14 - Letter from Lewis to Ac asking that he give them information on his Capital Assets. It seems that AC is in the habit of shipping inventory to be sold from his store in San Francisco and shipping unused materials back, so that none is on hand. The Superintendent asks that he tell them how much he brings in and how much is returned in the autumn. He further wants to know if AC has alloted himself a salary.


6 - Dr. Ernest Sargent Pillsbury ( G-1-1N 4E, plot number) & Sylvia Florance Ball Pillsbury’s (G-1-1N 4E, plot number) ashes are interred in unmarked graves in the cheapest possible part of Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles. Until June 15, 1993 there was no marker on their grave. This was placed then by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, their grand-daughter.

19 - Stationary, Dept of the Interior to AC from Stephen Mather.

Dear Mr. Pillsbury:

I have yours of March 14th and note the suggestion for a possible flight into the Valley this summer with Lieut. Don Tresidder as pilot and yourself as cameraman.

I think your suggestion a very good one, and if anyone is going to make the flight, I think you are entitled to have the first call. Take the matter up with Mr. Lewis, to whom I will send a copy of this letter.

I plan to go to Hawaii next month and expect to be back about the 10th or 12th of May, and then may make a short visit to the Valley. It would be very interesting if this could be arranged during my visit there. We might make something of a feature of it, and possibly get another contingent up from San Francisco as I did at Christmastime. We might even be able to get the Governor up,. and could make something of an event of it.

I will also call this to Mr. Albright’s attention. He will be leaving for the East within a few days of the time this letter reaches you, but he may be able to confer with you about it before returning to Washington. I am sailing for Hawaii on the Manoa April 10, and may have a chance to see you before I leave.

Your sincerely,

Stephen T. Mather


22 - Letter to AC from Lewis.

Notes areceipt of his Financial Report for the year ending Dec. 31, 1918, and that it is still lacking his annual report. Form no. 1 - 399C.

AC evidently asked about a library at Yosemite and is told that nothing exists where books on botony would be available.

Tells AC that when he arrives he, Lewis, will se he gets a permit to pick flowers for his photographic work.

Wishes him a success on plan to negotiate an aeroplane trip into the Valley. Hopes he gets the first trip.

29 - In 1919 file of Yosemite Park Service - Annual Report of AC Pillsbury for 1918. Includes the following information filled in on form.

AC is listed as the only stock holder in the corporation. There is no mortgage. He checks section that asks how many tourists were served. The question is complex and exhaustive. He has made no arrangements his patrons. Employees. he lists three. Himself, $200, Manager and photographer. Mrs. Crocker, $60.00, sales lady. Mrs. Goldsberry, $40.00 cook. No. 7 asked if he deviated from schedule of rates. He says no. He took no timber from park. He issues no circulars or advertisements soliciting business. The last of the three page document is notarized and signed.


4 - From Lewis sent with quadruplicate forms for his signature to permit his concession for the ensuing calendar year.

23 - Letter on stationary, Dept of the Interior from Albright to Lewis

Approval of permits for concession for photographic business and permitting him to show movies and charge $.15 a person.

28 - PACIFIC TELEGRAM - collect

To: Chester N. Weaver

1560 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, California

S.C. Pillsbury in Studebaker car reached here two p. m. twenty fourth. First car to drive into Valley. From Lewis, Yosemite, California


Received at Yosemite Calif.

Collect there yrs date Chester N. Weaver signed Lewis chgs refused.

San Francisco April 28 1919

Mr. W.B.L.

P?n and advise



Received at 1 sf ca svc

Yosemite Calif

Yours 28 Weaver signed Lewis charges OK here.

San Francisco Calif April 29 1919

1036 Am.

Mr. B.B. L.

For your information.



2 - From Lewis to AC Approval of permit and exhibition of scenic motion pictures for $.15 per person.

9 - From Lewis to AC - Permission to collect flowers for purpose of photographic studies. Copy to Chief Ranger Townsley.


16 - Lewis to AC. Letter asking for remittance of fees for medical insurance for his employees.


25 - Letter to AC from Lewis. AC is now in San Francisco

Dear Mr. Pillsbury: -

You recall last summer when Mr. Mather was here you suggested that we take up a subscription for the purchase of a relief map of the entire park As I recall you stated the price of this map was $400 and as I remember it was sort of left up to you, or rather you accepted the task of looking into this matter of assuring subscriptions. Since that time I have heard nothing of it and the whole matter sort of slipped my mind. Mr. Mather is, however, writing to know what progress, if any, has been made towards raising the fund and offers to subscribe $25.00 or $50.00 if the remainder can be raised. In addition to the amount Mr. Mather offers to subscribe I think I can guarantee not less than $50.00 from among our employees here, which would leave a balance of approximately $300.00 to be raised. Is there any prospects of this being done? If not, I am anxious to purchase none of the Valley relief maps, the price of which, I believe, is $75.00. Can you tell me if the man who makes these relief maps has one of the Valley maps in stock or if not, how long it will be necessary to wait before it could be delivered. I understand the price of this smaller map is $75.00. A reply at your early convenience would be appreciated.

Very Truly Yours,


W. B. Lewis,



25 - To AC from Lewis. 1920 permit. he is to sign all five copies and return to this office with the least possible delay. Mentions that he needs to ensure that his financial statement and report of seasons business will be due Oct. 31 and are not yet filed.


1918 Oakland, Alameda & Berkeley Directory - p. 899 Arthur C.P. Steno Residence 6440 Benvenue, not in classified.


1917 - Oakland, Alameda & Berkeley Directory - p. 1054 ACP residence 6440 Benvenue.


31 - Notice of Hearing of Petition for discontinuing of Family Allowance - Document calls for hearing, March 5, 1917. There follows a document which advances argumentation for discontinuing the allowance saying that continuing will bankrupt the estate. But while it states that the insurance money has not been touched it does not state that the insurance money yielded a return of around $500 a year and the principle on it was around $26,000. This is submitted by the Title Insurance and Trust Co.

31 - Petition for Discontinuance of Family Allowance - States that at this time the monies still in their hands amount to $12,616.79.


19 - Letter on Pillsbury Picture Company, Inc. stationary

ARTHUR C. PILLSBURY scenic views
PRESIDENT photo postcards

GEORGE BANFIELD Pillsbury’s Pictures, Inc. advertising panoramas
Wholesale Photographers hand colored


TREASURER AND MANAGER Pictorial Advertisers -------


-------- MAIN OFFICE
Picture Frames STORE







Dear Mr. Lewis.

Enclosed find my check for snow shoveling.
Hope it soon turns warm so the snow will melt.
We have not heard from our concession for this year
and as we are busy printing the summers stock of pictures

would like very much to know about, can you tell me

how soon to expect a report.

Yours Respectfully,

Arthur C. Pillsbury


5 - Letter to AC from Lewis


Dear Mr. Pillsbury:

Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of Feb. 16th, enclosed check for $9.00 covering charges for snow shoveling.

Regarding your concession for the coming year, I have to advise tht it is being considered by the Department at the time of my departure from Washington, and you will undoubtedly be advised at an early date as to what steps have been or are being taken.

Very Truly yours,

Wm Lewis



13 - Letter to Mr. Desmond from Jos. J. Cotter, acting Director

Dear Mr. Desmond,

I have received your letter of March 27 commenting on the present status of photographic concessions in Yosemite Park. I have noted particularly that the Desmond park Service Company has never negotiated with the various photographic concessionaires in the park with a view to effecting a consolidation of all photographic interests therein.

I have given the applications of Mr. Pillsbury, Mr. Boysen, Mr. Best, and other concessionaires very careful consideration, and I have given particular attention to those applications which requested a renewal of privileged for a long term of years, and have reached the conclusion that, for the present, all of the photographic concessions should be renewed for a period of one year only. I have noted on all applications accordingly.

I hope that during the current year the photographic concessions may be put on a different basis, more satisfactory to their owners, to the hotel and camp concessionaries operating in the part, and to the national Park Service. The Department officers visiting the part during the coming season will give particular attention to this problem.

your arrangements for the erection of a studio building and convention hall have, of course, already received mr. Mather’s approval.

Cordially yours,

signed Jos. J. Cotter

Acting Superintendent

Mr. D. J. Desmond,

President, Desmond Park Service Company

Underwood Building,

San Francisco, California

13 - On Dept of Interior stationary to Mr. Lewis.

Letter states that AC asked for a 20 year concession to conduct photographic business and that it be owned and operated by the Yosemite Park Photographic concessioners who would be willing to consolidate their interests. AC is quoted as saying that his plan would be supported by the Desmond Park Service Company, Mr. Baxter, and Mr. Best. None of these indicated an interest. Desmond says he never gave consideration to such a move. AC is required to pay 4 percent of the gross revenues of his business in the part and the amount must not be less than $400.. This is the same for all photographic concessioners.

Signed by Jos. J. Cotter

13 - Letter from Cotter to AC. in San Francisco.

16 - Letter on PPInc. Stationary from AC to Mr. Lewis

W.B. Lewis


Dear Sir.

Will you please quote me the rate charged by the Department to install a meter, also tell me privided you do not install then want kind is required.

We have not heard of your concession as yet. Do you know of any reason we should not?

Enclosed please find check for electric bill.

Yours Respectfully

AC Pillsbury

Can you tell me know soon the Coulterville or Oak Flat road will be open?

Coulterville Road probably May 1st. Big Oak Flat May 1st if finished.

20 - Letter from Lewis to AC.

Granting concession and stating price for the ensuing year. Payment by money order, verified check or bank draft, payable to the Secretary of the Interior. Says he has been advised of reasons for unfavorable consideration of 20 year concession.

21 - To AC from Lewis

Cost of installation of meter is $.50 an hour for plumbers labor. the Concessioner to furnish the meter. There will be a circular sent out with specifications. Coulterville Road open May 1st, the Big Oak Flat road by may 15th. Date not positive as the cool weather for the past week of two has make the season later than usual. Signed Lewis.


4 - Stipulation - Title Insurance & Trust Co. seeks to discontinue $100 a month allowance, saying the Estate will be insolvent if it cannot use the insurance proceeds for this purpose.

7 - Lewis sending on AC’s check in form of certified bank draft no. 108, on the Humboldt Savings Bank, for $200, payable to the Secretary. Signed Lewis.

10 - From :Lewis to Director, natl Park Service. Referring to his letter of April 13th, forwarding in quadruplicate, permit proposed to be issued to AC.

17 - To Lewis, Supervisor Yosemite Nat’l Park from Chief Clerk.

Authorizing issuing of permit to AC.

29 - Dr. Harriet Foster Pillsbury dies in Berkeley.

31 - Dr. Harriet Foster Pillsbury interred at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland


6 - To AC from Lewis. letter and copy of permit for his records. Permit is no. 9.


14 - Notice of Settlement of Final Account Affidavit of Posting. Formal notification, no details.

18 - Certified Copy of the Opinion of matter of the Estate of E.S. Pillsbury, deceased.

18 - Remitted - Note of decree. This was misfiled with other material.

24 - To sec. of Interior from Lewis. Letter forwarding four express money orders Nos. A D 767144-45-45-47, all dated Yosemite, California, July 24, for $50.00 each. payable to Sec. of Interior. Registered mail.


13 - Supplemental Account of the Administrator Following the amended Final Account and Petition for Distribution. Includes listing of assets the house, which appeared to remain in the hands of the Administrator as a credit to the Estate at this date.


11 - To AC from E.P. Levitt, Acting Supervisor.

Dear Sir:

You are directed to furnish this office on or before October 1, 1917, a preliminary estimate of the amount of the government’s share of the earnings of your business, under the concession granted you for conducting a photographic studio, etc. The concession fee was to be 4% of the gross revenues, with a minimum charge of $400.00

You are further directed to submit on or before October 10, 1917, a definite estimate of funds that will accrue to the government as its share of the earnings of your business.

This information is being secured from all concessioners operating on a percentage basis, as the amount of revenues earned by the park during the season of 1917 must be submitted to Congress as the time the estimates for the fiscal year 1919 are prepared.

Please give the matter prompt attention.

Very Truly yours,

E P. Levitt

Acting Supervisor.

On bottom: Gross Revenue: $9881.08 @4% equals $395.24

29 - letter from AC to Lewis (copy, original on stationary)

Dear Mr. Lewis,

I am enclosing our report for the year. You will notice a falling off in the gross sales comparing with last year of almost every item except books. This year we handled Williams book it being off the market last year.

Photo goods is almost $7600. Less than last year due to Curry having the agency. The sale of prints is just half of last year, due partly to the excessive competition which is beyond all reason in excess of demands.

Motion pictures show a gain this year on account of filling the Desmond and Curry orders.

The Tahoe Reel comes in on next year’s report.

Respect. yours,

(signed) A.C. Pillsbury


9 - On P P Inc. Stationary

Dear Mr. Lewis,

Enclosed is the check for September bill, when I left the Valley, Mr. Farrell asked meto submit his a plan to put up a studio in the new consolidated camp, and to give a motion picture show every night.

Mr. Symmes is working on the plans of a 16 by 24 studio with a bed room and kitchen on the side, I plant to make it out of logs stood on and and about five feet apart, with brought lumber inside, and lined with art burlap, the outside between the timbers to be blocked in with cedar bark in an artistic way.

Before making the Desmond Co, a proposition I wish to find out if these plans meet with your approval, the studio would be in such a location that a projector could work thru a window or door on a curtain hung in a convenient place. the giving of the shows would be the way I should pay the Desmond Co. for the privilege of having the studio in the camp, also is the same kind of a studio, run in the same way at Camp Curry would meet with your approval, also if something on a smaller scale at Glacier Point would be satisfactory.

I am getting the negative of the Tahoe trip in shape to print it is the best negative I have made and will make a set of prints I will be proud of.

Hoping to hear from you favorably, I am

Yours Respectfully,

A C. Pillsbury

15 - To AC from Lewis.

Wants to wait until conditions in the Desmond Park Service Co. are settled and definite working plans have been drawn up.


1 - Decree Settling Supplemental Account of the Administrator and Allowing Extra Attorney’s fees. - From the Title Insurance & Trust Co. presents to court settlement of account showing charges in favor of the estate of $18,326.08. It claims credits for $7,101.04, leaving a balance of $11,225.04 in the hands of the administrators. Includes an application for extra attorney fees.


6 - To PP Inc. Stationary

Mr Dear Mr. Lewis,

It seems that our friend, Mr. Yark wrote to Major Kendall Benning, Chief Signal Officer of the Army, at Washington, that I was a good subject for them, so I received some papers to fill out, and I may “Do my bit” up in the air, so if you ever hear a buzzing noise up over your office in Yosemite, and see an airplane, you will be safe in taking bets on who it is.

I took the liberty to use your name as reference, would it be asking too much, for you to drop the major a line, telling him what you know of me, that is if you know anything good.

Regarding next years concession, will it be necessary for me to make the usual form of application and if so when? I presume conditions will be about the same next years as this, only perhaps not quite as good, at the business will be managed by some other member of the firm, possibly by my brother-in-law, Jesse Banfield, who managed the studio the first two years we had it, so knows Yosemite very well.

Things are not very good in the city, but I have a very good motion picture order, that is helping out, have driven about 2300 miles, all over southern California, with Mrs. Pillsbury, working on it, It is an industrial picture, the story of the Orange, Prume, and the Raisin. Also some scenic views that took to to Catalina, and over the 101 mile “Rim of the World” trip, comparing that road with ours, we have some very good roads in Yosemite.

Thanking you in advance for the letter, I am.

Yours Very Respectfully,

Arthur C. Pillsbury

10 - To AC from Lewis

Dear Mr. Pillsbury:

I have your letter of December 6th in which you state that you contemplate going into the Signal Corp Service of the Army, and in which you ask that I write to the Chief Signal Officer as to your failings.

We all know that your failings are many, but in my letter to Major Banning, I called attention only to the minor ones, so that it is more than probable that you will be able to get by.

As to your next concession, I think it would be well for you to make your application in the usual form, and in the near future, in order that the Service in Washington have time to give it proper consideration.

Although we will all miss you in Yosemite next year, at the same time we admire your spirit in taking up Army work and know all join me in wishing you the best of success.

Very Truly Yours,



10 - To Major Kendall Banning

Chief Signal Officer, War Department

Washington D.C.

Dear Sir: -

I understand that Mr. Arthur C. Pillsbury has made application for entrance to the Signal Corp. I have known Mr. Pillsbury for nearly two years, during which time he has operated a concession in this Park, in connection with which work it has been necessary for him to thoroughly familiarize himself with outdoor mountain life in connection with the taking of both moving and still pictures.

Mr. Pillsbury is a man of unusual nerve and daring, and as to his character and conscientiousness in all work her undertakes, I most heartily recommend him, and feel certain that the Signal Corp will not be making a mistake in giving his application favorable consideration.

Very Truly yours,



10 - On stationary of Pacific Aero Club, San Francisco. reference impressive line up of military men on the stationary includes Admiral Perry.

FROM; Rear Admiral Chas. D. Pond, U.S.N.

TO: Major Kendall Banning, Signal Service, U.S.N.

Washington D.C.

SUBJECT: Recommending Mr. Arthur Pillsbury, President

Pillsbury Pictures, Inc., 219 Powell Street

San Francisco, Cal., for Aviation service.

Understanding that Mr. Arthur Pillsbury desires duty with the Aviation Section, Signal Service, U.S. Army, for special work in photography (aerial) it gives me great pleasure to recommend him in the highest terms for that duty.

Mr. Pillsbury is not only the most prominent photographer on the Pacific Coast, but is a mechanical genius as well and had specialized for years in photographic optics.

He has had considerable experience extending over several years in flying both in aeroplanes and balloons while conducting his practical experiments and I consider him without doubt by far the best qualified man in the United States in that line of work.

The Army cannot afford to mis the services of such a man.


Rear Admiral, U.S. N.

23 - On P P. Inc. stationary

Dear Mr. Lewis,

I am enclosing my application for next year for your endorsement, if I was sure I should be in the Valley myself, I should ask for the stage concession between Yosemite and Tahoe, but things are too uncertain in many ways to think of it just now.

I am on the waiting list and may be called any day, for the Photographic Division, Signal Corps. perhaps the wait could not be so long if you had not sold so many of my ‘failings’, at any rate I will have a hard time living up to what Rear Admiral Pond says, I enclose a copy.

At any rate I wish to thank you for not telling more of them.

Yours Very Respectfully,

AC Pillsbury

With the best of wishes for a Marry Xmas & Happy New Year. (In handwriting)

23 - On P P Inc. Stationary

To the Honorable Franklin K. Lane

Secretary of the Interior

Washington D.C.

Dear Sir: -

I respectfully ask you for the renewal of my photographic concession in the Yosemite national Park, for the year ending December 31st, 1918. The terms to be the same as this year.

In the event of my enlistment to the Signal Corps, Photographic Division, being accepted, permission to allow another member of the firm to conduct the business, is respectfully requested.

I wish to protest also against the granting of photographic concessions to any of the camps or hotels in the Park, as a glance at the reports will show that the number of concessions granted, are greatly in excess of the business available, and doesn't warrant the investment of new work or improvements. The camps who have nothing invested in negatives or equipment, can, and do get the cream of the business.

Yours very respectfully,

AC Pillsbury

26 - Letter from Lewis to The Director, DC.

Says he encloses the application of AC with recommendation that such application be granted.


1916 - Oakland, Alameda & Berkeley Directory - p. 683. ACP res. 6440 Benvenue. Harriet F.P. res. 6440 Benvenue.


5 - Letter from Department of Interior, Washington to Mr. Gabrial Sovulawski, Supervisor, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite, Cal. . Not a salary of $2,504.07 was paid. Wants documentation regarding to whom the salary was paid before authorizing the next year’s concession. Request from AC to use his car in the Valley through the concession in Yosemite. Also wants a suitable location near Desmond Company’s Hotel with right to conduct business at present location as well. AC is denied the continued privilege of stabling three animals at the government barn. He is to use the concessionaire who is licensed to stable animals.

11 - Letter to AC at 783 Mission Street, SF. asking for documentation , to whom it was paid, what for and that the new silence would be withheld until the information was received. Signed, Gabriel Sovulawski, Supervisor.

15 - 16 - On Pillsbury Picture’s Stationary, hand written by AC. Dear Mr. Sovulawksi, I am sending the refund you asked for. our season was a long one last year was part of the reason for the added award. Regards to yourself & the Dr. and all the rest of the snow bound lucky people. Yours, AC Pillsbury Nothing but rain in SF.

20 - Letter to Sec. of the interior, DC from G. Sovuleski. Response to letter that asks to whom salary of $2504.07was paid. Includes financial statement from AC. Monies were paid to various employees.

29 - To G. Sovuleski, Supt. Yosemite, from Stephen Mather, Assist to Sec. of Interior. Letter covering the following: Permit will be granted for 1916 along lines of 1915 permit. They will give consideration for location of a studio near the Desmond Hotel. Action deferred. They will approve a special permit for use of auto while AC is filing Indian Legends. $100 to be charged.


5 - Letter from G. Sovuleski informing AC that he will be charged $100 for a permit to use automobile in park for the filming of Indian legends. That permit and location for studio near Desmond’s Hotel is deferred, and that the concession fee for the year of 1916 will be $400.00.

9 - Letter from AC to G. Sovulewski, Super. Yosemite. Written from 783 Mission Street, S.F. Calif.

Dear Mr. Sovulewski:

I am returning the signed concessions which I trust you will receive safely.

About the auto permit is that not a mistake in your letter saying the fee is $100.00. Think you must mean $10.00 instead. I have a dandy fine car 6 cylinder Studebaker, but it would be almost like buying a Ford to pay $100.00 to run it in the Valley.

I am out on the road all the time now showing my pictures in high schools and churches and giving talks on Yosemite. Possibly the department give me a rebate on the auto fee if it is $100 of say two of three dollars for each show.

I wish I could come in to get some snow views. Perhaps I will later.

Yours Respt.

Arthur C. Pillsbury

12 - Letter to AC from G. Sovulewski. Confirming the price of $100. Promising tosend AC’s letter on to the Department.

12 - Letter from G. Sovulewski, Yosemite, sending on business corresp. from AC along with letter questioning $100 fee.

23 - Letter from Dept. of Interior confirming receipt of papers from AC through Sovulewski and confirming the fee of $100 for use of auto in park.

29 - Letter from G. Sovulewski to AC informing him he has been given permit No. 12 for $400.00, times for payment and confirmation of $100 for use of automobile for making Indian Legends.


10 - On PPC stationary To G. Sovulewski in Yosemite. Letter which accompanied payment of $3.60 for bill of Mar. 1, 1916. Signed Pillsbury Pictures Inc. G.H.B.


10 - AC wins race into Yosemite for first car in by regular road.

11 - Merced Evening Sun - 1:6 ``Wins Trophy by Entering Yosemite" ``Desmond Cup Goes to A.C. Pillsbury Whose Auto is First to Arrive at Park." ``A.C. Pillsbury, the widely known Yosemite artist and lecturer, made the first automobile entrance of the season into Yosemite last night, thereby winning the cup offered by the Desmond Park Service company, whose offer of the trophy to the first machine to make the trip successfully on its own power caused many other contestants to undertake the trip. Deep snows caused the other motorists to abandon the competition after attempting the roads. By running his car on the track of the Yosemite Valley Railroad company from Bagby, Pillsbury was able to avoid the impassable roads.

Pillsbury, accompanied by a party of four, made the trip from San Francisco in his Studebaker Six. He passed through Merced Sunday afternoon, spent Sunday evening at Coulterville, and next morning left Bagby at 11 0'clock. He first tried to run his machine on the rails of the track after attaching a flanged rim onto his machine. The tires being unsuitable for this purpose he drove the machine over the ties. He arrived at El Portal at 7:30 last night, and between there and the Sentinel Hotel in Yosemite encountered the hardest electrical(sic) storm of the year. Upon his entrance in Yosemite, the village gave him a celebratory greeting.

Mr. Pillsbury was accompanied by his wife, and Joe Hickey and Messrs. Hart and Weaver of San Francisco.

Permission to run over the Yosemite Valley railroad was secured from General Manager O.W. Lehmer, who also detailed F.L. Higgins, Superintendent of motive power, to accompany the party to render any assistance necessary and protect them against meeting trains. Associated gasoline, furnished by John R. Graham, the local distributor, was used on the trip."

15 - Mariposa Gazette - (Sat.) 1:2 ``Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Pillsbury, Hart Weaver a Studebaker agent, and a Joseph Hickey arrived in Yosemite Monday (April 10) evening in a Studebaker machine. they traveled from San Francisco via Coulterville and Bagby and came to El Portal along the Y.V. railroad track." (see also for more complete article, Merced Evening Sun April 11, 1916, 1:6.)

18 - Letter to AC from N.B. Lewis, Supervisor. Asking for payment of first semi-annual payment of $200.00, due on May 1.


4 - Letter to AC from N.B. Lewis. Again asking for payment.

16 - Letter from N.B. Lewis to R.B. Marshall, Superintendent of National Parks, Wash. D.C. Transferring payment of the first $200.00 which is a certified check dated May 13th, on the Anglo-California Trust Company, payable to Sec. of Interior for $200 and drawn by Wm. A. Nunlist.

19 - Stationary Letter typewritten and signed by AC.

Arthur C. Pillsbury




Pictures and Story.

(Note that the right margin here carried a narrow band of vertical print with the following) A MILE of motion pictures and colored views of Yosemite and the High Sierra SUMMER AND WINTER Sunshine and storm. Its towering waterfalls and cliffs its glaciers and lakes, giant trees and wild flowers. The climbing of Mr. Lyell and Half Dome, and many new waterfalls all reached for the first time with the motion camera. These views were shown before the National Geographic Society and the National Press Club in Washington D.C. and are endorsed by Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the interior, and other prominent educators and public men. The Department of the Interior has granted me two years’ exclusive rights on the Indian Legends of Yosemite, now in course of production in a seven reel story.

Dear Mr. Lewis,

Will you please give me your ruling on group work as done by the photographers in Yosemite, last year a rule was made so as to do away with more than one man at a place at a time, that was very satisfactory to most of us, and saved a large part of the waste, as it three studios had at Mirror Lake for instance and each took the same view at least two of the plates, prints, and man’s time was almost sure to be wasted.

By dividing (sic) the places at which we take views, so we could each have them once in three days, it was perfectly fair, and the public was well served, while if all three of us snapped them it was to say the least not dignified, and often a great annoyance to the public.

As Mr. Boysen is the only one who objects to this, claiming the right to go to each place each day I would like to know if last years ruling is still in effect.

I dislike to trouble you about these small matters, but I also an opposed to handling that part of the business at a loss if it can be helped.

Yours Respectfully,

Arthur C. Pillsbury

20 - Letter to AC from N.B. Lewis, Supervisor. Letter citing the three day rotation adding that if one cannot make it he should inform the next in line.

20 - Mariposa Gazette - (Grace and Art up from S.F.)

31 - Letter to AC. from N.B. Lewis. The three could not come to an agreement so all will be allowed to work at will.


17 - Mariposa Gazette - 1:3 (ACP breaks previous record from Oakland to Yosemite by 1 hour, 16 min. - in Studebaker Six - won silver cup offered by D.A. Curry - came in Saturday, June 10, via Big Oak Flat in 8 hours, 44 minutes.)

11 June - Mariposa Gazette - 1:4 ``...A.C. Pillsbury has undertaken to picture development of Sierra wild flowers, beginning with a snow plant, which by special permission he was allowed to transplant to a position before a camera in his Yosemite Studio."

22 - Letter from N.B. Lewis to AC. Reminder that second payment is due August 1st.


1 - Mariposa Gazette - 1:3 (ACP chairman of 4th of July Committee.)

15 - Mariposa Gazette - 1:3 Half Dome - ``New iron pegs, soldered with melted sulfur, have replaced the old and a new half-inch Manila rope had been stretched from top to bottom. Headed by A.C. Pillsbury, a party of sixteen went up to the summit of the Dome after completing the safety measures."

17 - Letter to AC from N.B. Lewis. Noting that since he is using his auto for the production of Indian Legends that the $100 is due.

21 - Letter from N.B. Lewis to AC asking for payment of the $100 for using his auto in the Valley for filming of Indian Legends.

22 - Mariposa Gazette - ``Mrs. A.C. Pillsbury came up from San Francisco, Sunday for a short visit with Mr. Pillsbury."

28 - Letter to Sec. of Interior from N. B. Lewis noting for forwarding of three express money orders 849721, 849722, 849723 & 849724, dated July 28, 1916 each for $50.00, total $200.00 payable to the Sec. of the Interior, from AC Pillsbury.


17 - Article and picture on front page of San Francisco Chronicle. Sunday Edition.

Studebaker Car Driven to Very Edge of Famous Overhanding Rock

Automobile Figures in Unequaled Feat in History of the Yosemite

Arthur Pillsbury Thrills Visitors in Valley

by Daring Act to obtain

Unique Photo

Arthur Pillsbury sitting on the hood of his Studebaker six, which he drove to
the edge of Overhanging Rock at Glacier Point, with an abyss of 3240 feet deep
yawning beneath. Crowd in the car were among Yosemite visitors who witnessed
Pillsbury’s daredevil drive.

Making history in Yosemite National Park, Arthur C. Pillsbury, a photographer well known throughout California, Tuesday drove a Studebaker six to the extreme edge of the noted Overhanging Rock at Glacier Point, a rock varying in width from six to eight feet, jutting over a precipice 3240 feet deep. The sturdy six responded like a human to each purr of the engine and twist of the steering wheel.

Pillsbury and his Studebaker six are the wonder of Yosemite. It has heretofore been considered a perilous task to walk out on Overhanging Rock, and to drive a car weighing 2700 pounds on this narrow shaft of granite was thought as impossibility. While the merry driver was worming his way out over the Valley, the guests of the Sentinel Hotel and El Capitan Camp, who had been apprised of the feat to be performed, trained scores of glasses on the driver. Gathered at the summit of Glacier Point were a hundred or more hotel guests, who snapped every move of the Studebaker six.


Pillsbury had been engaged by D.J. Desmond, president of the Desmond Park Service Company, to take a series of motion pictures of the Desmond camps and concessions in Yosemite. To illustrate the Glacier Point trip, Pillsbury added the passage of Overhanging Rock as an attraction not in the original scenario.

When Pillsbury first stated he intended driving his Studebaker six to a point adjoining eternity, his claim was received with incredulity. Early Tuesday morning he wired D.J. Desmond in San Francisco:

“I am going to drive my auto across Overhanging Rock today. I will win this test as easily as I made the fastest run from San Francisco to Yosemite.”

Pillsbury left Yosemite early in the morning and made the twenty-six-mile trip to Glacier Point Hotel in leisurely fashion. A survey of the approach to the Overhanging Rock showed the necessity of a runway necessary to surmount several granite boulders which barred the way. A trestle was speedily erected by the carpenters working on the Desmond Glacier Point Hotel, now in the curse of construction. Testing the trestle as a precaution, Pillsbury then boarded the Studebaker six and unerringly the car climbed to the brink of the cliff.

Now the real work began. Stretching before the intrepid driver was a solid rock averaging seven feet wide and fourteen feet long. Beneath fell blue space for 3240 feet. Lack of perfect control might mean disaster. Pillsbury, with the confidence of a man ho is driving a car he can trust, jockeyed the Studebaker six for the fraction of a minute and then unerringly guided the throbbing auto within two inches of the rock’s end.

Not a sound came from the spectators- (continued on Next Page)

22 - Yosemite in Pictures and Story stationary. Handwritten by AC

Mr. N.B. Lewis,


Dear Sir: - Regarding the charge of $100.00 for use of my auto in the Park while working on my Indian Legends, will say, I started on the Legends and worked in all perhaps three of four days and then saw was going to be unable to finish this season, and what I have now made is waste, as I shall use other actors next year, Under these circumstances I presume their will be no charge for the slight use I made of the car.

Respt. Yours

Arthur C. Pillsbury

23 - Mariposa Gazette - ``When it is a question of originality and nerve A.C. Pillsbury is just the man." (re: Driving Studebaker out on overhanging Rock.)


12 - Letter to W. B. Lewis, Super of Yosemite, from Marshall, Superintendent, Dept. of the Interior, National Parks, Washington. Report received from C.G. Smith, examiner of Accounts, upon operations of Mr. A.C. Pillsbury’s Studio. AC seems to exclude reporting of receipts of amounts personally received by him for fieldwork in Yosemite National Park. Mr. Smith suggests a portion was charged as studio expenses, receipts should have been reported. Wants all receipts reported for 1916. (good for AC!)

16 - Letter to AC from W.B. Lewis passing on request he report receipts for field work.


8 - Letter from AC to W.B. Lewis, Yosemite, copies on stationary 783 Mission St. SF Calif.

Dear Mr. Lewis:

Enclosed you will find our report for this year. It shows a smaller profit this year due to the Desmond sale of prints in hotel, camps, and store, and the motion pictures and shows a loss as I have not yet filled or see the prospect of filling the Desmond order, they having paid so far only for the negatives.

I envy you staying in the valley now as I have never seen it so beautiful in color as when I was in last week.

Yours Respectfully,

(signed) Arthur C. Pillsbury