Hot Springs, S.D. W.R. Cross, [ca. 1890s]. Fourteen stereoviews on three different mounts, from 3.5 x 7 inches to 4.25 x 7 inches. Light wear and soiling, minor chipping to some cards. Images lightly faded. About very good. Item #1251
An attractive and varied group of fourteen stereocards by W.R. Cross (1839-1907), one of the first professionally trained photographers operating on the Great Plains. Cross began his career in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1867, before moving several years later to the northwestern corner of the state. In 1890, he purchased a gallery from J.W. Pike in Hot Springs, South Dakota, near the Pine Ridge Reservation in the Black Hills, and operated it until his death in 1907. Cross made a name for himself traveling and photographing Native Americans around the West, and was one of the photographers to document the aftermath of the Battle of Wounded Knee. After 1891, he focused on his work at the gallery, traveling far less and creating a series of views of the Black Hills; much of his surviving photography stems from this period.
The images present here are mounted on three different sets of cards, with eight of them appearing on a 4 x 7 inches mount with verso advertisements that promote Cross as a "photographic artist" producing views and portraits in the "Lower Town of Hot Springs, S.D." Four views are on slightly larger cards which note on the verso that Cross is the "oldest and most reliable gallery in Hot Springs," and two are regular-size stereocards printed only on the front: "Black Hills, the Switzerland of America, reached by the Northwestern Line. W.R. Cross Photo, Hot Springs, S.D." We believe these smaller cards to be his earlier work, with the largest mounts dating perhaps closer toward 1900. The views are as follows:
"Catholicon, Hot Springs, S.D."
"Minnekahta Avenue, Hot Springs, S.D."
"Wind Cave Black Hills, S.D. Scene in Garden of Eden."
"View of Wind Cave, in the Black Hills. Scene in Garden of Eden."
"View of Wind Cave, in the Black Hills. Council Chamber."
"High Rocks at Sylvan Lake, 6 Miles from Custer, S.D."
"Needles Near Sylvan Lake, S.D. 500 Feet High; Altitude 7,500 Feet."
"Soldiers' Home, Hot Springs, S.D. on F.E. & M.V. R'y."
"Spearfish Canyon from Trestle Work, Looking Northwest. Seven Mile Bend to Gain 600 Feet, B. & M. R'y, Black Hills, S.D."
"Spearfish Falls, Black Hills, S.D., B. & M. R'y."
"Plunge Bath, Hot Springs, S.D."
"Scene in Devil's Park, Cascade Springs, Black Hills, South Dakota."
"Observatory Ridge, Cascade Springs, Black Hills, South Dakota. Jan. Tem. 60o."
"44 Sioux Indian Tepees."