[Wardner, Id.; Kellogg, Id.; Spokane, Wa. ca. 1899-1906]. Fifty-four photographs, 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches, one on each album page, mounted within a paper photo frame, most with manuscript captions. Lock of son Everett's baby hair tied in a pink ribbon laid in. Oblong small quarto. Pebbled red cloth, silver gilt lettering to front cover. Front joint nearly broken, rear joint weakening, wear to extremities, light soiling to boards, endpapers removed. A few small edge tears to paper photo frames, fading or slight warping to a few photos. Overall very good. Item #WRCAM55935
An intimate photo album documenting the early career and life of Robert Perry Bryan ("Perry") and his wife, Junieta ("June") in northern Idaho and eastern Washington in the early 20th century. Bryan moved to Silver Valley in northern Idaho in 1900 to help rebuild the Bunker Hill Mine, then one of the largest mining operations in the world. In the midst of a labor strike in April 1899, a group of miners affiliated with the Western Federation of Miners seized a Northern Pacific train in Burke, Idaho and took it to Wardner. After a shootout with the Bunker Hill security guards, they laid three thousand pounds of dynamite to the concentrator and completely destroyed it. They also burned the company office, boarding house, and the home of the mine manager. Despite this, Bunker Hill was able to rebuild quickly, and was up and running with even greater capacity within three months. The album begins with small photos of Perry and June, and then an image of June with their son Everett (1901-1972) in Spokane. Scenes of the mine start with the "Wreck of Mine," which shows a jungle of splintered wood following the blast. There are also group shots with the miners, and a shot of the Army encampment at Kellogg, Idaho, including Bryan's note that they were "colored soldiers." Governor Frank Steunenberg had requested that federal troops be ordered into Kellogg and the Silver Valley, and those troops included the all- black 24th Infantry Regiment (Buffalo Soldiers). There are several scenes from a steamship on Lake Coeur d'Alene and then along the Spokane River and Spokane Falls, including a shot of a Bunker Hill power station on the river. In 1903, Washington Water and Power completed over eighty miles of electrical lines between Spokane Falls and Burke, and the company was able to upgrade to electrical machinery, likely with the help of Bryan. There are additional shots of the Bunker Hill Mine in the course of rebuilding, and a shot of the aerial tramway that connected the mine in Wardner with the mill in Kellogg. Interspersed are several photos of Perry and June together at home and visiting with friends, as well as traveling throughout the Inland Northwest, including stops at mining locations. A fascinating look into the heyday of mining (and labor wars) in the northwest just as it was starting to modernize.