Detroit Publishing Company: Capturing the Beauty of the Catskills (Part 2)

April 15, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

The Catskills

 

“The Detroit Publishing Company of Michigan issued such a wide variety of views that one is awed by their prolific coverage of towns and cities and hamlets of the nation, along with the magnificent sights of the west and mid-west. These picture postcards form an important record of American historical and social life. Not only from the view point of their subjects, but also from the style of printing used by the Detroit firm – these issues have contributed to United States culture and to the American way of life.” - Lowe, James L.; Ben Papell. Detroit Publishing Company Collector’s Guide. Newton Square, PA: Deltiologists of America, 1975. p. 7.
 

 

The Detroit Photographic Company published an incredible collection of images from several regions within the Catskills, including Lake Mohonk, Lake Minnewaska, the city of Kingston and the central and northern Catskills.

 

From the northern Catskills, scenic locations include Kaaterskill Falls, Sunset Rock, Boulder Rock, Santa Cruz Falls, Buttermilk Falls, Alligator Rock, Moore’s Bridge Falls, Fawn’s Leap, among others.

 

Architectural photographs include the monumental Hotel Kaaterskill on the summit of South Mountain, the Laurel House located near the top of Kaaterskill Falls, the famed Catskill Mountain House at Pine Orchard overlooking the Hudson Valley, Churchill Hall at Stamford, the Grand Hotel at Highmount and some of the other great boarding houses of the region. Village scenes include Haines Corners and Fleischmanns. There are four photographs depicting the Otis Elevating Railway, an engineering marvel in its time.

 

Included within the Catskills collection are several series of shots, comprised of between two and five photographs, which were to be stitched together later for its intended panoramic effect. In some cases, in addition to the publishing of the panoramic photograph, one individual photo from the series would also be published on its own merits.

 

The black-and-white photographs, as with many of the company’s images, were used by the Detroit Photographic Company to produce colorful photochrom postcards. Many of the company stamps, in the shape of an artist’s palette and located on the Catskills black-and-white photographs and photochrom interpretations, show a copyright date of 1902.

 

Library of Congress Collection – Detroit Publishing Company – The Catskills

Catskill Mountain House and Hudson River Valley, Catskill Mountains, N.Y. (2)Catskill Mountain House and Hudson River Valley, Catskill Mountains, N.Y. (2)

Catskill Mountain House, Catskill Mountains, N.Y. Library of Congress.

 

Below is an inventory listing of the Detroit Publishing Company’s works of the Catskills now located in the Library of Congress.

 

  • A Catskill Mountain road
  • A Catskill Mountain toll gate
  • Alligator Head near South Lake, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Alligator Head near South Lake, Catskill Mts., N.Y.
  • Boulder Rock and Hotel Kaaterskill, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Buttermilk Falls, Kaaterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • [Camping in the woods]
  • Catskill Mountain House and Hudson River Valley, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Catskill Mountain House and Summit Station of Otis Elevating Railway, Catskill
  • [Catskill Mountain railway station, Haines Corners, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.]
  • [Catskill Mts., Catskill Mountain House, New York]
  • [Catskill Mts., N.Y., Hotel Kaaterskill]
  • [Catskill Mtns., Hudson River valley from Catskill Mountain House, New York]
  • [Catskill Mts., N.Y., trout fishing in the Catskills]
  • Central facade, Hotel Kaaterskill, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Churchill Hall, Stamford, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Churchill Park and the Rexmere, Stamford, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Cottage and grounds of Mr. Fleischmann, Fleischmann's, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Cottage of Mr. Fleischmann, Fleischmann's, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • [Down Kaaterskill Clove from Twilight Park, Catskill Mts., New York]
  • Driveway in Twilight Park, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Fawns Leap, Kaaterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Fishing in the Catskill Mts., N.Y.
  • Fleischmann's and Hotel Switzerland, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Fleischmann's, Catskill Mountains, N.Y. (1)
  • Fleischmann's, Catskill Mountains, N.Y. (2)
  • [Garden path at Hotel Kaaterskill, Catskill Mts., N.Y.]
  • General view of Fleischmann's, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Gray Court Inn, Stamford, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Haines Corners, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Haines Corners from Sunset Park Inn, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Haines Falls, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • [Haine's Falls, Catskill Mts., N.Y.]
  • Haines Falls House, Haines Corners, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Hamilton House, Stamford, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Hotel Kaaterskill from Boulder Rock, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Hotel Kaaterskill from golf links, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • [Hudson River Valley from Catskill Mountain House, Catskill Mts., N.Y.]
  • Kaaterskill Clove from Palenville overlook, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • [Kaaterskill Clove from Santa Cruz Falls, Catskill Mts., N.Y.]
  • [Kaaterskill Clove from Sunset Rock, Catskill Mts., N.Y.]
  • [Kaaterskill Falls and Laurel House, Catskill Mts., N.Y.]
  • Kaaterskill Falls, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Kaaterskill Falls from below, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • [Kaaterskill Falls from below, Catskill Mts., N.Y.]
  • [Kaaterskill Falls from Prospect Rock, Catskill Mts., N.Y.]
  • Kaaterskill Falls from Ulster and Delaware Railway, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Kaaterskill lakes and mountain, Catskill Mts., N.Y.
  • Kaaterskill Mountain and lakes, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • [Kaaterskill Mountain & the lakes, Catskill Mts., New York]
  • Kaaterskill Mountain wild flowers, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Kaaterskill Mountain with Otis Elevating Railway, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Laurel House, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Left wing, Hotel Kaaterskill, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Long level and Catskill Mountain House, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Mr. H.E. Eder and family at Bowlder [i.e. Boulder] Rock
  • New Grand Hotel and Monka Hill Mountain, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • New Grand Hotel, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • New Grand Hotel from Belle Ayr, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • [New Grand Hotel, front veranda, Catskill Mtns., N.Y.]
  • New Grant House, Stamford, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • North veranda, Churchill Hall, Stamford, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Old log cabin and the Rexmere, Stamford, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Old studio of artist Hall, near Palenville, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • [Old studio of artist Hall, near Palenville, Catskill Mts., N.Y.]
  • [Otis Elevating Railway, looking down, Catskill Mts., N.Y.]
  • [Otis Elevating Railway, looking up, Catskill Mts.,N.Y.]
  • Palenville Hotel, Palenville, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Parlor, Kraterskill [i.e. Kaaterskill] Hotel, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Pine Hill from the Ulster and Delaware Ry., Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Pond lillies [i.e. lilies] in South Lake, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Rapids at the bridge, Kaaterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Right wing, Hotel Kaaterskill, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Rip Van Winkle House, Pine Hill, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Rip Van Winkle House, Pine Hill, Catskill Mts., N.Y.
  • Rip Van Winkle House, Sleepy Hollow, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Santa Cruz Falls, Kaaterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • [Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle House, Catskill Mts., N.Y.]
  • Stamford and Mt. Utsayantha, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Sunset Park from the golf links, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Sunset Rock, Kaaterskill Clove, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • The Alphine [i.e. Alpine], Pine Hill, Catskill Mts., N.Y.
  • The Annex, Hotel Kaaterskill, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • The Antlers, Haines Corners, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • The Ball room, Hotel Kaaterskill, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • The Barns, Hotel Kaaterskill, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • The Dining room, Hotel Kaaterskill, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • The Five cascades, Haines Falls, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • The Front entrance, Hotel Kaaterskill, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • The Lobby, Hotel Kaaterskill, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • The Otis Elevating Railway and Catskill Mountain House, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • The Otis Elevating Railway, looking down, Catskill Mts., N.Y.
  • The Piazza, Hotel Kaaterskill, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • [The Rapids in Kaaterskill Clove, Catskill Mts., N.Y.]
  • The Rexmere [i.e. Rexmore], Stamford, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • The Rexmere, Stamford, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • The Upper fall, Kaaterskill Falls, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Twilight Rest Club House, Twilight Park, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • Ulster and Delaware Railroad station, Fleischmann's, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • View in Sunset Park, Haines Corners, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.
  • View on South Lake, Catskill Mountains, N.Y.

 

Library of Congress Collection – Detroit Publishing Company – Mohonk Mountain House

[Lake Mohonk House, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.][Lake Mohonk House, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.]

[Lake Mohonk House, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.] Library of Congress.

 

The Mohonk Mountain House is an historic hotel located on a cliff overlooking Lake Mohonk high in the Shawangunk Mountains. The famous hotel was constructed in 1870 by Albert and Alfred Smiley and remains in the Smiley family today.

 

Starting with a quaint 10 rooms, it now has over 250 rooms and the capacity for nearly 600 guests. Situated on 2,200 acres, the resort offers a wide variety of year-round activities such as hiking, bike riding, horseback riding, swimming, rock climbing, golfing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and ice skating.

 

A visit to the Mohonk Mountain House is like taking a step back in time – there are no TVs in the rooms, jackets are required for formal dinners, century-old carriage roads guide walkers to amazing viewpoints and signs throughout the property remind visitors “Slowly and Quietly Please.”

 

Nearly 150 years after its opening, the Mohonk Mountain House continues to meet its original mission of encouraging visitors to take a break from the outer world with peace and relaxation. The hotel and its surrounding property are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Below is an inventory listing of the Detroit Publishing Company’s works of Lake Mohonk and the Mohonk House now located in the Library of Congress.

 

  • A Driveway, Lake Mohonk House, N.Y.
  • A Driveway, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.
  • A Garden driveway, Lake Mohonk House, N.Y.
  • A Pretty spot on Lake Mohonk, N.Y.
  • A Rustic bridge, Lake Mohonk House, N.Y.
  • Boating on Lake Mohonk, N.Y.
  • East entrance, Lake Mohonk House, N.Y.
  • Flowers along the lake, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.
  • [Gazebo and lake, Mohonk Mountain House, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.]
  • Glimpse of hotel and lake, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.
  • Lake Mohonk from Eagle Cliff Road, N.Y.
  • Lake Mohonk from the driveway
  • Lake Mohonk House from Garden Drive, N.Y.
  • Lake Mohonk House from sky top path
  • Lake Mohonk House from the west
  • Lake Mohonk House, Lake Mohonk, N.Y. (1)
  • Lake Mohonk House, Lake Mohonk, N.Y. (2)
  • [Lake Mohonk House, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.]
  • Lake Mohonk House [Mohonk Mountain House], N.Y.
  • [Lake Mohonk House, N.Y., the lilypond]
  • Lake Mohonk [Mountain] House
  • Lake Mohonk [Mountain] House from Sky Top path, N.Y.
  • [Lake Mohonk [Mountain] House from the west, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.]
  • Lake Mohonk [Mountain] House from trail to Eagle Cliff
  • Lake Mohonk [Mountain] House, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.
  • [Lake Mohonk Mountain House, N.Y., from near Sky Top]
  • [Lake Mohonk Mountain House, N.Y., from near trail to Sky Top]
  • [Lake Mohonk Mountain House, N.Y., Sky Top from under porte cochere]
  • [Lake Mohonk Mountain House, N.Y., rustic bridge]
  • [Lake Mohonk, New York]
  • [Lake Mohonk, N.Y., Skytop from rear of Lake Mohonk House]
  • Lake shore road, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.
  • [Mohonk Mountain House, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.]
  • [Mohonk Mountain House, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.]
  • [Mohonk Mountain House, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.]
  • Near view, Lake Mohonk House [i.e. Mohonk Mountain House], N.Y.
  • On the piazza, Lake Mohonk House, N.Y.
  • Porte cochere and balconies, Lake Mohonk [Mountain] House, N.Y.
  • Porte cochere and fountain, Lake Mohonk [Mountain] House, N.Y.
  • [Porte cochere, Mohonk Mountain House, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.]
  • Rondout Valley and Lake Mohonk from Skytop [i.e. Sky Top], N.Y.
  • [Rondout Valley from Sky Top, Mohonk Lake, N.Y.]
  • Sky top and Lake Mohonk
  • Sky Top and Lake Mohonk, N.Y.
  • Sky top and Washington's Profile, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.
  • Sky top from Lake Mohonk House, N.Y.
  • Sky top from the archway, Lake Mohonk House, N.Y.
  • The Bathing place, Lake Mohonk
  • The Bathing place, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.
  • The Bathing place, Lake Mohonk [Mountain] House, N.Y.
  • The Boat landing and main entrance, Lake Mohonk House
  • The Boat landing, Lake Mohonk [Mountain] House
  • The Driveway, Lake Mohonk [Mountain House], N.Y.
  • The Gardens, Lake Mohonk House
  • The Gardens, Lake Mohonk House, N.Y.
  • The Gardens, Lake Mohonk House, N.Y.
  • The Parlor, Lake Mohonk House, N.Y.
  • Upper Eagle Cliff Road, Lake Mohonk, N.Y.

 

Library of Congress Collection – Detroit Publishing Company – Lake Minnewaska

The Cliff House, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.The Cliff House, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.

The Cliff House, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y. Library of Congress.

 

Lake Minnewaska, “which is fed by springs and is very deep and clear as crystal, is held in a strikingly picturesque, rocky and well-wooded bowl, rising one hundred and fifty feet above the lake on the eastern side and sixty feet on the western, and from either edge the rocks tumble precipitously down to the Wallkill and Hudson River Valleys on the one side, and to the Rondout Valley on the other.”

 

 

Lake Minnewaska is located on the Shawangunk Ridge in Ulster County, New York. It was once home to two grand resorts, the Cliff House and the Wildmere.

 

The Cliff House, also known as the Minnewaska Mountain House, on the eastern side of Lake Minnewaska was constructed in 1879. In its heyday the Cliff House was a fashionable resort that earned a reputation as one of the best in the region. It operated until 1972 when it was abandoned and ultimately burned down in 1978. The land around the former resort was eventually sold to New York State and incorporated into the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

 

In order to accommodate the growing number of visitors at Lake Minnewaska, a second hotel, the Wildmere, was constructed in 1887, only eight years after the Cliff House opened on the opposite side of the lake. After an enlargement in 1911 the resort hotel could accommodate 350 guests. The Wildmere operated until 1979 and ultimately burned down in 1986. The land around the former resort was eventually sold to New York State and incorporated into the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

 

Below is an inventory listing of the Detroit Publishing Company’s works of Lake Minnewaska now located in the Library of Congress.

 

  • Along the shore, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.
  • Awosting Falls, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.
  • Battlement Terrace, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.
  • [Cliff House from across the lake, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.]
  • [Cliff House from Sunset Rock, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.]
  • Lake Minnewaska from the Wildmere House
  • Lake Minnewaska, N.Y. (1)
  • Lake Minnewaska, N.Y. (2)
  • Lake Minnewaska, N.Y., from Millbrook Mountain Road (1)
  • Lake Minnewaska, N.Y., from Millbrook Mountain Road (2)
  • [Looking north from Cliff House, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.]
  • [Midcliff, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.]
  • Morning reflections at the Wildmere House, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.
  • Moss cliff and the Wildmere House, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.
  • On Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.
  • Peterskill Falls, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y. (1)
  • Peterskill Falls, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y. (2)
  • Peterskill road, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.
  • Sky Top from Pine Cliff, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.
  • [Sunset Road, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.]
  • The Cliff House from the Wildmere House, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.
  • The Cliff House, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.
  • [The Wildmere House from the lake, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.]
  • The Wildmere House, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y. (1)
  • The Wildmere House, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y. (2)
  • Undercliff and Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.
  • Undercliff, Lake Minnewaska, N.Y.

 

Library of Congress Collection – Detroit Publishing Company – Kingston, New York

Broadway, Kingston, N.Y.Broadway, Kingston, N.Y.

Broadway, Kingston, N.Y. Library of Congress.

 

The historic city of Kingston is located along the west bank of the Hudson River in Ulster County, New York. The city, sitting where the Hudson River and the Rondout Creek meet, has a long and distinguished history. An early trading post was built at the mouth of the Rondout Creek in 1614 and by 1652 the first permanent settlement was established. An official charter was granted in 1661 for the establishing of Wiltwyck, now Kingston. It was one of three Dutch colonies in New Netherland, Albany and New York City being the other two.

 

The lands of Kingston traded hands several times between the Dutch and the British, ultimately falling under the control of the British in 1674. Over a century later Kingston served as the first capital of New York State, but was burned by the British in 1777 during the American Revolution. With American victory over the British complete General George Washington visited the city in 1782 in recognition of the devotion of the city’s citizens to the patriot cause.

 

By the time the Detroit Photographic Company arrived at Kingston in the early 1900s the city had grown significantly. The city was a key point for trade along the Hudson River, serving as the terminus for the D&H Canal. Important local industries included bluestone, cement mining and brick manufacturing. In 1872 the village of Rondout and the hamlet of Wilbur merged with the village of Kingston to form what is today’s city.

 

The number of photographs taken by the Detroit Photographic Company at Kingston is not as numerous as those from the northern and central Catskills, the Mohonk Mountain House or Lake Minnewaska, yet they still offer a beautiful glimpse at the historic city at the turn of the century. Photographs of Kingston include several of the city’s notable and historic buildings and sites, including the Old Senate House, the Hoffman House, the Dutch Reformed Church and Kingston Point Park.

 

Below is an inventory listing of the Detroit Publishing Company’s works of the city of Kingston in Ulster County, New York now located in the Library of Congress.

 

  • Boat landing, Kingston, N.Y.
  • [Boat landing, Kingston Point, N.Y.]
  • Broadway, Kingston, N.Y.
  • Elmendorf Tavern, Kingston, N.Y.
  • Hoffman House, Kingston, N.Y.
  • Kingston Point Park, Kingston, N.Y. (1)
  • Kingston Point Park, Kingston, N.Y. (2)
  • [Kingston Point Park, Kingston, N.Y.] (1)
  • [Kingston Point Park, Kingston, N.Y.] (2)
  • Old Senate House, Kingston, N.Y.
  • Old Tappan house, Kingston, N.Y.
  • Protestant Dutch Reformed Church, Kingston, N.Y.
  • Wall St., Kingston, N.Y.

 

Detroit Publishing Company – Catalog Inventory

 

Over the years there have been several efforts to document the historic postcard catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company. Each of the efforts have built upon the work of the previous authors and collectors. In 1954 Jeff R. Burdick published an initial 84-page summary titled The Handbook of Detroit Publishing Co. Postcards. In 1975 James L. Lowe and Ben Papell published the 288-page Detroit Publishing Company Collectors’ Guide. And in 1994 Nancy Stickels Stechschulte published the 446-page The Detroit Publishing Company Postcards.

 

6372, version 1_Rip Van Winkle House, Catskill Mountains6372, version 1_Rip Van Winkle House, Catskill Mountains

 

Based on the works of these authors, coupled with a few changes and additions that have become known since their publication, below is an inventory listing of the postcards relating to the Catskills that were published by the Detroit Publishing Company.

 

Catskill Mountains

6359       Kaaterskill Hotel

6360       Kaaterskill Mountain and Lakes; hv

6361       Kaaterskill Lake; nc: South Lake, Mountain House Park

6362       Catskill Mountain House

6363       Long Level and Catskill Mountain House

6364       Otis Elevating Railway

6365       Kaaterskill Falls; comment: card with #9365 s/b 6365

6366       Laurel House and Kaaterskill Falls

6367       Alligator Rock Near South Lake; hv

6368       Haines Falls; dp

6369       The Five Cascades, Haines Falls

6370       Sunset Rock, Kaaterskill Clove

6371       Santa Cruz Falls, Kaaterskill Clove

6372       Rip Van Winkle House

6373       Old Studio of Artist Hall, Palenville

6374       A Catskill Mountain Toll Gate; nc

6375       New Grand Hotel; an: C596

6376       Monka Hill Mountain, From Pine Hill

6377       Fleischmann’s

6378       The Rexmere and Golf Links, Stamford

6379       Churchill Hall, Stamford

7761       Hotel Kaaterskill

8734       Leeds Bridge

10122    Ulster and Delaware R. R. Station, Fleischmanns

10124    Boulder Rock and Hotel Kaaterskill

10125    Grand Hotel; an C596

10126    Birds-Eye View, Margaretville

10127    View of High Mountain and Townsend Valley

11104    Stamford and Mt. Utsayantha, Catskill Mountains

11105    Fleischmanns, Catskill Mountains

11129    Trout Fishing in the; nc, dp

11130    Kaaterskill Clove, Fawn’s Leap, Catskill Mountains

11131    Otis Elevating Railway

11132    Haines Corners, Catskill Mountains

11133    Down Kaaterskill Clove From, Catskill Mountains

11134    Driveway in Twilight Park

54027    The Otis Elevating Railway, Catskill Mountains

54029    Home of Rip Van Winkle, Sleepy Hollow, Catskill Mountains

72117    Catskills From the Hudson River

79921    Catskill Mountain House (3-part panorama); an: C523a, pan58

C46 – 46f             The Kyle Camp and Summer School for Boys

C596 – 596a        New Grand Hotel; an: 6374, 10125

               

Kingston

10752    Kingston Point Park

10753    Elmendorf Tavern

10754    Boat Landing; ad: Central Hudson Line Steamers; New York, NY

10755    Senate House; comment: built 1676

10766    Kingston Point Park

               

Lake Mohonk / Mohonk Lake

6380       Lake Mohonk and Sky Top; an: C120v

6381       The Bathing Place; C120b

6382       The Gardens, Lake Mohonk House; an: C119c

6383       Lake Mohonk House, From Across the Lake; nc, an: C119d

6384       Washington’s Profile, Sky Top; rd, an: C120n

6385       Sky Top From Archway, Lake Mohonk House; an: C120l

7595       Lake Mohonk and Rondout Valley From Road to Sky Top

7733       Lake Mohonk House; rd, an: C119x, nc: Mohonk House From Pine Bluff

7734       Upper Eagle Cliff Road; an: C120y

7735       Flower Beds, Lake Mohonk House; an: C120c

7855       Boat Landing and Main Entrance, Lake Mohonk House; an: C120s

9757       Lake Shore Road; an: C120w

9758       A Pretty Spot On; an: C120x

9759       Lake Shore; an: C119g

9760       Glimpse of Hotel and Lake; an: C120t

9761       Along a Path; an: C120r

14951    Lake Mohonk House from Sky Top Path; an: C119e

14952    Glimpse of Hotel and Lake; an: C120e

14953    Main Entrance and Boat Landing, Lake Mohonk House; an: C120i

14954    A Rustic Bridge; an: C120k

14955    Flower Beds Along the Lake; an: C120d

14956    The Gardens, Lake Mohonk House; an: C120o

14957    The Gardens, Lake Mohonk House; an: C120p

14958    The Parlors, Lake Mohonk House; an: C120j

14959    Rondout Valley and Mohonk Lake, N.Y. From Sky Top; nc, an: C119o

14960    Lake Mohonk House; an: C120h

80653    Lake Mohonk House From Sky Top; an: C119e

80654    The Towers, Lake Mohonk House; an: C119t

80655    Lake Mohonk House From the Gardens; an: C119f

80656    The Putting Green; an: C119l

80657    Bathing at; an: C119a

80658    Sky Top from Approach To; an: C119p

80659    On the Road To: an: C119j

80660    Wallkill Valley From Approach To; an: C120q

80661    Testimonial Gateway; an: C119s

80662    Mohonk Farms; an: C119h

80794    House and Gardens From Sky Top Road; an: C120f

80795    House From Upper Garden; an: C120g

80799    Putting Green and Main Entrance; an: C119m

80800    Swimming Place; an: C120

80801    Tennis Courts; an: C119r

80802    Under Sky Top; an: C119u

80803    House and Gardens From Talman Seat; an: C120a

80808    June Laurel; an: C119z

80811    Tennis Courts; an: C119y

81133    Western View Mohonk House; an: C119w

81134    Mohonk House and Rondout Valley From Sky Top; an: c119i

81136    Corner of the Display Gardens; an: C119b

81137    The Gardens; an: C119c

81138    The Plunge; an: C119k

81139    Putting Green and Porte Cochere; an: C119n

81140    Lake and House From Sky Top Path; an: C119e

81142    House From Across the Lake; an: C119d

               

Lake Minnewaska

7419       The Cliff House

7420       The Wildmere House; an: C114j

7421       From the Wildmere House

7422       Undercliff; an: C120n

7423       Battlement Terrace; an: C114d

7424       Peterskill Road; an: C114r, 80182

7425       Peterskill Falls; an: C114i

7426       Awosting Falls; an: C114a

80191    Undercliff; an: C114n

80192    Peterskill Falls; an: C114i

80198    The Wildmere; an: C114j

80200    Laurel in June; an: C114h

80201    Wildmere House From Mid-Cliff; an: C114m

80773    Wildmere House From Cliff Path; an: C114l

81829    Wildmere House; an: C114p

81830    Wildmere House From Cliff Stairway; an: C114l

81831    Cliff House; an: C114e

81832    Awosting Lake; an: C114b

81833    Awosting Falls; an: C114a

81834    Battlement Terrace; an: C114d

81835    Cliff House From Road Near Wildmere; an: C114q

C114 – 114c        Ball Game at Cliff House

C114 – 114f         Cliff House (horizontal)

C114 – 114g        Lake Shore

C114 – 114k        The Wildmere House and Cliff House (2-part panorama); an: PAN63

C114 – 114o        Table Rock

               

Glossary

ad           Advertisement

an           Another number

dp           Different picture

hv           Printed both Horizontal and Vertical Views

nc           Name/Title change

rd            Reverse design

 

Changing Times

 

As World War I approached the company faced several challenges, including the war economy, with the government having deemed its line of business “non-essential,” and growing competition as more advanced printing methods were established. Adding to the company troubles, general interest in postcards was declining and the financial depression of 1920-1921 greatly impacted the US economy.

 

By 1923, according to manager William Henry Jackson, company debts had “reached such a volume that we knew receivership was inescapable, and the following year brought us to the end of our rope.”[1] The company survived until 1924, when it went into receivership.

 

In January 1924 a Receiver’s Sale was held at which the plant, property and business of the Photochrom Company was offered for sale to the public. Included in the sale was real estate with frontage on Vermont Avenue, Alexandrine Avenue West and Linden Street. Machinery and equipment for sale included printing presses, power cutters, cameras, lenses, photographic appliances and framing machinery. Also available was manufactured merchandise, publication rights and registered brands. Although somewhat dated by this time, the sale also included rights to the Photochrom Process, the very process that had practically given birth to the company 29 years prior.[2]

 

The company continued to operate on a small scale after 1924, mostly focused on selling the approximately 2 million postcards and photographic prints that were in inventory. All the remaining company assets, including nearly 40,000 negatives, were liquidated in 1932.

 

According to the Benson Ford Research Center, the negatives were then purchased by the Ohio Art Company and moved to Byron, Ohio. In 1934 Robert B. Livingstone then organized a group to re-purchase all the negatives and moved them back to Detroit.

 

In the late 1930s the negatives and prints of the Detroit Publishing Company were acquired by Henry Ford and donated to the Edison Institute (now known as the Henry Ford Museum) in Dearborn, Michigan. In 1949 the Edison Institute gave all the negatives and the many duplicate photographs to the Colorado Historical Society. The Colorado Historical Society transferred most of the negatives and prints for sites east of the Mississippi River to the Library of Congress later that year, keeping the negatives and prints for the western views.

 

Legacy

 

“What is a Photochrom? A photochrom is a photograph in the colors of nature. It is not a chromo, lithograph, nor is it a colored print. It combines the truthfulness of a photograph with the color and richness of an oil painting.”[3]

 

 

The photographic works of the Catskills by the Detroit Publishing Company provide an invaluable reference for both the photographer and historian. The photographer can appreciate the visual impact of the scenes, combined with the technical mastery that is clearly evident in the composition, tone and sharpness of all the photographs; while the historian can appreciate the architecture and village scenes as they once stood over a century ago.

 

The works of the Detroit Publishing Company can be found in numerous collections of historical societies, libraries and museums across the United States. Locations holding the works of the Detroit Publishing Company include the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Yale University Library, the Henry Ford Museum and the Colorado Historical Society, among many others.

 

Select Sources

 

Beaumont, Newhall; Diana E. Edkins. William H. Jackson. Fort Worth, Texas: Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, 1974.

 

Benson Ford Research Center. Finding Aid for Detroit Publishing Company Collection. Dearborn, MI: Benson Ford Research Center, July 2013.

 

Burdick, Jefferson R. The Handbook of Detroit Publishing Co. Postcards. Essingston, PA: Hobby Publications, 1954.

 

Davis, Jack; Ryan, Dorothy. Samuel L. Schmucker: The Discovery of His Lost Art. Bozeman, Montana: Olde America Antiques, 2001.

 

Hannavy, John. Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography. New York: Routledge, 2008.

 

Hughes, Jim. The Birth of a Century: Early Color Photographs of America. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994.

 

Jackson, William Henry. Time Exposure: The Autobiography of William Henry Jackson. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940.

 

Knauth, Kristin. “News from the National Digital Library Program: 25,000 Vintage Photos Made Available on the Internet.” Library of Congress Information Bulletin. Vol. 55, No. 2. February 5, 1996. pp. 33-35.

 

Lowe, James L.; Ben Papell. Detroit Publishing Company Collector’s Guide. Newton Square, PA: Deltiologists of America, 1975.

 

Ryan, Dorothy B. Picture Postcards in the United States 1893-1918. 1982.

 

Stechschulte, Nancy Stickels. The Detroit Publishing Company Postcards. Big Rapids, Michigan: N. S. Stechschulte, 1994.

 

Tinder, David V. Directory of Early Michigan Photographers. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan, 2013.

 

Waitley, Douglas. William Henry Jackson: Framing the Frontier. Missoula, Montana: Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1998.

 

Weber, Bruno. “Around the World in Photochrom.” Germany Around the Turn of the Century. Zurich: Orell Fussli, 1990.

 

[1] Jackson, William Henry. Time Exposure: The Autobiography of William Henry Jackson. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1940. p. 330.

[2] “Receiver’s Sale.” Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Michigan). January 9, 1924.

[3] “What is a Photochrom.” The Akron Beacon and Republican (Akron, Ohio). March 23, 1895.

 

 

 


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