ABSTRACT: This collection consists of photographs taken by Frank Fiske on a trip aboard the steamer Scarab from June 16 to July 7, 1918 from Fort Yates, North Dakota to St. Louis.
SCOPE: Annotated photograph album documenting photographer Frank Fiske’s two-week steamboat journey on the Missouri River in 1918.
EXTENT: One photograph album, 100 photographs
HISTORY: Frank Fiske was a prominent early 20th century photographer who grew up at Fort Yates, near the Standing Rock Reservation. Fiske learned photography at a young age, mentoring under the Fort Yates post photographer Stephen T. Fansler. Fiske took over Fansler’s studio when he was seventeen and spent the next two decades photographing the community of Standing Rock. Fiske was best known for his photographs depicting everyday Lakota life and the changing frontier, but he was also a writer and served as a newspaper editor and assistant steamboat captain.
This album documents Fiske’s journey aboard the steamer Scarab of the Benton Packet Company. The boat departed Fort Yates, North Dakota on June 16, 1918 and arrived in St. Louis on July 2. The album contains 100 silver gelatin photographs that capture largely undocumented aspects of life along one of America's great western rivers. Each image provides viewers the intimate feeling of standing on the deck of the Scarab, alongside Fiske, as he makes his journey. The album includes views of the Scarab and the passing boats, Missouri River scenes and images of the surrounding landscape, military outposts, infrastructure projects, railroads, river towns, historic sites, and more. Fiske gave this album to Captain Isaac P. Baker, owner of the Benton Packet Company of Bismarck, North Dakota.
ACCESS: Due to the fragile nature of this item, physical access may be restricted. Please contact the library for further information. The entire album is available for remote & online viewing on the UMSL Digital Library as the P-086 Frank Fiske Missouri River Photograph Album.
Preferred Citation note: The preferred citation for this collection is "From the collections of the Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.”
P-086 Frank Fiske Missouri River Photograph Album Finding Aid and Captions List