F. (Frank) Jay Haynes was born to Levi Hasbrouck and Caroline Oliphant Haynes in Saline, Michigan on October 28, 1853. He moved to Wisconsin in 1876, and it was there he began pursuing a career in photography. Opening a studio in Moorhead, Minnesota, he became the Northern Pacific Railroad's official photographer. Beginning in 1879, Mr. Haynes traveled exhaustively for the Railroad, making photographs of the western frontier, Canada, and Alaska. His daring stereoscopic views of Fargo, Dakota produced by twin-lens cameras were particularly captivating.
An important turning point in Mr. Haynes' life and career occurred in 1881, when he first traveled to Yellowstone Park. He was awestruck by the Park's scenic beauty and unspoiled natural habitat. He became committed not only to taking photographs that featured Yellowstone's majestic splendor, but also to preserving its environment and natural resources. It has been stated that Mr. Haynes' breathtaking images of Yellowstone Park, taken with a camera capable of producing large negatives, ignited a tourist frenzy that included a President of the United States. As Yellowstone Park's official photographer, Mr. Haynes led President Chester A. Arthur, several cabinet members, military leaders, and foreign dignitaries on an extensive special tour in 1883, which received international attention.
Mr. Haynes had clearly found a home and creative muse in Yellowstone, and spent several years finding inspiration along paths least traveled, making one particularly perilous trip in the winter of 1887. Seven years' later, he engaged in another winter's journey deep into the Park's interior. This expedition also included several commissioned and non-commissioned military personnel. The party's main purpose was to protect regional buffaloes from slaughter. Mr. Haynes and his camera exposed Ed Howell as a particularly ruthless poacher. The stunning landscape photographs produced on this trip were circulated internationally, and further cemented Mr. Haynes' professional reputation.
By 1898, Yellowstone Park tourism was reaching record numbers, and F. Jay Haynes was instrumental in establishing the Monida-Yellowstone Stage Company to transport the influx of visitors. They were taken by stagecoach from the Monida, Montana railroad to the Park. This resulted in an Ashton, Idaho to West Yellowstone, Montana extension of the Union Pacific Railway branch, the Oregon Short Line, in 1907. The company's name was changed to the Yellowstone-Western Stage Company, with Mr. Haynes serving as its president until its dissolution in 1916.
After enjoying five years of retirement, sixty-seven-year-old F. Jay Haynes died of heart failure at his home in St. Paul, Minnesota on March 10, 1921. As a lasting tribute to the man who introduced Yellowstone Park to the masses, a mountain was named after him. Jack Haynes, who had succeeded his father as official photographer for the Park, continued to celebrate the Yellowstone mystic in art until his death in 1962.
1909 Campbell's New Revised Complete Guide and Descriptive Book of the Yellowstone Park (Upper Basin, Yellowstone Park, Wyoming: H. E. Klamer), pp. 30, 34, 65, 78.
1922 Down the Yellowstone (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company), pp. 113-114.
1916 Haynes Guide (St. Paul, MN: Haynes), pp. 172-173, 182.
1990 Object and Image: An Introduction to Photography (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall), p. 174.
1883 The Photographic Times, Vol. XIII (New York: Scovill Manufacturing Company), p. 238.
1920 Report of the Director of the National Park Service to the Secretary of the Interior (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office), p. 187.
2005 Where Custer Fell: Photographs of the Little Bighorn Battlefield Then and Now (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press), p. 21.
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