Tourist Season

26 Apr
Pikes Peak Tourist

A Pikes Peak Tourist

With spring well underway in the Rocky Mountains, thoughts naturally turn to tourist destinations and new ways to enjoy them. Our current culture did not invent the concept of traveling for fun and education. Far from it. The West can look to western expansion to explain much of its history, good and bad. After the Civil War, young men scrambled to find their fame and fortune in the West. Pioneers and tourists came in many packages. They were immigrants from different countries, and men and women from all walks of life.

Pioneer view photographers provided exciting images of natural wonders and scenery to those back east. With the arrival and connection to transcontinental train lines in Colorado in 1870, tourists came to see for themselves the scenes they had witnessed only in photographs.

Pioneer view photographer, William E. Hook, was one of those photographers. In addition to the numerous scenic views he shot all over the West, he sold photographs to tourists by the hundreds and thousands. When they departed on burros up the Pikes Peak Trail, he took their photo, printed while they were gone, then sold them a souvenir photo when they returned. During the summer months, business was booming.  As Hook said, “You can only realize the height of Pikes Peak on looking down from the summit, and all appear to try the experiment.”

Joyce B. Lohse, 4/26/11
“Artist’s Glen: A Tale of Two Photographers”
June 11, Pikes Peak Library District History Symposium


Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Western history, Western Travel


Tags: , , , ,

4 responses to “Tourist Season

  1. Eunice Boeve

    April 28, 2011 at 10:51 am

    So cute. It made me smile. One doesn’t ordinarily think about a photographer capturing the adventures for those early day tourists to purchase. My grandfather went west to Wyoming in the early 1900s and had a photo taken of himself in cowboy garb and sent back home as a postcard.

  2. joyce4books

    April 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I bet the cowboy pose was a treasure! I’m sure this dude wants to be a cowboy as well, but it is more of a stretch for him. This fellow is certainly charming! Looks like he wants to smile, and is being a really good sport about the whole thing.

  3. heidiwriter

    April 28, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    A great picture! It’s funny because the burro is so little.

    • joyce4books

      April 29, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      It’s true. The contrast is comical. However, I sometimes cringe at the loads those little animals carried up the mountains and in mining camps. However, in this case, I don’t think this man caused much of a problem, unless he opened his umbrella fast!


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