The SOHS Sawyer Collection

The images presented here are part of a donation we are calling the Sawyer Collection. The images have come from multiple photography studios, some of them unidentified. Most were taken by the Kiser Studio of Portland, Oregon in the 'Teens and early 'Twenties, especially of rugged scenes in Crater Lake and Glacier National Parks and along the Columbia River. A small collection was taken 1905-07 by photographer H. G. Peabody of Massachusetts and Maine urban and coastal scenes. An anonymous collection portrays architectural and rural views taken in Central Mexico in the same era.

The collection was saved and cared for by William Gruber, who had a long working relationship with the Portland photography studio Sawyer Service Inc. Gruber was the inventor of the popular View-Master, which he produced in collaboration with Sawyer’s. According to the donor, in 1939 Sawyer’s was poised to dispose of these glass plate negatives in order to focus on the View-Master, when Gruber offered to take the plates. Over the past eight decades, the Gruber family has meticulously maintained the collection of approximately 3,000 plates, weighing roughly half a ton. Southern Oregon Historical Society received the plates as a donation in 2019, and has made them publicly available with additional grant funding from Oregon Parks and Recreation and the Oregon Cultural Trust.

 SAWYER COLLECTION INDEX        WILLIAM GRUBER       WHEN THE COLLECTION ARRIVED AT SOHS     

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SWY0207

Crater Lake circa 1915 from Rim. View probably taken from the Watchman Overlook toward Mount Thielsen.

SWY0208

Panorama of Rim with Crater Lake Lodge (at right) circa 1915; taken at Rim Village.

SWY0209

Panorama of Crater Lake circa 1915 from rim vantage point.

SWY0210

Panorama of Crater Lake circa 1915 from Rim, Spire in Foreground

SWY0211

Panorama of Crater Lake circa 1915 from Cloudcap area on Rim Road.

SWY0212

Closeup of Iris

SWY0213

Closeup of Iris

SWY0214

Closeup of Iris

SWY0215

Gladiolus in Vase

SWY0216

Gladiolus in Vase

SWY0217

Placid Stream

SWY0218

Placid Stream

SWY0219

Placid Stream, Ferns

SWY0220

Man in Peach Orchard

SWY0221

Amaranth in Peach Orchard

SWY0222

Closeup of PeachES on Sapling

SWY0223

Panorama of Mtn Farm, Plowed Fields

SWY0224

Hilly Orchard and Farm Buildings

SWY0225

Hilly Orchard

SWY0226

Hilly Orchard

SWY0227

Man on road through either Douglas-fir or Sitka spruce forest.

SWY0228

Unlabeled

SWY0229

Looking through arch to Crater Lake (above Grotto Cove?) circa 1915

SWY0230

Natural Bridge on Rogue River circa 1915

SWY0231

Near the Wheeler Creek pinnacles and east entrance of the park, circa 1915.

SWY0232

Crater Lake circa 1915--Sentinel Rock Shoreline, Reflection. On shoreline of Danger Bay, with Skell Head in distance beyond SP.

SWY0233

Crater Lake circa 1915, Phantom Ship from base of Dutton Ridge.

SWY0234

Crater Lake circa 1915, Wizard Island and lake from Victor Rock.

SWY0235

Mount Hood

SWY0236

Unlabeled

SWY0237

Unlabeled

SWY0238

Great Northern Ship on Ocean

SWY0239

Great Northern Ship on Ocean

SWY0240

Great Northern Ship on Ocean

SWY0241

Unlabeled (possibly Wind Mountain on the Columbia River).

SWY0242

Mount Hood from the Washington side (White Salmon area).

SWY0243

Great Northern Ship

SWY0244

Mount Hood from the Washington side (White Salmon area).

SWY0245

Northern Pacific & Great Northern, ships

SWY0246

Unlabeled

SWY0247

Possibly Portland from the West Hills.

SWY0248

Probably Portland from the West Hills.

SWY0249

Crater Lake circa 1915

SWY0250

Unlabeled

SWY0251

Mount Hood from the Columbia River.

SWY0252

Unlabeled

SWY253

Bare field, trees, snow-covered peak in background. Mt. McLoughlin?

SWY254

Lake view with moutain peak in background

SWY0255

Possibly the Columbia River with Mount Hood beyond it.

SWY0256

Looking east toward the Columbia River Gorge.