Pine branches and sea weeds. By Alfred Lambourne. ALFRED LAMBOURNE.
Pine branches and sea weeds. By Alfred Lambourne.

Pine branches and sea weeds. By Alfred Lambourne. Salt Lake City, 1889. 18.8x13 cm, pp. [1-9] 10-176, flyleaves at front and rear, original red bevel-edged cloth, front panel stamped in gold, white paper label stamped in gold affixed to spine panel, gray coated endpapers with floral pattern printed in black. First edition. A collection of Western travel sketches "reprinted from various publications," including impressionistic word-pictures of the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees, pp. [21]-37 and Yosemite Valley, pp. [41]-61. Appears to be a self-published book; printed by "Donohue & Henneberry, Printers and Binders, Chicago." Alfred Lambourne (1850-1926) was an English-born American artist and author. In the 1860s, he and his family moved to the American West with the Mormon pioneers. He is best remembered for his paintings, but he also wrote short fiction for Mormon periodicals, and other works of musings and poetry. In 1871, he accompanied then-President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and former Governor of the Utah Territory, Brigham Young, to Zion Canyon and made the first sketches of the area. In the same decade, Lambourne traveled the American West with photographer Charles Roscoe Savage, painting as Savage photographed, and explored the Wasatch range with H. L. A. Culmer, painting and naming features, and 'painted a series of large canvasses representing his journey from the eastern coast of the United States to the Golden Gate' with Reuben Kirkham. He also visited Yosemite, Colorado and Arizona. Later in life, Lambourne focused more on writing, sometimes illustrating his work, eventually writing 14 books" (Wikipedia). Lambourne went to Yosemite, accompanied by an unnamed companion "one who has been my companion on many similar excursions ..." (maybe C. R. Savage), in autumn (no year given, but 1886 or later), after the completion of the Southern Pacific branch line from Brenda to Raymond. Of the foothill country between Raymond and the Fresno River crossing Lambourne remarks: "There is much similarity in this part of California to portions of West Virginia. The country is dotted with the same kind of log cabins, with their squalid surroundings, the same dirty-faced children (spare the mark, are they black or white?), the same kind of lean, hungry pigs, and the same kind of broken-down fences surrounding the neglected clearings" (p. 24). In the Mariposa Grove he notes that "The block cut out of Wawona [in 1881] is being carved into all sorts of small trinkets and sold as souvenirs of the place" (p. 32). Scant detail of his doings in the Valley, save his solitary walking trips to Vernal and Nevada Falls and up the four-mile trail to Glacier Point. He recites McCauley's famous story of the Glacier Point chicken. The dust on the roads was terrible ("the mouth, the eyes and the nostrils soon become painfully irritated, and the teeth are fairly set on edge"), the river and streams in Yosemite were low (the Yosemite Falls were dry), most of the tourists were gone (aside from Lambourne, his companion and another solitary visitor, the hotel was empty). Nevertheless, Lambourne had an enjoyable, uplifting sojourn in Yosemite. Of the Valley in autumn he remarks: "... the autumn season has its special attractions too. Then the Merced creeps on in glassy stillness from pool to pool; the entangled ferns are dashed with blood-red stains, and frost king plants his victorious banners of crimson and gold in valley and on height, and all those jagged peaks and rounded domes of granite appear even more huge and high, as they loom up pale and indistinct through the hazy veils of the closing year." Not in Cowan (1933). Not in Rocq (1970). Mild stain at edge of front cover, upper rear fore-edge corner worn, a bright, very good copy. (#166394).

Printing identification statement for this book:
No statement of printing.