Biographical Note

Scope and Content

General Notes

Digital Content

Terms of Access

Terms of Use

Processing Info

Other Finding Aids

Container List

Subject Terms

Preliminary Guide to the Dwight Alvin Watson Photograph Collection

Collection No.: PH0165
Creator: Watson, Dwight Alvin, photographer
Title: Dwight Alvin Watson photograph collection
Date Span: circa 1918-1980
Quantity: 3377 photographic prints, slides, photo CD (15 boxes)
Languages: Collection materials are in English.

Biographical Note

Born in Seattle at the turn of the century, Dwight Watson was an amateur nature photographer, skier, and mountain climber. His passion for the outdoors originated with outings with his family when he was young. During this early period he attended Broadway High School and studied electrical engineering at the University of Washington. In the 1920s while employed at Puget Sound Power and Light Co., he developed his interest in mountaineering while visiting the companies Kapowsin and Electron power plants in the Puyallup River Valley. Its proximity to Mount Rainier National Park inspired him to go on the first of many long hikes around the park. He made his first ascent of Mt. Rainier on July 29, 1924. He also avidly explored many well known scenic spots in the Cascade Range, Olympic Peninsula, British Columbia and Oregon. His accomplishments included the first ski ascent of Glacier Peak in 1938 with Sigurd Hall and another early ski ascent of Eldorado Peak in the Cascades with Fred Beckey and Lloyd Anderson in 1940.

His alpine enthusiasm is reflected in his account of skiing in the Garibaldi area in 1943: "Some ski enthusiasts HAVE climbed in the park in spring for several days of WONDERFUL skiing--for skiing Paradise it IS but probably [will] be never popular when so much labor getting there is involved. The steep sloped runs from the Tusk would be thrilling to say the least while the views would be beyond comprehension!! And the glaciers near Garibaldi peak as well as south of Helm Lake-Helm Glacier as an example had splendid spring snow in mid-August for those die-hards who must ski every month in the year to keep in condition! Perhaps the popular advent of the helicopter after the war will solve the whole problem--or will it?"

His interest in mountaineering led him to become involved in The Mountaineers and also to author articles on backcountry skiing including a 1937 Mountaineer Annual article. In addition, he pursued his interest in amateur photography. Working mostly with 35 millimeter still photography and 8 and 16 mm moving pictures, he documented many of his cross country mountaineering and skiing trips. In the winter of 1936, he was invited by the Rainier National Park Company to take publicity pictures of the park for them. Along with his images, he included many lively annotations of his experiences in the Cascade and Olympic Mountains. He associated with many well known mountaineers and photographers in the Pacific Northwest community including Hermann Ulrichs, Fred and Helmy Beckey, Otto Trott, Asahel Curtis, Ray Atkeson, and Lawrence D. Lindsley.

A very religious man, Dwight Watson became involved with the Hope Bible Fellowship of Seattle during the 1940s. He was staunchly opposed to the theory of evolution, and he taught Sunday school and led young people, especially YMCA and UPS messengers groups, in nature outings. Watson went on many such YMCA trips when he was a young man. He donated generously to several Christian missionaries and organizations. He compiled many boxes of clippings on skiing, hiking, and scientific phenomena. He also maintained correspondence with a wide variety of people in the scientific and religious fields. He later worked at Rainier Oven until he retired in 1962. He then lived and worked as a custodian for Hope Bible Fellowship in the Wallingford Fremont neighborhood. He also spent nine years at Harmony Gardens Care Center. Watson died of heart failure on Thursday, February 29, 1996.

Scope and Content

Primarily photographs by Watson of the Cascades and other Western mountains. Includes images of Mount Rainier National Park, Mount Baker National Forest, North Cascades National Park, Wenatchee National Forest, Olympic National Park, Mount Adams, Glacier Peak, hiking, mountaineering and skiing.

Also includes photographs taken by Bert Huntoon, H. Ulrichs, Ray Atkeson, L.D. Lindsley, and Dagleish.

General Notes

See also PH2012-010 and Acc. 9603-09 in the repository. Contact Visual Materials Curator for more information.

Digital Content

View selections from the collection in digital format.

Terms of Access

The collection is open to the public.

Terms of Use

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

Processing Info

The original donation of photographs were relocated from the Dwight Alvin Watson Papers, MSS Coll. No. 2170 in the repository, in 1997.

Other Finding Aids

These materials form part of the Dwight Alvin Watson Papers, which are described and indexed in A Guide to the Dwight Alvin Watson Papers.



BOX 1: Mount Rainier National Park. 1930s.

Folder 1: 23 black and white photographs. Mount Rainier. Summit of Mt. Rainier from various locations including Indian Henry's Park, Klapatche Park, Gobblers Knob, Lake Eunice, Pinnacle Peak, Grand Park, Sunset Park, Sunrise, Mazama Ridge, Fay Peak, Tatoosh Range, Chinook Pass
Folder 2: 9 black and white photographs and cyanotypes. Mount Rainier. Spray Park, Observation Rock, Echo Rock. Depicts man skiing.
Folder 3: 5 black and white photographs. Mount Rainier. Cowlitz Chimneys. Depicts man skiing.
Folder 4: 3 black and white photographs. Mount Rainier. Tokallo Needle/Rock. Depicts man skiing.
Folder 5: 16 black and white photographs and cyanotypes. Mount Rainier. Paradise Valley/Glacier, Mazama Ridge, Tatoosh Range, ice caves. Depicts people skiing.
Folder 6: 12 black and white photographs. Mount Rainier. Glaciers - Carbon, Puyallup, Ohanepecosh, Cowlitz, Nisqually, S. Mowich. Depicts people skiing.
Folder 7: 11 black and white photographs and cyanotypes. Mount Rainier. Downhill skiing, cornice jumping.
Folder 8: 13 black and white photographs and cyanocyantypes.types. Mount Rainier. Comet Falls, Mystic Lake, Lake Eunice, Corral Pass, Colquhoun Lookout, Twin Creeks, snowplows park signs.

BOX 2: Cascade Mountains

Folder 1: 1 album with 220 photographs and postcards. Mt. Baker, Mt. Baker Lodge, Monte Cristo, Snoqualmie Pass, Snoqualmie Falls, Granite Falls, mountaineering parties, Hartford and Eastern Railroad, James B. Murphy's "Western Union" Boys Camp at Lake Keechelus
Folder 2: 5 black and white photographs. Cascade Glacier, Blue Peak, Dome Peak, Mt. Index.
Folder 3: 46 black and white photographs. Glacier Peak area. Depicts people skiing.

BOX 3: Cascade Mountains

Folder 1: 8 black and white photographs. El Dorado Peak. Depicts people skiing.
Folder 2: 16 black and white photographs and 9 color reproductions. Cascade Pass area. Sahale Peak, Stehekin River Road, Mt. McGregor.
Folder 3: 26 black and white photographs. White Pass - Indian Head Peak, Whitechuck Basin, White Mt., Chinook Pass, Cayuse Pass. Depicts people skiing.
Folder 4: 12 black and white photographs. Mt. Daniel, Mt. Stuart.
Folder 5: 5 black and white photographs. Bears Breast Mt., Dutch Miller Gap, Mt. Hinman
Folder 6: 19 black and white photographs. Surprise Mt., Surprise Pass, Surprise Lake, Twin Lake, Glacier Lake, Marmor Lake, Deception Creek.
Folder 7: 8 black and white photographs. Hidden Peak, Gargoyle Ridge.
Folder 8: 9 black and white photographs. Chetwoot Lake, Angeline Lake, Chimney Rocks.

BOX 4: North Cascades

Folder 1: 5 black and white photographs. Garibaldi Lake and Peak, North Cascades.
Folder 2: 38 black and white photographs. North Cascades. Bonita Mines, Mt. Daniel's, Deep Lake, Cathedral Peak, Lake Wenatchee, Lake Janus, Cascade Crest, Heather Lake, Icy Peak, Mt. Ruth, Naches River, Cady Pass, Mt. Booker, Mt. Buckner, Mt. Logan, Thunder Lake, Tomyhoi Lake. Also shows tunnel of the old Monte Cristo Railroad - upper end of Stillaguamish River, tunnel of old Hartford and Eastern Railroad
Folder 3: 26 black and white photographs and cyanotypes, color postcards, ephemera. Whatcom Peak, Taptoo Lake, Mt. Challenger, Mt. Redoubt, Mt. Baker.
Folder 4: 41 black and white photographs. Mt. Baker, Table Mt., Austin Pass, Rainbow Glacier, Black Butte, Ptarmigan Ridge. Shows two climbers at the summit of Mt. Baker, people on skis.
Folder 5: 31 black and white photographs and cyanotypes. Mountaineers climbing Mt. Shuksan.

BOX 5: Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Eastern Washington

Folder 1: 1 black and white photograph, ephemera. Skiers at the summit of Mt. St. Helens
Folder 2: 14 black and white photographs. Mt. Adams and vicinity. Goat Rocks, Packwood Lake, Mt. Adams summit. Shows mountaineers
Folder 3: 5 black and white photographs. Stilletoo Lookout, Twisp Pass.
Folder 4: 4 black and white photographs. Lake Chelan.
Folder 5: 41 black and white photographs. Bannock Mt., Cirque Lake, "Stonehenge," Lyman Glacier, Agnes Creek, Lyman Lake, Glacier Peak, Bonanza Peak, Cloudy Pass, Red Mt., Fortress Mt., Gunsight Peaks, Sinister Peak, Dome Peak, Sundown Park.
Folder 6: 14 black and white photographs. Eastern Washington. Mebee Pass, Methow Valley, Holman Pass, Washington Pass, Cutthroat Peak, Heather Pass, Lake Ann, Icicle Creek, Tumwater Canyon

BOX 6: Olympic Peninsula, Oregon

Folder 1: 85 black and white photograph and color postcards. Quinault River, Mt. Anderson, Mt. Olympus, Solduc Hot Springs, Lake Crescent, Washington coast. Includes Vorhie's Lodge before it was destroyed by an avalanche, undated.
Folder 2: 14 black and white photographs. Olympic Peninsula. Various scenic, undated.
Folder 3: 140 black and white photographs. Oregon - Columbia River Gorge, Willamette Falls, Multnomah Falls, Mt. Hood, Three Sisters, Smith Rocks, Klamath Falls, Oregon Caves, Crater Lake, Wallow's. California - Mt. Shasta
Folder 4: 13 color postcards. Oregon, undated.
Folder 5: 38 black and white photographs. Trail construction, camping, animals and vegetation (elk, domestic sheep, black bear, gray owls, porcupine)

BOX 7: Album 1: Mt. Rainier National Park, Vol 1 (1 of 2).

440 black and white photographs, color postcards, ca. 1925-1955. Mount Rainier views, flora and fauna, mountaineering expeditions, skiing and dog sledding activities, Paradise Inn. Mount Rainier and business district by Alfred Witter (Page 9), Paradise Ice Caves (Page 103-111), Dwight Watson, 1929 (Page 119), Old Green Water Tavern Inn (Page 213)

BOX 8: Album 2: Mt. Rainier National Park, Vol 2 (2 of 2).

400 black and white photographs, color postcards, ca. 1923-1929. Scenic views - Grand Park to Van Trump Park northeast side, north, west, southwest and south sides, flora and fauna, skiing mountaineering activities. Dwight Watson (Page 107), Puget Sound Power and Light flume, etc. (Page 102-107)


Album 3: North Cascades I.
222 black and white and color photographs, ca. 1918-1922. Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, Mt. Waddington, Garibaldi (B.C.), Glacier Peak. Photographed in part by E. Dagleish (killed while climbing Mt. Waddington, June 1934), M. Anderson, L.D. Lindsley, Ulrich.
Album 4: Central Cascades II.
239 black and white photographs, ca. 1940s. Mt. Index, Mt. Waddington, Stevens Pass, Olympics, Mt. Daniels, Mt. Baker, Sisters Range, Mt. Shuksan, Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Snoqualmie Pass. Shows skiing activities, National Ski Patrol at Snoqualmie Pass (P. 74)
Album 5: South Cascades III.
180 black and white photographs, postcards, 1926-1949. Cascade Pass, Lake Chelan, Mt. Index, Mt. Stuart, Mt. Daniels, Mt. Si., Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, Oregon Coast. Photos by Lindsley, Ulrich, Ray Atkeson.

BOX 10: Album 6: Glacier - Canada Trip.

236 black and white photographs, postcards, magazine clippings, undated. Glacier National Park, Montana; Waterton Lakes National Park, British Columbia, Canadian Rockies.
Album 7: Skiing in Washington State.
224 black and white photographs, 1930s-1940s. Mt. Shuksan, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak, Mt. Daniels, Mt. Stuart, Mt. Olympus, Mt. Adams.

BOX 11: Album 8: California and Oregon.

217 black and white photographs, and ephemera, 1936. Sequoia National Park, Yosemite, Mammoth Lakes, Death Valley National Monument, Redwoods, Oregon coast.
Album 9: Ray Atkeson Album. 116 black and white and color photographs and photographic postcards, undated. Photographed by Ray Atkeson. Includes Mt. Hood, Oregon coast, Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Crater Lake. Shows mountaineering and skiing activities.

BOX 12: Summer and Winter

Album 10: 229 black and white photographs, undated. Includes Mt. Rainier, Olympics, Mt. St. Helens ice caves, Mt. Adams (skiing to summit), Mt. Daniels, Yosemite, California, flora and fauna. Photos by Norman Edson, Ray Atkeson, W. Dyke, W. Huffman.
Album 11: 230 black and white photographs, 1930s. Includes Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, Mt. Rainier, Snoqualmie Pass, Mt. Shasta, Utah, Yosemite. Shows winter snow scenes, skiing, winter mountaineering. Photographed by Ray Atkeson, Ulrichs, Lindsley.

BOX 13: Oversize and miscellaneous photographs

-Mount Adams. Photographed by Norman Edson
-Mount Rainier. Photographed by Linkletter
-Bird. Photographed by C.A. Clay
-Yakima Park RNP. Photographed by O. Bosgerson (?)
-Mt. Rainier from Seattle. Photographed by A.S.Witter
-Mt. Rainier.
-Paradise Valley (Christmas gift). Photographed by Norman Edson, 1944.
-Lake Eunice, Mt. Rainier. Photographed by Dwight Watson (framed)
-Grand Park, Mt. Rainier. Photographed by Dwight Watson (framed)

Subject Terms

Genre Headings:
Photographic prints.
Last modified: April 15, 2016
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