Guide to the A.P. Hill Photo Album Collection (1900 – 1904)

Overview +


Collection Number



This collection was likely assembled by A.P. Hill whose photographs are inside the album of this collection. The donor of this collection is not currently known.


Number of Containers:  One (1) Box
Linear Feet:  0.21 Linear Feet


Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Archives
705 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060


This collection contains one (1) approx. 10 ½”x13” photo album with photos by Andrew P. Hill. The photo album features what appears to be a varnished or lacquered front and back covers made of a wood that may be redwood. Inside the album are pages of photos from the 1900’s. These photos pertain to the founding of the California State Redwood Park, and include photographs of Boulder Creek, Tent City of Santa Cruz, and two photos of steam boat launches. There are many photos of members of the Sierra Club and California Trade Excursion members, and individuals involved with the preservation of the redwoods which became part of California State Redwood Park (later Big Basin). These may be of interest to researchers fascinated by the history of Redwood trees, Big Basin, or history of Redwood Parks in California.


The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, CA

Preferred Citation

The A.P. Hill Photo Album Collection, The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, CA

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the head of Archives at MAH.  Researchers may be responsible for obtaining copyright permission to use material not produced by museum personnel.

Process By

Renata McRee

Date Completed


History +

Andrew Putnam Hill (1853 – 1922) was a noted California artist, photographer, and advocate for redwood conservation. In 1899 a major fire erupted in the redwood forests near the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains above Los Gatos. Hill photographed the burning trees for a London magazine and the editors were so impressed that they commissioned him to take further photos of the redwoods. It was while photographing trees in the Big Trees Grove (now Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park) and at Big Basin that Hill became aware that the trees were in imminent danger of being logged. In 1900 an investigative party of concerned citizens explored Big Basin and formed the Sempervirens Club in hopes of saving the trees. Hill worked with these new advocates and others, including Santa Cruz journalist Josephine Clifford McCrackin, to publicize the importance of conserving the forests. McCrackin’s articles in the Santa Cruz Sentinel were widely reprinted throughout the state. A long, hard battle ensued, with Hill’s photographs playing a key role. In 1902 California acquired the California State Redwood Park (now Big Basin Redwoods State Park) as its first state park. In 1924, two years following Hill’s death, a monument to him was placed in the park with an inscription reading; “He Saved the Redwoods.” This album contains images by Andrew P. Hill relating to founding of Big Basin State Park; it also includes a photo of Boulder Creek, Tent City (Santa Cruz), and two of steam launches.

Contents +


One (1) Album, twenty-four (24) photos

Series Scope and Content Summary:

This series consists of one (1) photograph album measuring approximately 10 ½” x 13” in size. Inside the photo album are approx. twenty-four (24) black and white photos measuring 8 ½” inches high by 10 ½” across. These photo include: photo of the first public meeting held at Sanford University in 1900 held to discuss turning the giant redwoods of Big Basin into a public park, members include Carrie Walters Stevens, Professor W.R. Dudley and others; photo captioned “California State Board of Trade Start from Boulder Creek to the California State Redwood Park Aug. 1904”, which is a large photo of several stage coaches on a road; photo of Camp Sempervirens at Big Basin showing a large American Flag draped across trees at the camp, flag features only 40 stars; photos from the California State Redwood Park such as the “Dark Room Tree” also known as “Mother of the Forest”; photo of the Sierra Club entering the CA State Redwood Park in 1903; photo of the Cali. Board of Trade Excursion at the Big Four at Cal. State Redwood Park; U.S. Senator Perkins and C.M. Wooster at B.B. (Big Basin) Redwood Park; a group of eight individuals standing inside what has been identified as the “Auto Tree” at Big Basin, caption reads “The First Party into the Big Basin to save the Redwoods in May 1900”; photo of Duncan McPherson of the McPherson family; and much more. Other photos include: one large photo, showing clearly the rows of tents in Tent City Santa Cruz; and two (2) of steam boat launches. The photos feature captions identifying the place and/or individuals in the photo as well as the caption “A.P. Hill Photo” written in tiny letters near the right corner of the photos, identifying them as original A.P. Hill photographs. The album is in good-to fair condition; the pieces of wood for the cover are in good condition, though they are beginning to come loose from the binding. The photos inside the album are in good condition.