Yellowstone Then and Now: Local photographer opens a window into the past

(Jackson, Wyo.) - When Jackson Hole photojournalist Brad Boner set out to recapture William Henry Jackson’s photographs from the 1871 Hayden Survey in Yellowstone National Park, he discovered a great deal more than finding the locations of the original images. He discovered landscapes that often opened a window into the past. Boner spent three summers tracking down more than 100 locations where Jackson made his original exposures in 1871, and made new ones. While there had been a small degree of re-photography of Jackson's images from the first government-funded expedition to the region, Boner thought he could do more with the photographs that are credited with helping to establish the world’s first national park, Yellowstone. [image: Inline image 2] *(Top) No. 273. THE ANNA, the first boat ever launched upon the lake. Its frame-work was brought up from Fort Ellis and then put together, and covered with tar-soaked canvas. A tent-fly made the sail. In it two adventurous members of the survey visited every arm and nook of the lake, and made all the soundings. It is so named in compliment to Miss Anna Dawes, a daughter of the distinguished statesman whose generous sympathy and aid have done so much toward securing these results by William Henry Jackson. (Bottom) Recreating the photograph Jackson made of James Stevenson and Chester Dawes in the Anna, Brad Boner, left, and Matthew J. Reilly, PhD, sit in the canoe used in the present-day research project to navigate Yellowstone Lake and locate several of Jackson's 1871 photo points. This location is on the shoreline of the West Thumb Geyser Basin by Brad Boner. * Boner has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to publish these seldom-seen images in a book, “Yellowstone National Park: Through the Lens of Time.” "I went into this project without any expectations, because I wanted to let the landscape speak for itself," said Boner. "While roads and bridges traverse some of the scenes today, Yellowstone's scenery remains remarkably untouched since Jackson first photographed it more than 140 years ago." Boner said he hopes these photo pairs will show viewers that efforts to preserve special places like Yellowstone have been worthwhile and should be carried into the 21st century. "It's comforting to know that my kids, my grandkids and beyond will have the opportunity to see a Yellowstone that is more-or-less unchanged from when I first experienced it as a child, and from when Jackson first photographed it almost 150 years earlier," he said. "In that regard, we've been given a gift, but it is also a reminder that Yellowstone doesn't really belong to us. It always belongs to future generations, and we are merely stewards of the world's first national park." Here are some more of the photos from the project: [image: Inline image 4] *(Top) No. 214. WHITE MOUNTAIN HOT SPRINGS, Group of lower basins **by William Henry Jackson.** (Bottom) Several of Jackson's images at Mammoth Hot Springs, including this of Minerva Terrace, were re-photographed at a wider field of view in order to show almost a century and a half of growth and expansion. The hot springs at Mammoth can deposit anywhere from a trace to one meter of travertine, or calcium carbonate, per year. Combined, the hot springs at Mammoth are estimated to flow at a rate of about 500 gallons per minute, leaving behind more than 2 tons of travertine every day **by Brad Boner.* [image: Inline image 6] *(Top) No. 233. TOWER FALLS, near view from near its base. About 200 yards above its entrance into the Yellowstone, [Tower Creek] pours over an abrupt descent of 156 feet by William Henry Jackson. (Bottom) The stones and boulders in Tower Creek as it flows away from Tower Fall have been shifted by decades of spring runoffs. The columns of volcanic breccia, which give the cascade and creek their name, have crumbled over time; recent photographs indicate the large, broad column immediately to the viewer's right of the waterfall in Jackson's photograph fell in the late 1990s, obscuring the large boulder at the base of the falls and changing the course of the creek below. Other recent photographs indicate the taller spire above and behind it, known as Sulphur Rock, crumbled in the early to mid-2000s by Brad Boner.* [image: Inline image 5] *(Top) No. 252. GRAND CAÑON. West side, one mile below the falls, looking down by William Henry Jackson. (Bottom) A pine tree bisects the scene from where Jackson made this photograph looking down the Grand Canyon from near the Grand View overlook on the west side of the canyon, and a large chunk of the stone tower on the right side of Jackson's image has fractured off, exposing lighter, less weathered rock underneath by Brad Boner.* [image: Inline image 3] *(Top) No. 298. THE GROTTO IN ERUPTION, throwing an immense body of water, but not more than forty feet in height. The great amount of steam given off almost entirely conceals the jets of water by William Henry Jackson. (Bottom) The eruptions of Grotto Geyser can last anywhere from one to 24 hours and can splash water more than 40 feet high. The length of Grotto's eruption will often determine the duration of the nearby Rocket Geyser, seen here in eruption with the Grotto by Brad Boner.* Several of these photographs will be included in an exhibit this summer at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming. This exhibit and two others — featuring the work of Ansel Adams, Georgia O'Keeffe and Thomas Moran — will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. View the Kickstarter here. *Feature Photo: (Left): No. 266. YELLOWSTONE RIVER where it leaves the lake by William Henry Jackson. (Right): Fishing Bridge now spans the Yellowstone River just north of where it exits Yellowstone Lake, and trees and other vegetation line the steep west riverbank in the foreground. The 10,760-foot summit of Cathedral Peak, which sits on the boundary of Yellowstone National Park and the North Absaroka Wilderness, is on the horizon at far right by Brad Boner. * #buckrail #news #YellowstoneRephotography