographer. Between the 1890s and early 1900s, Hazard traveled throughout Southern California photographing locations of local historical significance.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains an unpublished typewritten manuscript, ca. 1962, with 326 photographs, entitled "California’s Romantic Ranchos: The History, Stories and Legends of the Haciendas, with a Roll of the Rancheros, a Complete List of the Land Grants of California, and Biographies of Famous Personalities – Spanish, Mexican and American," by journalist and editor Verne Dyson (1879-1971). The photographs date from ca. 1868–1922 and include adobes, early homes and towns, missions and prominent pioneers of California. There are also 15 engravings and several printed illustrations and maps removed from other texts, as well as a 19th century abstract of title - a history of A. W. Timms’ land transactions on Rancho Palos Verdes, California, ca. 1855-1878.
    In addition, Boxes 6 and 7 contain 121 photographs that depict a variety of views of Southern California with the "Hazard-Dyson Collection" stamp. These include photographs presumably by George Hazard, ca. 1890-1914, as well as other late 19th and early 20th century photographs by commercial photographers. In 2016, these photographs were removed from the Huntington Library’s Photographic Files (PF) and reunited with the rest of the collection. The photographs retain the "photPF" call number on the back of the image.

    Related materials

    Related materials in the Huntington Library:
    Related materials in the UCLA Library, Special Collections:
    • "History of Los Angeles and Vicinity from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time" (1914), a prospectus by George W. Hazard; Verne Dyson, editor


    The collection is arranged in the following order:
    • "California’s Romantic Ranchos" materials
      • Manuscript
      • Photographs, illustrations, and Rancho Palos Verdes title abstract
    • Hazard-Dyson Photographs

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Baldwin, Anita May, 1876-1939 -- Photographs.
    Forster, John, 1814-1882 -- Homes and haunts -- Photographs.
    Lugo family -- Photographs.
    Griffin, John S. (John Strother), 1816-1898 -- Photographs.
    Guerra y Noriega, José de la, 1779-1858 -- Homes and haunts -- Photographs.
    Guerra, Pablo de la, 1819-1874 -- Photographs.
    Hancock, Henry, 1822-1883 -- Homes and haunts -- Photographs.
    Pico, Andrés, 1810-1876 -- Photographs.
    Prudhomme, Charles J., 1854-1934 -- Photographs.
    Rindge, Frederick Hastings, 1857-1905 -- Photographs.
    Rowland, John, 1791-1873 -- Homes and haunts -- Photographs.
    Sánchez, Tomás A., 1826-1882 -- Photographs.
    Stearns, Abel, 1798-1871 -- Photographs.
    Workman, William, 1799-1876 -- Homes and haunts -- Photographs.
    Adobe buildings -- Photographs.
    California -- History.
    Cattle brands -- California.
    Frontier and pioneer life -- California.
    La Brea Pits (Calif.) -- History -- Photographs.
    Land grants -- California.
    Land use -- California.
    Ranches -- California -- History.
    Spaniards -- California -- History.
    Luiseño Indians -- California -- Photographs.
    Missions, Spanish -- California -- Photographs.
    Pechanga Band of Mission Indians -- Photographs.
    Tin mines and mining -- California -- Photographs.
    California -- Photographs.
    Mission San Antonio de Pala
    Rancho Camulos (Ventura County, Calif.)
    Rancho Palos Verdes (Calif.)
    Santa Anita Rancho (Los Angeles County, Calif.)


    Abstracts of title -- California -- Rancho Palos Verdes
    Manuscripts -- California - 20th century


    J.B. Blanchard & Co., photographer.
    Hazard, George Washington, 1842-1914, photographer.