Collection SummaryThe Haynes Foundation Photograph Collection encompasses the photographic work of F. Jay Haynes (1853-1921) and his son, Jack E. Haynes (1884-1962), which was focused on the construction and operation of the Northern Pacific Railroad from Minnesota across the country to Washington, and particularly the development of Yellowstone National Park as a tourist destination. The elder Haynes took over 6,000 photographs on glass plate negatives, from the late 1870s to the 1910s, covering geographic areas from Manitoba, Canada, to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Dakota Territory (later North and South Dakota), Montana, Wyoming, northern Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and even Alaska.
F. Jay Haynes’ railroad photography is vital historical evidence of the effects of a major transcontinental railroad on several regions of the country. However, Haynes is best known for his photographic work in Yellowstone National Park, which he first visited in 1881 at the bidding of the Northern Pacific. Haynes established a photo concession in the Park and photographed it’s natural scenery and geothermal features, both geyser basins and hot springs formations, and the Park’s developing roadways and tourist accommodations. His views of Yellowstone’s natural wonders during the 1880s, and for 30 years after, were undoubtedly the most seen visual representations of the still young but growing tourist attraction.
Haynes turned over the Yellowstone photography business to his son, Jack E. Haynes, in 1916. Jack photographed the Park extensively for over four more decades amassing over 14,000 photographs of his own. He documented dramatic changes to Yellowstone Park, including the rise of the automobile as the chief means of seeing the Park and the great rise in visitors and tourist accommodations. Jack Haynes also moved his base of operations to Bozeman, Montana, where he successfully preserved his father’s photographic legacy and cemented his own reputation as “Mr. Yellowstone.”
Currently, this digital collection primarily represents the work of F. Jay Haynes throughout the north central and northwestern United States, particularly his pioneering Yellowstone photographs. As more digitization work is completed in the years ahead the work of Jack Haynes will become more evident.
A grant from the Montana Legislature in 2021 through the Cultural and Aesthetics Grants Program supported a major portion of the digitization of the Haynes Foundation Photograph Collection from 2021-2023 by the Montana Historical Society. The Cultural and Aesthetics grants are funded in part by coal severance taxes paid based upon coal mined in Montana and deposited in Montana's cultural and aesthetic projects trust fund. Contributing InstitutionMontana Historical Society Library and ArchivesRelated CollectionPhotographs from the Montana Historical SocietyRelated Person ExhibitF. Jay Haynes