Collection 2577 - Henry F. Keyes Diary and Photograph Album, 1899
Creator: Keyes, Henry F. (Henry Francis), 1879-1933
Provenance Note: An original photograph album created by Henry Francis Keyes was donated to Montana State University by Elisabeth Hollander Rickenbaugh of Bozeman, Montana on December 14, 2013. A diary also created by Keyes simultaneously with the photographs he took for the album was donated by Rickenbuagh on February 15, 2018.
Historical Note: Henry Francis Keyes was born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts on July 21, 1879 to Charles Gilman and Juliet A. Keyes. He attended the Roxbury Latin school and graduated from Harvard in 1901. He also attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating from that institution in 1904. Keyes began practice as an architect in New York with Herbert D. Hale in 1905 before returning to Boston in 1907 where he worked with Guy Lowell. Keyes established his own firm shortly thereafter. He worked on a number of projects in the Boston area, the best known being the present day "New England Fish Pier," designed in 1914. Keyes married in June 15, 1905 to Marian Brewer Call, and the couple had two children, Elisabeth Brewer, born on January 7, 1908, and Juliet Frances, born February 21, 1913. The family made their home on Penniman Road in Brookline, Massachusetts at least until 1930. Henry Keyes died in 1933.
In the summer of 1899, Henry Keyes and twelve other Harvard students went on an expedition sponsored by the Harvard Summer School of Geology and led by instructor Jay Backus Woodworth in cooperation with Professor Nathaniel Shaler. Other students were Samuel W. Duncan, Corey C. Brayton, Burt Z. Kasson, Roger Flint, Robert W. Sayles, Carl C. Shippee, Edwin M. Brush, George A. Hathaway, Albert P. Chittenden, Marcus L. Goldman, Howard Lane Blackwell, and Samuel C. Wiel. Keyes traveled by train to Buffalo, New York on July 4, and from that point took a steamship North Land through lakes Erie, Huron, and Superior before landing at Duluth, Minnesota on July 7. The next day they took the train to Bozeman, Montana where they arrived on July 11. On July 13 they left to begin their hike at the Peter LeBeau ranch near present day Gallatin Gateway. There contractors Jack Bean and Edward C. Alderson loaded mules with supplies for their journey into southwest Montana. The Harvard men hiked for the entire trip which took a circuitous route to the park through the Gallatin Canyon, Lone Peak, Jack Creek, Ennis, Virginia City, the Red Rock lakes, Henry's Lake, and entering Yellowstone on August 2. They went up the Madison River to the geyser basins where, on August 5, Henry Keyes scalded his foot after breaking through the thin crust above a hot spring. Keyes and Shippee followed the hikers by stagecoach to the Canyon Hotel, but were forced to leave the expedition on August 13 due to Henry's injury.
Content Description Note: The Keyes photograph album contains snapshots taken by Keyes and perhaps a few of his friends during their hike through southwest Montana. The album contains images of the steamship North Land, Mackinac Island, the North Dakota Badlands, Bozeman, Bridger Canyon, Gallatin Canyon, Lone Peak, Virginia City, the Red Rock valley, Sawtell's Ranch at Henry's Lake, Upper Geyser Basin, and Lake Yellowstone. People pictured are Keyes and his companions, Edward C. Alderson, Jack Bean, and Felix G. White. Two photographs of Yellowstone bears are also included. Many of the photographs are captioned.
The diary contains entries created by Keyes simultaneously with the photographs he took in the album, starting on July 3, 1899 when he and the student party left on the train to Buffalo and ends with his entry of August 19, 1899. His notations are incredibly detailed, noting the scenery, the content of his meals, and even the time of day when certain described events occurred. Many of his fellow students are mentioned, and geographic details and wildlife sightings recorded. Particularly poignant are his entries from August 5, when he had his accident, through the end as he bravely faces the fact he will be unable to complete the journey with his fellow expedition members. In addition to the detailed diary entries, Keyes kept a table of distances covered by the expedition on each day, given in miles covered and with notations identifying camping spots. He also devotes several separate pages to trip expenses, various contact addresses, and even a few hand-drawn sketches of wildlife and camping sites.