Havana: American Photo Co., 1910. Panoramic photograph, image 7 1/4 x 47 1/4 inches on sheet 10 x 49 inches. Printed caption title below image. Publisher and date written in negative at lower right corner; in the lower left corner is written: "#5 2d Regiment U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Deer Point Camp, Guantanamo Bay, Feb. 13, 1910. 'Minnesota,' 'New Hampshire,' 'Mississippi,' 'Idaho.'" "Printed in Germany" printed below image at lower left. Some light soiling, minor fading to right side of photo, some rumpling from previous rolling. Very good. Item #WRCAM55308
An impressive view of sailors and marines from the United States' Atlantic Fleet, assembled on the parade grounds of Deer Point Camp, Guantanamo Bay. Well over five hundred officers, seamen, and marines are in formation, with encampments on both sides of the grounds. In the background, looking out into the harbor, nineteen ships are visible in the water, including the four listed on the photo: MINNESOTA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, MISSISSIPPI, and IDAHO. One camp building with a wide veranda is behind and to the left of the sailors.
U.S. forces, with their Cuban allies, first occupied Guantanamo Bay in 1898 during the Spanish American War, creating a forward- operating base in their effort to wrest Spanish control of the island. In 1903 the U.S. leased forty-five square miles of land and water at Guantanamo Bay from the newly- independent Cuban government, and built the Deer Point Camp to support naval operations in the Caribbean. The American facilities at Guantanamo Bay are in use to this day. The American Photo Company advertised itself as "the best equipped commercial photographers in Cuba." It established a commercial network in Havana that distributed images of Cuba on a worldwide scale.
This photo is rare. We found no records of it at auction and no copies in OCLC, however the Naval History and Heritage Command lists a copy in their collections. "US Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba," UA 571.45 (copy of this image) (Washington Navy Yard, D.C.: Naval History and Heritage Command, Naval Heritage Foundation) (accessed online).