Harry Pidgeon Collection
Owning Institution: California State University, Fresno
About this CollectionHarry Pidgeon was born in Henry County, Iowa. He lived and worked on a farm in Iowa until 1887, after working on various ranches in several states he then settled in the Sugar Pine-Madera-Wawona area in California where he worked for the Madera Sugar Pine Company and began his career as a photographer. As a photographer, Pidgeon took shots illustrating everyday life in the early logging community at Sugar Pine. It is uncertain how long he lived and worked among the giant sequoia (known as the Big Trees), but most of his existing photographs are from 1913 to 1925. He became renowned for the high quality of his photographs in spite of the photographic equipment that was available. The photos feature Harry Pidgeon and his equipment, people, houses, transportation vehicles, logging, Raymond Quarry, farming, Happy Camp, Fish Camp, scenery, and sequoia trees. After leaving the Big Trees area, he began a career as a sailor. In 1925, at the age of 56, Pidgeon became the second man to circumnavigate the earth alone. He wrote a book about his experiences entitled Around the World Single-Handed. In 1937 he completed another solo circumnavigation. In 1944 he married Margaret Gardener. When he and his wife attempted a third trip in 1947, they were struck by a hurricane. His boat was destroyed and they both narrowly escaped death. In 1954, Harry Pidgeon died at the age of 85 in San Pedro, California.
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