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Inventory of the Schoenrock Photograph Collection, ca. 1890-1925
HUMCO E78 C15 S35  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • The William Schoenrock Collection
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Schoenrock Photograph Collection,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1890-1925
    Collection number: HUMCO E78 C15 S35
    Creator: Bailey, William T.

    Schoenrock, Naomi

    Pilling, Arnold R.
    Extent: 104 photographic prints and descriptive catalog
    Repository: Humboldt State University Library.
    Arcata, CA 95521
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Transferred to the Humboldt State University Library in 1970 By Dr. Arnold R. Pilling, Professor of Anthropology at Wayne State University.


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Humboldt State University Library. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Special Collections Librarian. Copyright restrictions also apply to digitial representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Schoenrock Photograph Collection, Humboldt State University Library

    The William Schoenrock Collection

    The William Schoenrock Collection of 178 photographic images survives today as one of the best sets of views of the early days of Requa, Del Norte County, California. The assemblage would quite accurately be designated as the William T. Bailey - Naomi Schoenrock Collection, for it is those two persons who were most responsible for the amassing of this collection. It is the son of the latter, William Schoenrock, who was responsible for their preservation.
    The earliest data available concerning this White family are to be found on pages 118 and 119 of Esther Ruth Smith's book The History of Del Norte County, California (Oakland, CA: Holmes Book Company). Another version of some of these data occurs on page 199 of the History of Humboldt County, California (San Francisco: Wallace W. Elliott & Co., Publishers, 1881; Fresno, CA: Mid-Cal Publishers, n.d., about 1968). This story starts with Francis R. Burtschell who was born in Germany on March 13, 1825, the son of a builder and contractor; he arrived in New York City in 1846, lived there two years, moved to New Orleans in 1848, then to Philadelphia, returning to New York in 1851, and then going back to Germany. He returned to New York and remained only briefly before returning to New Orleans, where he remained into 1853. Burtschell's first California venture was to open a hotel in Weaverville. Eighteen months later, he sold this holding and built a hotel in Shasta County. After selling the latter property, he moved to San Francisco, running a hotel there. In 1856, Burtschell arrived in Del Norte County, where a few months later he bought the Cushing House, a hotel on Front and H Streets in Crescent City.
    On April 30, 1857, Francis R. Burtschell married Irish-born Elizabeth Broughan, of Crescent City. Their first born was Alta, who married Lew Lockwood, of the Requa area; their next was Anna, who married Stewart Reed; then Clara, who married Alex Jacobus. The last child born to Elizabeth Broughan Burtschell before her death was Amelia, who arrived during September of 1865. This is the Burtschell child who married William T. Bailey, of Requa.
    The tie of the Burtschell family to the Requa area dates at least as early as 1887. Our information on early Requa comes from the booklet Lower Klamath Country, by Frances Turner McBeth (Berkeley, CA: Anchor Press, 1950). On page 70, Mrs. McBeth quotes from the March 12, 1887, issue of the Del Norte Record to the effect that
    A social dance was given at Lou Lockwood's on the 2nd....Mrs. Lockwood acted as hostess....Mr. Lockwood furnished the music.
    On page 71, Mrs. McBeth reprints an extract from an unspecified 1888 issue of the Del Norte Record, stating that "incoming passengers [from Requa] on the steamer Requa, Monday were: Miss Amelia Burtschell...."
    The first data concerning William T. Bailey at Requa are on Mrs. McBeth's page 71, where she extracts a somewhat confusing account in an 1889 issue of the Del Norte Record which stated that
    W.T. Bailey left [Requa] for Crescent City to meet the steamer Thistle to ship a load of lumber to be used to finish the cannery [at Requa].
    On page 60, Mrs. McBeth, quotes the January 10, 1894, issue of the Del Norte Record, as follows:
    The contract for building the Klamath Road from Last Chance to De Martins has been given to W.T. Bailey for $985.
    Bailey's affiliation with the salmon cannery at Requa in 1894 is described in Del Norte County As It Is, written by Robert J. Jenkins, assisted by David Leishman, and Professors Max Lipowitz and Daniel Wesley Finch, published in September of 1894, by John L. Childs, and printed in Crescent City, by James N. Bowie, at the "Crescent City News" Job Office. Therein, starting on page 114, it is reported that
    [Requa] has a large salmon cannery owned by the Klamath Packing and Trading Co., whose San Francisco office is in the apartments of R.D. Hume & Co. W.T. Bailey is superintendent of the company's business at Requa, and he will always be found willing and ready to escort visitors through the works and explain the different machines and apparatus used in the business of canning.
    Del Norte County As It Is pictures the Klamath Packing and Trading Company's cannery on page 115, and William T. Bailey on page 116.
    On page 53 of Lower Klamath Country, Mrs. McBeth quotes the Del Norte Record for December 28, 1895:
    W. T. Bailey anticipates putting a cable across the Klamath River, 1700 feet in length. This is 300 feet longer than the cable across the Eel River, but is it thought that the cable can be successfully placed, notwithstanding the distance. The cable will be similar to the one used on Smith River, the current forcing the boat across. With a good cable, the ferry at Klamath will be comparatively safe. The ferry is owned by Bailey and Fortain.
    Apparently a T.H. Griffin attempted to initiate a ferry at Requa in 1896, before Bailey and Fortain completed their county-licensed cable-ferry. Mrs. McBeth quotes the October 3, 1896, issue of the Del Norte Record to the effect that
    An injunction was won by Bailey and Fortain against the other ferry run by T.H. Griffin. Bailey and Fortain are still attempting to stretch a cable across the Klamath.
    The 1900 U.S. census of the Requa area was recorded by Phineus Daniel Holcomb, the mate of the well-known Indian doctor Sally Holcomb, also known as Hoopa Sal and as Mrs. Sarah Norris or Mrs. Sally Norris, mother of William Norris, Sr. In the 1900 census, William T. Bailey is stated to have been born in Oregon, of Irish-born parents, in March of 1860. One post card in the Schoenrock Collection was sent to "Miss Naomi Bailey," Wedderburn, Curry County, Oregon, suggesting that William T. Bailey probably was from that community, where, it might be noted, there were a significant father and son, both named Charles H. Bailey; Charles H. Bailey, Jr., was Curry County sheriff from 1912 into 1917 and Curry County judge from 1924 into 1936. In 1900, William T. Bailey was described as a "mill man," living on a rented farm. His wife was Amelia M. Bailey; and they had one child, Naomi F. Bailey, born in February of 1894.
    In 1909, Steve W. Scotten edited a pamphlet Del Norte County [,] California [,] Its Industries, Resources and Capabilities, printed by Crescent City News Job Print. Its pages 18 and 19 read:
    Klamath River salmon bring the top-notch in market, as their reputation for superiority is far famed. The cannery and business generally is owned conjointly by the R.D. Hume Estate and Mr. W.T. Bailey, the latter being superintendent thereof, which position he has held for a number of years....The cannery is one of several buildings that form a bustling village known as Requa. The settlement includes a post office with Mr. Bailey as postmaster; a general store owned by the Hammond Company of Humboldt; a hotel and feed stable conducted by H.F. Webster, who is newly in charge, and will forthwith erect a more modern hotel building; a blacksmith shop (north of town); some dwellings, and two places for satisfying the unnatural thirst. Mr. Webster has also leased for a term from W.T. Bailey the public ferry at Klamath River....
    William T. Bailey continued to manage the R.D. Hume property in Requa for some years. Hume was a Maine-born entrepreneur of the Gold Beach-Wedderburn area of Curry County. The William T. Bailey Building, apparently once Requa's post office and Bailey's business office, stood opposite the Klamath Inn in Requa until 1967 or 1968, when it was torn down.
    Many of the photographs in the Schoenrock Collection are post cards sent by William T. Bailey, cannery operator, to his daughter when she was visiting Crescent City.
    In early 1909, Naomi F. Bailey was attending the Dominican convent school at San Rafael, CA. Ultimately, she married a Mr. Schoenrock, who operated the cheese factory in old Requa. By May of 1926, they were living in Santa Ana, southern California.
    Their son was William Schoenrock, who in the late 1960s worked in a Santa Ana photographic shop. It was from William Schoenrock that Patricia L. Pilling borrowed the first part of the Schoenrock Collection for copying about 1970. Copy negatives of that lot of 104 images were produced at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, under the sponsorship of Arnold R. Pilling. Those negatives in 1987 could be found at Wayne State University's Reuther Archives as that university's photographic laboratory's "5.30a / 005315 / 1-19-70." [N.B. Copy prints as well as copy negatives are located at the Humboldt State University Library, 5/99] A second lot of photographs was borrowed from William Schoenrock in 1971 consisting of images Sch-105 through Sch-178; copy negatives of that group are held at Humboldt State University, Arcata, California. [N.B. Humboldt State University Library did not ever receive Sch 105-Sch 178; copy prints are in the unprocessed Arnold R. Pilling Collection at Wayne State University Archives, 5/99]
    Among the views in the Schoenrock Collection are the two earliest images known of the old Indian village of rekwoy, at the mouth of the Klamath River. One of these early shots - Wayne State University's 5.30a / 005315 / 1-19-70 / 62 - appears on page 144 of Arnold R. Pilling's article "Yurok" in the Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 8: California, with William C. Sturtevant as series editor and Robert Fleming Heizer as volume editor (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978). The other early picture of early rekwoy is Wayne State University's 5.30a / 005315 / 1-19-70 / 39.
    The Schoenrock Collection holds a special place in intellectual history, for it was the precise dating of photographic post cards in this lot which allowed Arnold R. Pilling to perceive that details of the printing on the back of the photographic post cards could be dated, providing a means of dating some otherwise undated images. This realization led to Pilling's classic article, "Dating Early Photographs to Card Mounts and Other External Evidence: Tentative Suggestions," Image (Rochester, NY: Eastman House), volume 17, no. 1, pp. 11-16.
    Arnold R. Pilling

    Wayne State University

    Detroit, MI

    November 4, 1987

    Scope and Content

    The Schoenrock Collection consists of 104 photographs taken in and around Requa, California, during its heyday as a bustling cannery town, dating from approximately 1890 to 1925. Requa is located at the mouth of the Klamath River on the Yurok Indian Reservation. These photographs were collected largely in the form of postcards by Naomi Bailey Schoenrock. Many of them were sent to her by her father, William T. Bailey, who operated the largest of the Requa canneries. They were taken by a variety of photographers who, following the fashion of the time, printed and sold some of their work on postcards.
    The collection was given to the Humboldt State University Library in 1970 by Arnold R. Pilling, an anthropologist at Wayne State University who did fieldwork among the Yurok Indians from 1967 until his death in 1994. William T. Schoenrock, Naomi Bailey Schoenrock's son, loaned the original postcards to Dr. Pilling's wife, Patricia Pilling, for copying and study in two batches in 1970 and 1971. Dr. Pilling's handwritten original notes and copy prints of the entire collection are located at the Wayne State University Archives in Detroit. The Library at Humboldt State University has copy prints, copy negatives and a photocopy of the handwritten notes for Sch 1-104. Dr. Pilling did not prepare notes for Sch 105-178 and the HSU Library did not receive either copy prints or copy negatives for Sch 105-178.
    This version of the index was prepared and edited by Jean Perry, a linguist who was a friend and colleague of Dr. Pilling from 1985 until his death in 1994. The editing process included regularization of some of the spellings, editing for consistency, and condensation of the notes. Because it was with the study of this collection that Dr. Pilling developed his skill at dating postcards, the notes contain an exactingly detailed physical description of the postcards themselves. That detailed physical description has been omitted from this version of the index. The notes also contain cross references to Dr. Pilling's field notebooks. These notebooks are located in the unprocessed Arnold R. Pilling Collection at Wayne State University Archives. The notebooks are not available for public use under the terms of Dr. Pilling's will.
    Jean Perry

    May, 1999