Southern Colorado: O. T. Davis Collection

Material Information

Southern Colorado: O. T. Davis Collection
Series Title:
Southern Colorado: O. T. Davis Collection
Simmons, Virginia McConnell
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
Publication Date:

Record Information

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


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Southern Colorado: O. T. Davis Collection | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/7/2015 3:18:04 PM] Home Southern Colorado: O. T. Davis CollectionSouthern Colorado: O. T. Davis CollectionSubmitted by CLEAVITT on 12-9-2014 02:50 PMAuthor: Mike Butler and Monte Vista Historical Society Publishing: Images of America: Southern Colorado, O. T. Davis Collection. By Mike Butler and Monte Vista Historical Society. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2014. 128 pages. Black-and-white photographs. 6 x 9. $21.99 paperback. Reviewer: Virginia McConnell Simmons Reviewer Affiliation: Although O. T. Daviss photographic work is not as familiar as the earlier magnificent landscape photography of the West by photographers like Carleton Watkins, Timothy OSullivan, and William Henry Jackson, the record Davis left has historical importance for its depiction of southern Colorados principal economic and social activities, as well as its scenery. This pictorial book presents images made by the prolific and capable commercial photographer, Ory Thomas (O. T.) Davis (1859 1945), with accompanying texts by the author, Mike Butler Butler has grouped images in this book in chapters with the topics of railroads, mining, irrigation, ranching, farming, towns and villages, scenery, and automobiles and roads, recording the dominant events, activities, and interests in the early 1900s in this area. They offer rare views of life in and near the San Luis Valley. Here are scenes such as construction of the rerouted Denver & Rio Grande Railroad line over La Veta Pass; the advent of roads for motor vehicles; mining around Sangre de Cristo Pass, Jasper, and Creede; water diversion and crops; and buildings, many of which are now gone while others remain as familiar landmarks. One of these is the Emperius Building at State and Main in Alamosa where Daviss studio was located. Aside from a self-portrait of Davis and another with his wife, portraiture is not included here, although it provided Davis with income to support the field work that he clearly enjoyed. Evidently, however, Davis lacked a market for photographs of Hispanic subjects that should have been abundant in the area. An introduction provides a broad historical summary of the region, and a short chapter gives biographical information about Davis himself. From Iowa, he arrived in 1885 in southern Colorado with family members, and, following a brief period of mining in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, he turned to the career of photography. He had studios in Walsenburg and La Veta, and then moved in 1906 to Alamosa, where he maintained his studio and sold commissioned and freelanced work. Although encumbered with heavy equipment, the industrious Davis produced a voluminous inventory of work, the whereabouts of some, but not all, of which are known and accessible. This book presents more than two hundred photographs. Nielsen Library at Adams State University, the Alamosa Public Library, and the Denver Public Library Western History Collection have some originals and/or prints. A large number of Daviss images were donated by family descendants to the Monte Vista Historical Society. The Societys members meticulously catalogued and preserved its holdings with support of grants from the Colorado Historical Fund. These are seen in this book, Southern Colorado : O. T. Davis Collection. Some images from 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 AmericanCasimiro Barela, state senator for over 37 years, fought to ensure Colorados first constitution was published in English, Spanish and German.


Southern Colorado: O. T. Davis Collection | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/7/2015 3:18:04 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us the Monte Vistas Davis collection have also appeared in two other books by Mike Butler in the Images of America Series, namely Around the Spanish Peaks and Great Sand Dunes National Park Reviewer Info: Virginia McConnell Simmons has authored several books on the history of Colorado and the American West, including The San Luis Valley: Land of the Six-Armed Cross and The Upper Arkansas: A Mountain River Valley. She also has written hundreds of articles for international, national, and regional publications, and has been a book editor, book reviewer, and for more than thirty years a newspaper columnist in southern Colorado, where she lives.