Drake Bros. Studio Photograph Collection 30 items

Photographers June D. Drake (1880-1969) and his brother Emory Roy Drake founded Drake Brothers Studio in 1900 in Silverton, Oregon. Four years later the brothers bought out the business of W.L. Jones, a noted 19th-century Oregon pioneer photographer, and added his negatives to their inventory. The brothers operated together until 1908 when a fire destroyed their studio; very few images were salvaged. June Drake continued to photograph in a new studio until his retirement in 1960.

The Drake Bros. Studio collection at Princeton contains photograph and manuscript material by June D. Drake, which provides a visual record of Silverton, Oregon, and surrounding areas in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There are nearly nine hundred photographs by Drake Studios, most with the studio stamp on versos along with detailed manuscript notes, including dates, identification of individuals, and the names of buildings and streets (many of which no longer exist in Silverton). Most of the photos dated before 1900 are copies of photos taken by William L. Jones, and others. The collection may be the working photographs and documents for Drake's unpublished history of Silverton and environs.

June Drake was a local historian interested in documenting Silverton history, though he considered his greatest achievement to be the establishment of the Silver Falls State Park. He photographed all ten of the falls from as early as 1902, and created many travel brochures, pamphlets, and postcards to raise awareness around Oregon and the Pacific Northwest of the need to protect this area from logging. Drake published many local history pieces in the Silvertonian and Silverton-Appeal newspapers.

Undigitized manuscript materials include notes and newspaper clippings on the history of Silverton, Oregon, and its founding, the history of Silver Falls State Park, and history of the Drake and Schoenfeld families. Also included are a ledger of the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society, Ltd., a bound photograph album, and a field camera (Rochester Optical Company's Improved Empire State View Camera, ca. 1905), once owned and used by the studio.