June D. Drake photographs

House and garden, Silverton, Oregon Road grading, Silverton, Oregon Road grading, Silverton, Oregon Woman driving a sulky Road grading near Silverton, Oregon Farm wagon Hay wagon Farm near Silverton, Oregon Farm near Silverton, Oregon Two men with horses Man with three horses Tent camp in the woods House, Gervais, Oregon Windmill Thresher, circa 1920 Landscape with sheep near Silverton, Oregon Flood of the Pudding River Creek scene Oswald West speaks before a crowd, Silverton, Oregon Creek scene General store, Mt. Angel, Oregon Mt. Angel Abbey monks, St. Benedict, Oregon Statue at Mt. Angel Abbey, St. Benedict, Oregon Architectural rendering, Mt. Angel Abbey, St. Benedict, Oregon Fathers of the Mt. Angel Abbey A group of men at Mt. Angel Abbey Group photo, Mt. Angel Abby Priests, Mt. Angel Abbey
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Identity elements

Reference code

Org. Lot 678

Name and location of repository

Level of description



June D. Drake photographs


  • 1900-1955 (Creation)
  • 1860-1955 (Creation)


Digital Collection:

Physical Collection: 28.26 cubic feet; 71 document cases; 2 slim document cases; 1 oversize flat box (11x14); 2 oversize flat boxes (6x20); 1 oversize flat box (20x24)

Name of creator

Biographical history

June D. Drake (the middle initial "D" did not stand for anything) was born in Marquam, Oregon, in 1880 to Charles Wesley Drake and Fannie Aurora Milster Drake. In the fall of 1889, the Drake family moved to Silverton, Oregon, and Charles Drake built the family home at 401 South Water Street. He later owned the Commercial Hotel on Main Street, which was sold in 1891 to hardware store owner Adolf Wolf. Charles Drake also served as mayor of Silverton before his death in 1911.

In 1900, June D. Drake and his brother, Emory Roy Drake, founded their photography business, Drake Bros. Studio, buying out the business of pioneer Silverton photographer William L. Jones. The brothers operated their studio together until 1908, when Emory Drake left to become a music teacher in Sacramento. This studio burned to the ground on March 27, 1908, and thousands of the brothers' original negatives were destroyed. After the fire, members of the Silverton community built June Drake a temporary studio at 311 North Water Street. He operated his business there from April 1908 until September 1911, when he moved into a new studio building at 303 North Water Street. Drake continued his photography there until his retirement in 1960, when the building was sold to Standard Oil Co. and torn down.

Though he was well known for his portraiture and town scenes, one of June D. Drake's greatest achievements was the establishment of Silver Falls State Park. Beginning around 1902, he photographed the waterfalls and created brochures and booklets to bring statewide attention to the need to protect the land from logging interests. Working with Silverton and Salem citizens and Oregon state legislators, Drake organized an effort to buy the land around the falls and sell it to the state. On April 2, 1931, the Oregon State Park Commission accepted the proposal, and Silver Falls State Park officially opened to the public in July 1933. Many of the signs still in existence in the park were originally erected by June Drake, and Drake Falls in the park was named after him.

June D. Drake married Eleanor Schoenfield in 1904. The couple's home in Silverton was the first in the town to be wired for electricity. The Drakes had two children, Charles Henry, born in 1909, and Ardith Maxine, born in 1915. In addition to his career as a photographer, June Drake was also a member of the Knights of Pythias and served as secretary of the Silverton Chamber of Commerce, chief of the Silverton Fire Department, and a member of the city council. He also founded the Silverton Historical Society in 1930.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

Collection consists of approximately 2,918 original photographic prints and 3,800 original glass and acetate negatives taken by photographer June D. Drake of Silverton, Oregon, as well as 3,042 copy prints made by the Oregon Historical Society from the original negatives. The bulk of the collection consists of photographs that Drake took of various towns in Oregon, including Silverton, Mount Angel (including Mount Angel Abbey), and Salem, Oregon, from approximately 1900-1953. These photographs depict street scenes, businesses, schools, churches, and other town buildings, as well as significant events and celebrations. There are also a number of photographs that Drake took of the area that became Silver Falls State Park, as well as a large number of portrait photographs taken by Drake from about 1900-1952, including both studio and informal portraits.

Other subjects represented in the collection include transportation and agriculture in Oregon; the lumber industry around Silverton, including the Silver Falls Timber Company and the Silverton Lumber Company; Homer Davenport and his family in Silverton; the Chemawa Indian School near Silverton, and other portraits of Native Americans from the area; the military in Oregon, including the Oregon State Militia during World War I and World War II; and photographs of animals. The collection also includes five photograph albums; of note is an album titled "A History of Silverton, Oregon, and its environs," which contains detailed descriptions from 1863 to the 1930s, and includes places of business, worship, and study, among other scenes. There are also a number of photographs of various artifacts and other objects collected by Drake to document the history of Silverton.

Photographs in this collection that date prior to 1900 were originally taken by other photographers, including Silverton photographer William L. Jones, and reprinted by June D. Drake, who owned many of Jones's negatives.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Collection is open for research.

Physical access

Photographic negatives in the collection are not available for direct access due to fragility. Researchers are asked to use digitized versions available online in OHS Digital Collections. Contact library staff for assistance.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

The Oregon Historical Society owns the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Gifts of June Drake from 1959-1964 (Lib. Acc. 8030; Lib. Acc. 8106; Lib. Acc. 8142; Lib. Acc. 8418; Lib. Acc. 8571; and Lib. Acc. 8722). Also includes additions from various small accessions between 1958 and 1984.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

The Oregon Historical Society Research Library also holds the June D. Drake papers, Mss 1617, which contain Drake's personal and family papers, writings, and the Drake Bros. Studio records and photography registers.

Other collections of photographs taken by June D. Drake can be found at the Silverton Country Historical Society in Silverton, Oregon, and the archives of Silver Falls State Park.

Related descriptions

Publication notes

The following articles can be found in the "Genealogy -- Drake, Charles Wesley family" Vertical File at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library:
"June Drake Dies in Portland," Silverton Appeal-Tribune, 1969 July 3.
"Silverton Turns Back One Century," Oregon Journal, August 4, 1954, feature section, page 1.
"Dedication Ceremony Draws Thousands," Silverton Appeal-Tribune, July 21, 1983. Reprint of July 28, 1933, article.
"Silverton Businessmen Welcome Visitors to Park Dedication Sunday," Silver Falls State Park Magazine, Volume 1 (July 1933).

Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: June D. Drake photographs, Org. Lot 678, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.

Sources used

Archivist's note

Collection was processed by Gayle Mirkin, Sharon Howe, and Megan K. Friedel from 2004-2007, and the collection guide was prepared by Friedel in 2007. The guide was updated and revised to conform to current standard during digitization of negatives in the collection in 2022-2023. Many of the photographs in this collection are prints made by the staff of the Oregon Historical Society from June D. Drake's original glass plate negatives.

Archivist's note

The photograph albums in the collection were previously cataloged individually as Album 57, Album 58, Album 59, Album 279 and Album 288; they were later reintegrated into the collection.

Archivist's note

Megan K. Friedel; revised by Laura Cray

Access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Accession area