Fort Collins: The Miller Photographs

Material Information

Fort Collins: The Miller Photographs
Series Title:
Fort Collins: The Miller Photographs
Sundberg, Wayne
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
Publication Date:

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Source Institution:
Auraria Library
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Fort Collins: The Miller Photographs | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 12:57:59 PM] Home Fort Collins: The Miller PhotographsFort Collins: The Miller PhotographsSubmitted by jainlayconley on 2-24-2010 04:51 PMAuthor: Barbara Fleming and Malcolm McNeill Publishing: Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2009. 127 pages. Photos. 6-1/2 x 9-1/4. $21.99 paperback. Reviewer: Wayne C. Sundberg Arcadia Publishings Images of America is an immensely popular series of pop history publications on various communities around the United States. Barbara Fleming and Malcolm Mac McNeills addition to this collection, Fort Collins: The Miller Photographs is a delightful book crammed with a wonderful array of photos from the lens of the citys foremost twentieth-century photographer, Mark Miller. The authors researched both public photo archives and private collections to find a fascinating variety of Millers works, many of which are published here for the first time. They have woven segments of Fort Collins history into the photo montages that make up each of the eight topical chapters. Each photo is presented with a detailed and informative caption. While the books title includes the citys name, Fort Collins, the authors have followed Millers photographic trail as he snapped pictures in and around the greater Fort Collins area. In the chapters, Sweet Prosperity and Fort Collins at Work, photos and text include the agricultural areas surrounding the city, with an emphasis on the sugar beet industry that dominated economic development for the first half of the twentieth century. The ethnic history from this era is highlighted with some photo references to the German-Russian and Hispanic workers who were brought in to do the difficult stoop labor in the sugar beet fields. In addition to agricultural scenes, there are photos of sandstone quarrying at Stout (now covered by the waters of Horsetooth Reservoir) and the oil boom of the 1920s north of Wellington. Perhaps the most revealing chapter in terms of the citys past, and of Millers career, is A Miller Portrait Gallery. With more then 70,000 Miller photos in the archive at the Fort Collins Museum, individual portraits, wedding photos, and group pictures dominate his work. This was the bread-and-butter work for a photographic studio, and Millers was a family-run business. In the days before color photography, pictures had to be hand-colored. This task fell to Millers wife, Effie. While the book only shows black and white images, many of the individual portraits were beautifully hand-tinted, and would have been wonderful additions to the book. This, of course, would have made this a much more expensive publication! Because Miller photographed both prominent and common folkbusiness people, educators, law enforcement officers, and the list goes onthe reader gets a unique insight into the character of the city and its builders and boomers. The final chapter of the book, The Poudre Canyon Playground, wanders the farthest afield from Fort Collins. Most of the photos here are from Miller postcards. Miller loved to fly fish, the authors say, and creating post cards of the Poudre Canyon was more than a money-making venture. It was an opportunity EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanNow, thats wrong! Some of these Japanese are citizens of the United States. Colorado Gov. Ralph Carrs response to Executive Order 9066 forcing Japanese into internment camps during WWII.


Fort Collins: The Miller Photographs | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 12:57:59 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us to load his cameras, fishing gear, and family into their auto and go on a busmans holiday. The Millers often camped at their favorite spot, Chambers Lake, where the family fished while Mark took photographs for his postcards. The Miller children were charged with the task of making sure the postcard racks in the canyons various resorts and stores were well stocked with Miller postcards. Many of these cards carry images of scenes and structures that are long gone from the Poudre Canyon. Overall, the book does a great job showcasing Millers photographs. If readers want a fresh look at Fort Collins during this era through high quality images in a well-produced publication, this book is an excellent choice. However, if readers are seeking a comprehensive history of Fort Collins, they will not find it here. The limitation of one persons photo collection during the first half of the twentieth century precludes a broad overview. Reviewer Info: Wayne C. Sundberg of SundDay Research Associates in Fort Collins has an MA in Colorado and Southwestern history from Colorado State University (CSU). He has taught Colorado and Fort Collins history at Lincoln Junior High and CSU; served on the Fort Collins Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission; worked on the Old Town Fort Collins Square and Fort Collins Municipal Trolley projects; authored or co-authored three books, numerous newspaper and magazine articles; and written and produced two videos: Travelin Trails: The Overland Trail in Northern Colorado and Fort Collins Lost: The Wrecking Ball of Progress. Sundberg leads walking and bus tours on area history and is currently working on a five-part television series on Fort Collins for Comcast Channel 14. Add new comment