This collection contains color slides of
the Pacific Northwest and Washington D.C., photographed by Don C. Foster and
others from circa 1944-1964. There bulk of the photographs consist of Alaskan
landscapes, wildlife, and peoples, as well as various locations in the state
including the Aleutian Islands, Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, Kotzebue and the
Alcan Highway. The images also depict Alaskans engaged in a variety of
activities from ice fishing, reindeer racing, and walrus hunting to training in
hospitals and attending school.
Funding for encoding this
finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for
Don C. Foster, a long-time resident of the northwestern United States,
is notable for his lengthy career in public service with the Bureau of Indian
Affairs. Born in 1895 near Kingfisher, Oklahoma, Foster attended Oklahoma State
University and New Mexico State University. After serving in the Army during
World War I, he held several jobs during the 1920s and early 1930s, including
managing his father's Oklahoma ranch, acting as superintendent of Floyd
Consolidated School in New Mexico, and serving as a county extension agent in
In 1935, Foster began his career with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He
traveled throughout the country working for the group, beginning in Warm
Springs, Oregon as the head community worker, then moving on to act as
superintendent of the Carson Indian Agency in Nevada from 1940-1944, general
superintendent of the Alaska Native Service from 1944-1950, Minneapolis area
director from 1950-1954, and Northwest area director from 1954 until his
retirement in 1961. In his final position in Portland, he oversaw the Klamath
Termination Act and helped establish guidelines for the sale of timberland. He
also assisted in the development of the Kah-nee-ta Resort on the Warm Springs
Reservation. In 1959, Foster received the Distinguished Service Award from Fred
Seaton, the United States Secretary of the Interior.
Foster died in 1971 at the age of 75.
The collection consists of 1,683 color slides of the Pacific Northwest
and Washington D.C., photographed by Don C. Foster and others from the
mid-1940s through the mid-1960s. Photographs of Alaskan landscapes, wildlife,
botany, and peoples constitute the bulk of the collection; most images were
created during Foster's tenure as the general superintendent of Alaska's
National Service. The collection documents various locations in the state,
including the Aleutian Islands, Anchorage, Nome, Juneau, Fairbanks, Kotzebue
and the Alcan Highway, and shows the state's Native American inhabitants
engaged in a variety of activities from ice fishing, reindeer racing, and
walrus hunting to training in hospitals and attending school.
Particularly noteworthy items include images of Russian Orthodox
churches in the state, the city of Anchorage after the 1964 earthquake, and
images from Foster's trip aboard the North Star, a passenger freighter that
traveled to remote coastal regions in Northern Alaska. Additionally, the
state's abundant beauty and natural resources are well-represented in the
collection with photographs of rugged mountain vistas, native wildlife
including grizzly bears, reindeer, caribou, seals, beluga whales and salmon,
and several types of wildflowers. A small number of scenic images of Warm
Springs and Crater Lake in Oregon and Washington D.C. photographed during
Foster's family vacations complete the collection.
Use of the Collection
Restrictions on Access :
The collection is open to the public.
Restrictions on Use :
The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the
Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication,
and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library
before any reproduction use. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to
all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may
require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.
Preferred Citation :
Don C. Foster Photographs Collection, Org. Lot 134, Oregon Historical
Society Research Library
The collection is arranged into the following series:
Series A: Alaskan locations, circa 1944-1964
Series B: Alaskan subject files, circa 1944-1955
Series C: Foster family, circa 1944-1955
Acquisition Information :
Library accession no. 15918
Processing Note :
An earlier inventory of the Don C. Foster Photographs Collection labeled
the three series as C, D, and E. Since no references to other portions of the
collection have been located, the series have been renamed A, B, and C.
Related Materials :
For more pictures of Alaska during the 20th century, see the Amos Burg
Photographs, Org. Lot 450, Oregon Historical Society Research Library
Detailed Description of the Collection
Series A: Alaskan locations, circa 1944-1964
Arranged alphabetically by location.
Aleutian Islands, 1941-1950
Includes Atka, Atto, Belkofski, Egegik, King Cove, Kodiak,
Kodiak Island, Perryville, Priboloffs, Nikolski, unidentified locations and
individuals, Attu, Hooper Bay, Nelson Island, Scammon Bay, Russian cannons,
schoolchildren, and Unalakleet
Anchorage and Anchorage
earthquake, 1964; , undated
Includes photographs of damage to downtown and general views
Includes photographs of Fort Yukon and unidentified Native
Includes photographs of Minnie Fields, general view of area,
and Governor's Mansion.
Kotzebue area, 1948
Includes photographs of Bulkland, Kivilina, Kotzebue,
Norvick, beluga whales, ice fishing, hospitals, trading post, Native Americans,
Kuskokwim area, 1947-1950
Includes photographs of Bethel, Akiak, Hooper Bay, Chevak,
Kuskokwim River, Kwethiak, Nakaskiak, churches, fishing, Native American
attire, John Egook, James B. Garner, and schoolhouse.
Matamuska Valleys, 1945-1949
Includes photographs of Sitka, aerials of Sitka area,
general scenes of homes, Russian Orthodox Churches, and buildings in
Mt. Edgecumbe School (Bureau
of Indian Affairs), 1949
Includes photographs of Sitka, hospital, fishing, ships, and
August Anderson, Glenn Green, Ted Harris, and Thelma Jorgenson.
Star voyage, 1947-1950
Includes photographs of Elim, King Island, Little Diamomede,
Nome, Nunviak Island, St. Lawrence Island, Makoryuk, Point Barrow, Delia
Nayakik, housing in Wainwright, ancient graves, fishing, hunting,
schoolchildren, and Native American attire.
Southeast Alaska, 1949
Includes photographs of Angoon, Chitina, Cordova, Haines,
Juneau, Ketchikan, Klukwan, Sitka, and mine, parade, pioneer's home, and
Includes photographs of Don C. Foster, Kara Lee Foster,
Katie Lee Foster, Ted Harris-Foster, Sandra Mahaffey, Dr. Moore, Dr. Rabau, and
Keith Roberts, as well as images of Columbia River, Crater Lake, Crown Point,
Maryhill, Mt. Hood, Multnomah Falls, the Native American Festival at Warm
Springs, and Warm Springs.
Foster family trip to
Washington D.C. and New York, undated
Includes photographs of Arlington Cemetery, Grant's Tomb,
Jefferson Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Supreme Court Building, The Mall, Tomb of
the Unknown Soldier, White House, and unidentified locations.