Artists of the Lens

The first photographers who came to town were the traveling salesmen type.  The photographer would set up his bulky camera on a heavy stand, positioning himself under a black focusing cloth at the back of the camera.  He would watch the ground glass image of his sitter, suggesting and pleading for a pleasant expression.

The photographic establishments seemed to maintain something of a grand style.   Furnishing and decorations were lavish, and the backgrounds on which people posed were elaborate counterfeits of grandeur.

The first known photographer in Cooperstown was John Aaberg who was here in 1885.

Starting in 1886 the railroad leased a car specifically for a photographic gallery.  The first was the Haynes Palace Studio Car.  Others leasing a railroad car were: H.T. Hanson, Logan, C.L. Judd, Lees and Francis.

The following is a list of the photographers who came to Cooperstown, some staying but a short time.  Others set up studios and stayed a number of years.  The years given are the approximate times of their arrival:

AT. Rostuen Studio, 1887

H.T. Hanson Photographic Car, 1890

C.H. Lien at Rostuen Studio, 1892

Brady of Minneapolis, 1892

C.E. Fuller managing Lien's Studio, 1892

Frank Haskell had photographic equipment, 1892

Logan Photographic Car, 1893

Rudd, 1894

C.L. Judd and Lees Photographic Car, 1895

1.  Glerum moved his gallery from Lee to Cooperstown, 1895

Francis Palace Photo Car, 1896

C.H. Galbra with C.L. Judd, 1896

M. Belgum purchased gallery of 1.  Glerum, 1896

Haynes Studio Car, 1898

N.J. Brown, 1900

Von Blon Studio, 1900

Harold Brown learning photography at Von

Blon Studio, 1900

William D. Hartman Studio, 1904

Paul 0.  Lillenas Studio, 1913

George Benson Studio, 1917

Lars Newgaard Studio, 1928

Earl Jarrett Studio, 1946

Russ Edland Studio, 1951

Gene and Ruth Trautman Studio, since 1956.

Although the location of all the early studios is not known, Von Blon is known to have practiced his trade upstairs in the two-story frame building on the east side of 9th Street, one-half block south of Burrell Avenue.  The building is now known as the Lende building.  Hartman also was in that studio.

Lars Newgaard was first above People's Store.  When that burned down he moved upstairs in the S. Hall building, which was later Halvorson€™s Shoppe, and later to what was originally the Stevens and Enger building which was used as a studio for about 25 years afterward.

Lars Newgaard, Earl Jarrett, Russ Edland and, for a time, Gene Trautman's, all worked in that building next door to the Gamble Store on the south side of Burrell Avenue.  The Trautmans now have their studio in their home.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial Page 181

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