Biographical Note

Historical Background

Scope and Content

Digital Content

Restrictions on Access

Restrictions on Use

Processing Info

Inventory   [ + ]

Subject Terms


Guide to the Peter L. Hegg Equality Colony Photographs



PH Collection No.: 728
Creator: Hegg, P. L. (Peter L.)
Title: Peter L. Hegg Equality Colony photographs
Date Span: 1898-1900
Quantity: 21 photographic prints (1 box) ; 8x10
Location: K204 (1 box)
Languages: Collection materials are in English.
Equality Colony residents in front of Apartment House No.1, 1898. Special Collections, UW Libraries. UW10540




Biographical Note

Peter Hegg, brother of the Klondike Gold Rush photographer Eric Hegg, was a proficient photographer in his own right. The Heggs emigrated from Sweden with their parents when they were very young. Peter Hegg came to Washington in 1888. Eric Hegg started a photography studio in New Whatcom (Bellingham, Washington) in 1889, but sold it when he went to the Klondike to record the Gold Rush. Peter took over the Hegg studio when Eric left. Peter worked closely with the Equality Colony in producing a number of propaganda photographs of the colony for their newspaper Industrial Freedom. In addition, these images were available for sale to the curious public for 30 cents each or $1.75 for the first seven.

Historical Background

The Equality Colony, located near Edison in upstate Washington, was founded in 1897. It was part of the National Union of the Brotherhood of the Cooperative Commonwealth, whose goal was to make Washington a socialist state by gradually starting colonies in the area and expanding into the rest of the state. For $160 a family was admitted to the colony. Every member was expected to work, including the children when they were not in school. Families lived in apartment houses, or in individual family cabins and ate in a communal dining hall. The colonists were not well received by the surrounding communities because they held radical beliefs such as free love, divorce, rights for women and socialism. By 1906 the colony dissolved.

The newspaper Industrial Freedom was the official publication of the Equality Colony. It was printed weekly and distributed nationally.

Scope and Content

Twenty one photographic prints documenting scenes of daily life at the Equality Colony, including tenants, apartment houses, the sawmill and printing presses. These photographs were taken at three different periods and were numbered by the photographer.

Digital Content

View the collection in digital format.

Restrictions on Access

The collection is open to the public.

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Processing Info

Processed by Leah Pepin in 2006 and Marion Brown in 2007

The photographs were transferred from the Social Issues file in the repository in 2006.


Inventory

 
Box/Folder Item Date
March 1898
The first group of photos shows scenes of daily life taken around March 1898. The first issue of Industrial Freedom came out on May 7, 1898. It contained an ad advertising seven pictures of Equality Colony scenes for sale. Three of these pictures were printed in the November 12, 1898 issue of Industrial Freedom.
1/11Colony residents in front of Apartment House No. 1 (Photo #2)   View imageMarch 1898
2Mr. Kincaid standing in "The Reserve," the logging area along Colony Creek   View imageMarch 1898
This is the later site of the sawmill. The buildings in the background were probably part of an abandoned logging camp.
3Men working at the sawmill   View imageMarch 1898
4Women and children outside Fort Bellamy, a two story, A-frame log cabin (Photo #5)   View imageMarch 1898
Sitting on the porch are Charles Marquart, age 9 and Clint Halladay. At the back row of the stairs are Bertha Fisher, Frankie Clevenger, Dora Erickson and the future Mrs. Herts. In the front left is Emma Marquart.
Fort Bellamy was the name of the kitchen and dining hall where residents ate meals together. The hall was named after socialist Edward Bellamy, author of Equality and Looking Backward. Fort Bellamy was the first building at the colony. After 1898 an addition was built on the north end.
5Women and children standing outside a row of A-frame log cabins (Photo #6)   View imageMarch 1898
Clint Halladay, Charles Marquart, Emma Marguart, Frankie Clevenger, Grace Brady.
From left to right is the Brady cabin, the Herz-Kincaid cabin and the Giles-Brady Cabin. These cabins were built in 1897

 
Box/Folder Item Date
May 1898
In the May 29, 1898 issue of Industrial Freedom the number of photos advertised for sale goes up to 16. Both ads include descriptions of the photos and the numbers on the majority of the existing photos corresponds to the number describing the scene in the advertisement. The first photos without the "BCC Industrial Freedom" banner were commissioned before the newspaper went out, and the next group was commissioned to promote readership after pictures had been selling well. It is noted in the newspaper how eager people were to see the colony.
1/26Six men and two women standing underneath "Industrial Freedom" banner in the carpentry shop (Photo #8)   View imageMay 1898
The colonists made and sold furniture to the public to raise funds.
7Group of colonists in the composing room for the Industrial Freedom (Photo #9)   View imageMay 1898
8Three men running a printing press in the Press Room (Photo #10)   View imageMay 1898
9Group standing in front of building on Main Street in Edison, where the Industrial Freedom was printed. (Photo #11)   View imageMay 1898
The printery also served as the BCC National Headquarters. It was 1.5 miles east of Edison, but 4 miles by road and trail. The building was later called Edison Hall and made into an IOOF building.
10Serving drinks in the dinning room of the Hotel Freedom (Photo #13)   View imageMay 1898
11Children lining the forest lane leading to the Equality Colony (Photo #14)   View imageMay 1898
12Residents outside the Apartment House No. 2   View imageMay 1898
Mrs. R. Ault stands in the doorway, Lulu and Gladys Ault sit on the log and Florence Pelton sits at the base of the stump marked with an "x".
13Colony residents outside cabins (Photo #16)   View imageMay 1898
14Men working in the colony nursery (Photo #17)   View imageMay 1898
In the foreground are James Brallin Ault and J. W. Morrick

 
Box/Folder Item Date
April 1, 1900 and 1903
1/315Two men in front of sawmill and shingle house (Photo #22)   View image
16A man standing in front of the Equality Colony (Photo #23)   View imageApril 1, 1900
Caption reads: "General view of village looking southeast from garden. Hot-house, bakery and ironing-room obscured by other buildings. Shingle-house and saw-mill to left."
17Three men standing on the porch of the bakery   View image
18A group of men sitting on stacked lumber   View image
Caption reads: "Donkey Mill Crew and Shingle Bolts"
19Close up view of loganberries1903

 
Box/Folder Item Date
Unknown date
The remaining two photos have no date or numbers. Possibly they were taken later than the May 1898 series because they do not match the description of any of the advertised photos.
1/320 Equality Colony kitchen   View imageundated
21Interior of Equality Colony creamery   View imageundated

Subject Terms

Geographic Names:
Equality Colony (Skagit County, Wash.)--Photographs.
Subjects:
Collective settlements--Washington (State)--Skagit County--Photographs.
Genre Headings:
Photographic prints.
Last modified: March 10, 2010
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