Thursday, September 23, 2010

BH Photo Shootout ~ Earliest Photographic History of the Black Hills

When General George A. Custer led an expedition into the Black Hills in 1874,

the very first photos of the Black Hills were taken

by the one photographer WIlliam H. Illingworth.

On Sunday, Dede and I had the unique opportunity

to spend the day with Paul Horsted of Custer, SD.

Paul is best known for his photographs of the Black Hills today

from the same locations as the Illingworth photos.

His photos are featured in the book he and Ernest Grafe put together:

Exploring with Custer:  The 1874 Black Hills Expedition.

I have always been fascinated with maps,

so this was a highlight of the Shootout.

Fascinating how the same rock formations

and dead trees are still in the same place

over 130 years later.

My thoughts turned to my dad

thinking how much he would enjoy this

and also to

my grandfather who passed away in 1988.

Apparently my map fascination

was something that we shared.

My Aunts:  Janet, Linda & Kay

would have enjoyed it too . . .

Our surprise at the top of an outcropping of rocks

that overlooked the location of the expedition's permanent camp

was a carving of "GC" and below that "US 74"

believed to be authentic, carved at the time of the 1874 Expedition.

What a unique opportunity

to take pictures of the same sites

of the very first photographs of

the Black Hills!

for prints and books from Paul Horsted.


  1. How amazing is that? And the connection between you and your family, all discovered here in this place. What treasures.

  2. Your Dad's! I sent the link to Aunt Janet. LOL, Mom

  3. This is so interesting, Jodi!! I have been to the Black Hills 3 different times and love it everytime I go. It IS beautiful...and this is a way cool class you have been a part of!!!



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