This is a work in progress to compile as comprehensive as possible a listing numbers and titles of individual Joseph Campbell (J. C.) Burge stereographs of Arizona. If you have examples that are not on this list, or valiant titles for any of the numbers or captions I would appreciate hearing from you. Ideally I would like to obtain either a xerox copy or scan for my files as well. Thanks in advance for your time and assistance.
Joseph Campbell Burge, eldest son of Minor and Elizabeth Burge was born in 1838 in Marshall, Virginia. By 1850 the Burge family was living on a farm in Franklin, Iowa. Between 1856 and 1860, Burge married and moved with wife Sarah and their two children to his own farm in Mount Vernon, Iowa.
In 1866 both Burge and his father Minor are listed as farmers in San Joaquin, California. Minor remained an active farmer in the area until at least 1892. Joseph settled in Union, California, still making his living as a farmer. By 1865 he had relocated to Lake, California. He appears to have been exposed to photography about this time and was apparently active as a partner in the Everett & Burge studio on Main Street in Lakeport, California from roughly 1875–1880.
Joseph was identified as a barkeeper at Mechanic’s Exchange in Sacramento, California in the 1880 census. The new occupation may have been a result of the photography business gone astray or could have been a second job. The following year, 1881he appears as a watchman at the Mechanic’s Exchange in Sacramento and as a partner in another photographic collaboration, again listed as Everett & Burge, now in College City, California.
Burge first appears in Arizona as the operator of the Phoenix Gallery on Montezuma Street in April 1881. At the end of the month the Weekly Arizona Miner notes that “J.C. Burge the Photographer will leave Phoenix” on April 29th for Prescott. He marries for the third time to Virginia (Jennie) Thornbury on July 21, 1881.
Burge continued to work as a traveling photographer for much of the next year in Phoenix and Prescott. Besides regional mining works, he produced stereographs of Prescott, adjacent Fort Whipple, the Vulture Mine, works in the Bradshaw Mountains, and Montezuma’s Castle and Montezuma’s Well on Beaver Creek.
By November, Burge had moved his photographic business from Phoenix to Prescott. The Arizona Weekly Citizen notes “J.C. Burge the photographer at Phoenix will visit Pinal and Gila Counties. He has become one of the permanent citizens of Prescott.”147 However, the term “permanent” was not to apply to Burge. Less than two months after Prescott welcomed him as a “permanent” resident, Burge had moved to Globe.
By January 1883, the Silver Belt was noting that Burge had taken a “holiday while the rainy spell lasts.”148 Like the Miner, the Silver Belt regularly commented on the work of local photographers. Included were notices in April: “Burge, the photographer, has some of the best views of Arizona scenery ever taken. People of the east who desire them can send their orders through the Silver Belt.”149 In June: “Burge has a new lot of photographic studies – all excellent.”
Burge worked in the central and eastern portion of the state, visiting the San Carlos Apache reservation and the mining communities around Globe. He also showed an interest and talent for photographing the expanding railroads in Arizona. Burge remained in Globe for nine more months before departing in early summer 1884. The Silver Belt bid adieu to Burge with a notice: "Burge has packed his Daguerreian outfit with a view of leaving for Flagstaff as soon as it is definitely ascertained that the Salt river can be forded with safety."
In Flagstaff, Burge and new partner James Hildreth, an itinerant photographer from Utah, established their business in “New Town,” interestingly giving Hildreth top billing. Burge and his family explored Oak Creek and photographed local subjects. In July, Hildreth and Burge completed a commission to photograph the local rolling stock and employees of the A&P Railroad.
The Hildreth & Burge partnership was short-lived. Their studio closed and Hildreth disappeared from the Flagstaff scene. Burge liked Flagstaff and after he returned became a fixture in the community. He led a popular quadrille band that performed at local events. Mrs. Burge was also popular and her travels, including her visit to Los Angeles in February 1885, made the local papers. During the spring of 1885, Burge and J.W. Safford left Flagstaff on an extended visit to the Grand Canyon
New Mexico photographer Benjamin Wittick visited Flagstaff and formed a collaboration with Burge. The two traveled to the land of the
Hopi: J. C. Burge and Ben Wittick left Tuesday last for the Moquis villages and adjacent country, for the purpose of taking photographic views. After their return to Flagstaff in September, Burge and Wittick briefly set up a temporary studio offering "upwards of 3,000 views of scenery, curiosities, and romantic spots of great interest in the two territories" before their departure for New Mexico.
Apparently Wittick returned to his home base in Santa Fe. He incorporated images made during his time in Arizona into this series: “Views in New Mexico, Arizona, & Old Mexico/Photographed by g. Ben Wittick, /Ancient Ruins of the Caves & Cliff Dwellers, the Pueblos, Grand Canyon of the Colorado, Walapai Indians, Supais, Apaches, Navajos, Mojaves, Curiosities, Etc. Etc. Views along Atlantic, & Pacific Railroad in Arizona. Views of the Petrified Forest of Arizona. / Published by /G. Ben Wittick./Albuquerque, N. M.”
For a time after his collaboration with Wittick, Burge remained in Arizona. He was back in Prescott in November and returned to Flagstaff in December. He eventually took up residence in New Mexico, where he operated studios in Kingston and later in Deming in collaboration with W. A. Gilmore during 1888–89. After six years, Burge moved his studio even further east, to El Paso, Texas. Joseph Campbell Burge passed away on January 1, 1897.
(from Arizona Stereographs 1865-1930 by Jeremy Rowe, 2014)
If you have additional information about Joseph Campbell Burge, examples of stereographs that are not on this list, or variant titles I would appreciate hearing from you. Ideally, I would like to obtain either a Xerox copy or scan for my files as well.
Thanks in advance for your time and assistance.
Please feel free to use this information but please credit this source and reproduce only with full credit information.
PHOTOGRAPHER: J.C. BURGE
LOCATION: Prescott, A. T.
MOUNT COLOR: orange/lavender
SERIES: VIEWS OF/ARIZONA SCENERY/PHOTOGRAPHED BY/J. C. Burge (cursive
2. Giant Cactus Rocky Glenn, A.T.
4. Natural Tunnel Arizona
6. Whipple Barracks, Arizona
7. (Ft. Whipple)
8. (officer’s quarters from parade grounds, Whipple Barracks, Arizona
11. (Ft. Whipple Officers Quarters)
17. Whipple Barracks Arizona
18. Cactus & Gila Monster, A.T.
19. Fort Whipple, Arizona
Ayres Saw Mill, Flagstaff, Arizona (Hildreth & Burge Photos in negative)
Big Bug Mining Area
Burros packing lumber to the Dosoris Mine, A.T.
Cactus & Gila Monsters (studio set-up)
Canon Diablo. The great iron Bridge, A&P RR. 222 feet high, cost $220,000. (children
posed among rocks)
Cliff Dwellings at Montezuma Castle on Beaver Creek
The Cliff Dwellers
(Freight Wagon, Prescott)
Gosher’s Mill, Cherry Creek, A.T.
Johnson’s Canyon, A&P RR.
Natural Tunnel, Maricopa County, A.T.
Natural Tunnel, Arizona
Office of Agent Wilcox, San Carlos, A.T.
Officers Quarters – from Parade ground – Whipple Barrack, Arizona
Open cut of Vulture Mine North of the Mill and Hoisting Works, Vulture, Arizona
Outlet of Montezuma Well, A.T.
(Overview of Ft. Whipple)
Pioneer looking North
Prescott, A.T. Looking S.E.
Prescott, A.T. Looking NW
Reservoir & Car Trucks Vulture, also Hoisting Works, A.T.
Salt River Canyon
Scouts in uniform & Chief of Scouts Gage, San Carlos, A.T. (2 views building background
and in field
Steamboat Rock, Red Rock Country, A.T.
Street View Phoenix
Street view, Phoenix (first street and Washington
West Hoisting Works, Vulture, A.T.
Uncle Joe’s Mine, Groom Creek
View at San Carlos, A.T.
PHOTOGRAPHER: J.C. BURGE
LOCATION: Globe, A.T.
MOUNT COLOR: yellow/light green, gray, orange
DATES: c. 1883–84
SERIES: VIEWS OF/Arizona Scenery/–AND THE–/Apache Indians in their native wilds./
Photographed by J.C. BURGE/Globe City, AZ (imprint on back)
Apache Chiefs & Chief of Scouts Sage, San Carlos, AZ
Apache Indian Curios, A.T.
The Apaches Bathing
The Apaches Bathing (variant)
Canyon Diablo Bridge, A&P RR.
Canyon Diablo, the great Iron bridge A&P RR. 220 feet high, cost $220,000.00
The Cliff Dwellers (Walnut Canyon)
Falls, Cataract Creek.
Grand Canyon, Colorado River
Grand Canyon from the Top
Hanging tree, Broad St., Globe City
Johnson’s Canyon A&P RR (locomotive on trestle)
Lt. Ruckers and Scouts (same as Rothrock image)
Moqui children in Village
Natural Tunnel, Arizona (Papago Park)
(Papago park natural bridge)
Profile Rock, Cataract Canon, Ariz.
San Carlos Apache Scouts (possibly in Ruckers Canyon)
San Carlos Apache Scouts
The Tree Cactus near Globe Az. (same image as #2 in category above)
(Lt. Ruckers and scouts – copy of Rothrock view)
PHOTOGRAPHER: J.C. BURGE
LOCATION: Flagstaff, A. T.
MOUNT COLOR: orange/lavender
DATE: c. 1885
SERIES: Hildreth & Burge, Flagstaff, A.T. (in negative)
[?] Diamond Wash (in negative)
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