PINEDALE – An upcoming book by Pinedale resident Paul Jensen will be chocked full of stories and photos from yesteryear in the Old West.
Jensen’s book, Last Rides, tells the stories of the dissolution of the once proud and free Plains Indians, the life and death of George Armstrong Custer, the emergence of the cowboy as the new American hero, the end of the frontier, and the beginning of the New West. The stories are told by three 19th century photographers – David Francis Barry, John C.H. Graybill and L.A. Huffman – who used their lives and photographs to illustrate the pivotal events of that era and set the stage for the 20th century.
The book will be published in the next few months and include 66 photographs. In anticipation of the book’s release, Jensen will debut a photo exhibit throughout the month of May at the Pinedale Library that features 29 photos from the three photographers. A reception and discussion will be held Thursday, May 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Lovatt Room.
Photographer Barry was based in Dakota Territory and had his main studio in Bismarck. His specialty was rare photos of American Indian leaders like Sitting Bull, as well as the Cavalry, particularly the 7th Cavalry.
Photographer Graybill was based in Sturgis and Deadwood, also in Dakota Territory. However, he took photos in Wyoming and Colorado. Graybill was an eclectic photographer who took photos of hot springs, Devils Tower and railroads. Ultimately, he became defined by such photos as the Cheyenne Deadwood Stage, gold mines, a few iconic shots of cowboys, and ranch life in the 19th century.
Photographer Huffman built his career in eastern Montana and his studio was in Miles City. His photos of American Indians, the buffalo hunters and Yellowstone National Park were eye-catching, but his most important photos of working cowboys give us a rare portrait of life in the Old West.
Following the May exhibit at the library, it will be moved briefly to Rendezvous Pointe and another presentation is scheduled at BOCES, or perhaps the library. Finally, the exhibit may also travel to the Big Piney Library.
Jensen is the author of three books – Hard and Noble Lives, The State of Equality in the Equality State, and All in a Day’s Ride – all published by Pronghorn Press.
He can be reached at 307-367-2881 or by email at [email protected]