William M. McCarthy Photograph Collection

Title

William M. McCarthy Photograph Collection

Date

1905-1938

Description

Capturing the rich history of the early twentieth century, the William M. McCarthy Photograph Collection (Identification #96-07-08) highlights well-known landmarks, historic events, and scenic vistas from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, from the Deep South to Canada, and from Mexico to Cuba. Scenes across the Golden State are captured in stunning shots from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite and the Central Coast to Southern California cities. The collection features nearly 3,000 photographs taken by native Californians William M. and Grace McCarthy from approximately 1905 to 1938. The McCarthys traveled extensively during the early years of automobile travel, as newly constructed highways connected people and places throughout the United States and beyond, providing pictorial documentation of a pivotal period in our nation's history.

William M. McCarthy (1876 – 1956) and Grace C. Kane (1878 – 1957) wed in the early 1900s and lived in San Francisco for most of their lives where William was stationed as an armament expert for the U.S. War Department. The collection features photographs of the McCarthys' travels, as well as the many family members and friends they encountered along the way. Always ready with his camera, William McCarthy also captured remarkable images of significant events, including shots of San Francisco before and after the 1906 earthquake, the fire that destroyed that city's iconic Cliff House in 1907, the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, and their 1938 journey into Mexico along the newly constructed Pan American Highway. The original black and white photographs, mounted in eleven albums, make up one of the few private collections preserved by the California State Archives. The entire collection was digitized by the State Archives' curatorial staff.

To request a high-resolution scan of one or more of these images, contact the California State Archives at ArchivesWeb@sos.ca.gov or (916) 653-2246. Please include the Title or Identifier for each photograph in which you are interested, as well as the desired format (tiff, jpg, pdf) and resolution (DPI) for the requested scan. Duplication fees will apply.

DISCLAIMER
The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the creators of the materials presented (William and Grace McCarthy) are theirs alone. As noted in image descriptions, certain photographs are restricted or have been cropped due to sensitive content deemed unsuitable for online distribution.

Identifier

Collection ID#96-07-08

Contributor

Audrey Fullerton-Samora of Sacramento, great niece of William and Grace McCarthy, donated the William M. McCarthy Photograph Collection to the California State Archives in 1996.

Creator

William M. McCarthy

Publisher

California State Archives, a division of the California Secretary of State's Office

Rights

The California State Archives, a division of the California Secretary of State’s Office, owns the copyright to the William M. McCarthy Photograph Collection. The images and content may be used for personal use, research, or educational purposes. For any use of these materials, please credit the “California State Archives, William M. McCarthy Photograph Collection, Identification #96-07-08.” Commercial use or distribution of the images or content is not permitted without prior written permission from the California State Archives. Please note that the materials contained in this collection may include copyrighted material (such as postcards) not held by the California State Archives. Additionally, other limitations, such as the right of publicity, may limit use of the materials in this collection.

For more information about the copyrights related to this collection or to request permission to use the digital images or content, please contact the California State Archives at ArchivesWeb@sos.ca.gov or (916) 653-2246.

Items in the William M. McCarthy Photograph Collection Collection

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 001
Caption: "Dutch Flat." Mountain scene with train in distance.

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 002
Caption: "Snow Sheds in the Sierras." Mountain scene with snow sheds, used to shelter trains from winter storms, in center of photograph.

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 003
Caption: "State Capitol -- Calif." Shows an entrance to California's State Capitol Building in Sacramento, as well as surrounding trees and steps leading to doorway.

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 004
Caption: "Carquinez Bridge -- Crockett, Cal." This photograph shows the original Carquinez Bridge, built to span the Carquinez Strait and thereby contribute to a direct route between Sacramento and San Francisco. The steel cantilevered bridge,…

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 005
Caption: "Scene on the Truckee Highway -- Sierra Nevada." Mountain scene with streambed, likely along what is now Interstate 80.

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 006
Caption: "The Rocky Sierra Summit Above Donner Lake." Mountain scene with dirt and graveled roadway, likely along what is now Interstate 80.

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 007
Caption: "Lookout Point." Shows Grace McCarthy seated near steps and archway leading to Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s "Lookout Point" in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, along the Lincoln Highway (now Interstate 80).

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 008
Caption: "Summit Hotel on the Truckee Highway." Hotel, probably in the vicinity of Donner Lake and what is now Interstate 80.

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 009
Caption: "Sierra Summit, Truckee Highway." Mountain scene showing car on road with switch-backs, probably along what is now Interstate 80.

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 010
Caption: "Sierra Summit -- Truckee Highway." Mountain scene, showing roadway with car in center of photograph. Likely along what is now Interstate 80.

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 011
Caption: "The S.P. snow sheds cutting through the rugged Sierra summit." Mountain scene with snow sheds sheltering the Southern Pacific Railroad's tracks through the Sierra Nevada Mountains from winter storms.

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 012
Caption: "Donner Lake -- view from the highway at the summit." Mountain scene with Donner Lake in far distance.

Image withheld due to copyright considerations. For more information, please contact the California State Archives Reference Desk at ArchivesWeb@sos.ca.gov or (916) 653-2246. Caption: "Forty miles per hour on Lake Tahoe with Mr. E.D.N. Lehe." This…

Image withheld due to copyright considerations. For more information, please contact the California State Archives Reference Desk at ArchivesWeb@sos.ca.gov or (916) 653-2246. Caption: "A movie dog team -- Truckee." This postcard shows a sled dog…

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 015
Caption: "Grounds at Donner Lake Resort." Shows mountain valley scene with resort building and parked car.

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 016
Caption: "Main Street -- Truckee." Street scene with buildings on either side, including Donner Garage.

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 017
Caption: "Tahoe Tavern." Grace McCarthy standing in front of the tavern.

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 018
Caption: "Tahoe Tavern Grounds." Grace McCarthy seated on shaded lounge chair on the grounds of the Tahoe Tavern.

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 019
Caption: "Donner Lake." Mountain scene with Donner Lake in center of photograph.

McCarthy Album 04, Photograph 020
Caption: "Pioneer Monument Near Truckee." Tall monument with man, woman, and two children peering west. The Pioneer Monument was first dedicated on June 6, 1918 to commemorate those who emigrated to California in the mid 1800s. Today, the monument…