James G. Crawford - Fine Art Prints of Historical Photos

From Albany, to Eugene, to Lebanon, to Portland, to Harrisburg, to Portland and McMinnville, and finally back to Albany; like many early photographers, James G. Crawford moved around a lot. He also changed partners, doing business as Crawford & Little, Crawford Brothers, Crawford & Paxton, Crawford & Hutchins, and simply as J. G. Crawford.

Wherever and whenever he practiced his art, he had a keen eye and a penchant for including people in his scenic views, sometimes incongruously. Beginning in Albany in 1868, he produced stereoviews and boudoir cards of scenes from the coast through the Columbia Gorge, and up to the summit of Mt. Hood.

Arriving in Oregon by wagon train in 1852 at the age of two, Crawford was a true Oregonian. He learned his craft from many of the fine photographers of his era, including A. B. Paxton, J. A. Winter, Joseph Buchtel, and in the studio of I. G. Davidson.

In 1924 Fred Lockley wrote, "J. G. Crawford of Albany probably holds the record for Oregon for length of service as a photographer. He has been taking pictures for more than 56 years." However, in his interview with Lockley, Crawford preferred to talk about another interest:

"When I was at Harrisburg I commenced what has proved to be my life work -- the collecting and classifying of the relics of the Indians and the Mound Builders... I put in all my spare time studying about primitive man. I discovered that between here and Brownsville there are at least 35 mounds built by some race that inhabited the Willamette valley many centuries ago."

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  1. Alcove Point and Cape Foulweather (Yaquina Head) - Crawford

    Alcove Point and Cape Foulweather (Yaquina Head) - c. 1890

    Barely visible in the distance in this photo of women picnicking at Alcove Point is the lighthouse at Cape Foulweather, now known as Yaquina Head. Learn More
  2. Alpha Hall, Oregon Agricultural College - Crawford

    Alpha Hall, Oregon Agricultural College - c. 1890

    Alpha Hall, the first residence hall on the Oregon Agricultural College campus, was constructed by Samuel G. McFadden in 1889. Learn More
  3. Cape Foulweather (Yaquina Head) Lighthouse - Crawford

    Cape Foulweather (Yaquina Head) Lighthouse - c. 1890

    Yaquina Head is a narrow point of land jutting due west into the Pacific at the north end of Newport in Lincoln County. It is currently managed by the BLM as the Yaquina Head Natural Area. Learn More
  4. Cape Foulweather (Yaquina Head) Lighthouse Closeup #2 - Crawford

    Cape Foulweather (Yaquina Head) Lighthouse Closeup #2 - c. 1890

    A group of tourists, or perhaps the lighthouse keepers' families, pose at the base of the Yaquina Head lighthouse north of Newport. Learn More
  5. Cape Foulweather (Yaquina Head) Lighthouse Closeup - Crawford

    Cape Foulweather (Yaquina Head) Lighthouse Closeup - c. 1890

    Completed in 1873, at 93 feet, Yaquina Head is Oregon's tallest lighthouse. Its original Fresnel lense is still in use. Learn More
  6. Cape Foulweather Lighthouse, Looking Out to Sea - Crawford

    Cape Foulweather Lighthouse, Looking Out to Sea - c. 1890

    One of a series of Crawford's views of this lighthouse, this one is taken looking over the complex towards the ocean, and shows the fenced in areas for crops and livestock. Learn More
  7. Central Public School, Corvallis - Crawford

    Central Public School, Corvallis - c. 1890

    Built in 1889 on 7th Street between Monroe and Madison, Central School replaced South School, which had burned in 1887, and North School, which was turned into a private residence. Learn More
  8. Dormitory at Chemawa Indian School - Crawford

    Dormitory at Chemawa Indian School - c. 1890

    This dormitory was one of the first buildings completed at Chemawa Indian School when it moved from Forest Grove to the Salem area in 1885. Learn More
  9. Family with Their Fishwheel, Columbia River - Crawford

    Family with Their Fishwheel, Columbia River - c. 1890

    While some of the large fishwheels, and most of the permanently fixed fishwheels, were owned by corporations or other businesses, many families built and operated their own fishwheels on the Columbia River. Learn More
  10. Fish Wheel at Bradford's Island - Crawford

    Fish Wheel at Bradford's Island - c. 1890

    The original title of this photo didn't even mention the fish wheel; it was just called "Bradford's Island, Columbia River". Learn More
  11. Fort Canby, Cape Disappointment - Crawford

    Fort Canby, Cape Disappointment - c. 1890

    Built during the Civil War to protect the mouth of the Columbia, the garrison buildings for what was initially called Fort Cape Disappointment were located on the protected bay side of of the southern end of Long Beach Peninsula. Learn More
  12. Fort Canby, From the Bay - Crawford

    Fort Canby, From the Bay - c. 1890

    This view of the southern part of the Fort Canby garrison also shows the extreme southern tip of Long Beach Peninsula, which divides Willapa Bay from the Pacific Ocean. Learn More
  13. Looking South Down Main Street, Brownsville, Oregon - Crawford

    Looking South Down Main Street, Brownsville, Oregon - c. 1886

    Brownsville is one of the oldest towns in Oregon, and its citizens have always honored their history. The annual Pioneer Picnic, begun in 1887, is Oregon's oldest continuing celebration. Learn More
  14. Mechanical Hall, Oregon Agricultural College - Crawford

    Mechanical Hall, Oregon Agricultural College - c. 1890

    The original Mechanical Hall and water tower at Oregon Agricultural College, now Oregon State University, was opened in 1889. Learn More
  15. Multnomah Falls with Timber Bridge - Crawford

    Multnomah Falls with Timber Bridge - c. 1886

    This view by Crawford was created shortly after the timber bridge was constructed - prompted by the arrival of the railroad to the Falls in 1883. Learn More
  16. North Jetty, Newport - Crawford

    North Jetty, Newport - c. 1898

    This photo was taken shortly after the north jetty for Yaquina Bay was completed in 1896, after 8 years of construction. Learn More
  17. Oneonta Gorge - Crawford

    Oneonta Gorge - c. 1885

    Oneonta Gorge, in the Columbia River Gorge, as captured by J. G. Crawford in the 1880s. Learn More
  18. Oregon Agricultural College Experiment Station - Crawford

    Oregon Agricultural College Experiment Station - c. 1890

    The Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station was established in 1888, funded by the Hatch Act of 1887, which provided funds for experiment stations at land-grant colleges in each state and territory. Learn More
  19. Oregon State Insane Asylum - Crawford

    Oregon State Insane Asylum - c. 1890

    Built in Salem in 1883 as the Oregon State Insane Asylum, much of this building is still in use today as the Oregon State Hospital. Learn More
  20. Rebuilding After the 1890 Flood, Willamette Falls - Crawford

    Rebuilding After the 1890 Flood, Willamette Falls

    The large flood of 1890 caused extensive damage to structures on both sides of the Willamette River at the Falls. In the foreground we see workers rebuilding the almost new mills on the west side. Learn More
  21. South Jetty at Yaquina Bay - Crawford

    South Jetty at Yaquina Bay - 1892

    The south jetty was only partially completed in this 1892 view by photographer James G. Crawford. It would not reach its full 8,600 foot length until 1896. Learn More
  22. Suspension Bridge, Oregon City - Crawford

    Suspension Bridge, Oregon City - c. 1890

    The first Oregon City bridge was built in 1888, a few years before this photo. Some folks criticized it a "the bridge to nowhere", as the area on the West Linn side of the river was so sparsely populated. Learn More
  23. Sylvester Pennoyer, 8th Governor of Oregon - Crawford

    Sylvester Pennoyer, 8th Governor of Oregon - c. 1887

    This portrait of Governor Pennoyer was created by James G. Crawford about the time Pennoyer began his first term as governor in 1887. Learn More
  24. The Dalles in the 1870s - Crawford

    The Dalles, Town View - 1870s

    The Dalles in the 1870s, looking west from its "back yard". Learn More
  25. The New Footbridge - Crawford

    The New Footbridge - c. 1900

    This detailed pastoral view features two men showing off their new bridge to the ladies. Another man tends some horses to the left. Learn More
  26. The Performer - Crawford

    The Performer - circa 1875

    Hand tinting has been applied to photographs almost as long as there have been photographs. One of our earliest photos - a daguerreotype from 1854 - has tinting applied. Learn More
  27. Tumwater (Celilo) Falls - Crawford

    Tumwater (Celilo) Falls, Columbia River - c. 1885

    Tumwater Falls, the traditional name of the main part of Celilo Falls, on the Columbia River. Learn More
  28. Tunnel No. 3, East Side - Crawford

    Tunnel No. 3, East Side - c. 1885

    An early three-wheel handcar emerges from the east end of Tunnel No. 3, below Rooster Rock on the Columbia Gorge. Learn More
  29. Upper Cape Horn, at Celilo - Crawford

    Upper Cape Horn, at Celilo - c. 1886

    By placing two small figures on the tracks, photographer Crawford adds some human interest and a sense of scale to this photo of railroad tracks rounding Upper Cape Horn, on the Oregon side of the Columbia River near Celilo Falls. Learn More
  30. Upper End of Willamette Falls Locks - Crawford

    Upper End of Willamette Falls Locks - c. 1890

    This Crawford stereoview shows the locks about twenty years after their construction, looking downstream. By this time the rocky island to their right was completely covered by industries that still exist today - a paper mill and an electric plant. Learn More
  31. Upper End of Willamette Falls Locks, After 1890 Flood - Crawford

    Upper End of Willamette Falls Locks, After 1890 Flood

    At first glance this photo shows little sign of the devastating 1890 flood, but a closer look shows damage and rebuilding efforts on both sides of the river. Learn More
  32. Willamette Falls and Locks - Crawford

    Willamette Falls and Locks - c. 1880

    Opened in 1873, by 1880 the locks still hosted only a few wooden frame buildings, mostly for the use of the lock-keepers and their families. The town of Canemah is visible in the distance beyond the falls. Learn More
  33. Willamette Falls Locks - Crawford

    Willamette Falls Locks

    An early view of the Willamette Falls locks, opened January 1, 1873. Learn More
  34. Willamette Falls with Fishing Platform - Crawford

    Willamette Falls with Fishing Platform - c. 1890

    Fishing from platforms by Native Americans was coming to an end at the falls at the time this view was created by Crawford in about 1890. Learn More
  35. Willamette Falls, from Below the Falls - Crawford

    Willamette Falls, from Below the Falls - c. 1890

    While photographer James Crawford was based in Albany, he took many photos of the Willamette Falls area - locks, mills, and the falls themselves. Learn More
  36. Willamette Falls, from Upper End of Locks - Crawford

    Willamette Falls, from Upper End of Locks - 1890s

    A different view of the falls, taken from the diversion area at the upper end of the locks. Learn More
  37. Young Girl from Harrisburg - Crawford

    Young Girl from Harrisburg - 1870s

    A very composed young girl has perhaps her first portrait taken in Harrisburg, Oregon. Learn More

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