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Return to 1915 

1916 - Oakland, Alameda & Berkeley Directory - p. 683. ACP res. 6440 Benvenue. Harriet F.P. res. 6440 Benvenue.


5 - Letter from Department of Interior, Washington to Mr. Gabrial Sovulawski, Supervisor, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite, Cal. . Not a salary of $2,504.07 was paid. Wants documentation regarding to whom the salary was paid before authorizing the next year’s concession. Request from AC to use his car in the Valley through the concession in Yosemite. Also wants a suitable location near Desmond Company’s Hotel with right to conduct business at present location as well. AC is denied the continued privilege of stabling three animals at the government barn. He is to use the concessionaire who is licensed to stable animals. 

11 - Letter to AC at 783 Mission Street, SF. asking for documentation , to whom it was paid, what for and that the new license would be withheld until the information was received. Signed, Gabriel Sovulawski, Supervisor.
15 - 16 - On Pillsbury Picture’s Stationary, hand written by AC. Dear Mr. Sovulawksi, I am sending the refund you asked for. our season was a long one last year was part of the reason for the added award. Regards to yourself & the Dr. and all the rest of the snow bound lucky people. Yours, AC Pillsbury Nothing but rain in SF. 
20 - Letter to Sec. of the interior, DC from G. Sovuleski. Response to letter that asks to whom salary of $2504.07was paid. Includes financial statement from AC. Monies were paid to various employees.  
29 - To G. Sovuleski, Supt. Yosemite, from Stephen Mather, Assist to Sec. of Interior. Letter covering the following: Permit will be granted for 1916 along lines of 1915 permit. They will give consideration for location of a studio near the Desmond Hotel. Action deferred. They will approve a special permit for use of auto while AC is filing Indian Legends. $100 to be charged.  


5 - Letter from G. Sovuleski informing AC that he will be charged $100 for a permit to use automobile in park for the filming of Indian legends. That permit and location for studio near Desmond’s Hotel is deferred, and that the concession fee for the year of 1916 will be $400.00.  

9 - Letter from AC to G. Sovulewski, Super. Yosemite. Written from 783 Mission Street, S.F. Calif.  

Dear Mr. Sovulewski:
I am returning the signed concessions which I trust you will receive safely.  
About the auto permit is that not a mistake in your letter saying the fee is $100.00. Think you must mean $10.00 instead. I have a dandy fine car 6 cylinder Studebaker, but it would be almost like buying a Ford to pay $100.00 to run it in the Valley.
I am out on the road all the time now showing my pictures in high schools and churches and giving talks on Yosemite. Possibly the department give me a rebate on the auto fee if it is $100 of say two of three dollars for each show.  
I wish I could come in to get some snow views. Perhaps I will later.  

Yours Respt.
Arthur C. Pillsbury

12 - Letter to AC from G. Sovulewski. Confirming the price of $100. Promising tosend AC’s letter on to the Department.  

12 - Letter from G. Sovulewski, Yosemite, sending on business corresp. from AC along with letter questioning $100 fee.  

23 - Letter from Dept. of Interior confirming receipt of papers from AC through Sovulewski and confirming the fee of $100 for use of auto in park.  

29 - Letter from G. Sovulewski to AC informing him he has been given permit No. 12 for $400.00, times for payment and confirmation of $100 for use of automobile for making Indian Legends.  


10 - On PPC stationary To G. Sovulewski in Yosemite. Letter which accompanied payment of $3.60 for bill of Mar. 1, 1916. Signed Pillsbury Pictures Inc. G.H.B.  


10 - AC wins race into Yosemite for first car in by regular road.

11 - Merced Evening Sun - 1:6 ``Wins Trophy by Entering Yosemite" ``Desmond Cup Goes to A.C. Pillsbury Whose Auto is First to Arrive at Park." ``A.C. Pillsbury, the widely known Yosemite artist and lecturer, made the first automobile entrance of the season into Yosemite last night, thereby winning the cup offered by the Desmond Park Service company, whose offer of the trophy to the first machine to make the trip successfully on its own power caused many other contestants to undertake the trip. Deep snows caused the other motorists to abandon the competition after attempting the roads. By running his car on the track of the Yosemite Valley Railroad company from Bagby, Pillsbury was able to avoid the impassable roads.
Pillsbury, accompanied by a party of four, made the trip from San Francisco in his Studebaker Six. He passed through Merced Sunday afternoon, spent Sunday evening at Coulterville, and next morning left Bagby at 11 0'clock. He first tried to run his machine on the rails of the track after attaching a flanged rim onto his machine. The tires being unsuitable for this purpose he drove the machine over the ties. He arrived at El Portal at 7:30 last night, and between there and the Sentinel Hotel in Yosemite encountered the hardest electrical(sic) storm of the year. Upon his entrance in Yosemite, the village gave him a celebratory greeting.
Mr. Pillsbury was accompanied by his wife, and Joe Hickey and Messrs. Hart and Weaver of San Francisco.
Permission to run over the Yosemite Valley railroad was secured from General Manager O.W. Lehmer, who also detailed F.L. Higgins, Superintendent of motive power, to accompany the party to render any assistance necessary and protect them against meeting trains. Associated gasoline, furnished by John R. Graham, the local distributor, was used on the trip."

15 - Mariposa Gazette - (Sat.) 1:2 ``Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Pillsbury, Hart Weaver a Studebaker agent, and a Joseph Hickey arrived in Yosemite Monday (April 10) evening in a Studebaker machine. they traveled from San Francisco via Coulterville and Bagby and came to El Portal along the Y.V. railroad track." (see also for more complete article, Merced Evening Sun April 11, 1916, 1:6.)

18 - Letter to AC from N.B. Lewis, Supervisor. Asking for payment of first semi-annual payment of $200.00, due on May 1.  


  4 - Letter to AC from N.B. Lewis. Again asking for payment.  

  16 - Letter from N.B. Lewis to R.B. Marshall, Superintendent of National Parks, Wash. D.C. Transferring payment of the first $200.00 which is a certified check dated May 13th, on the Anglo-California Trust Company, payable to Sec. of Interior for $200 and drawn by Wm. A. Nunlist.  

  19 - Stationary Letter typewritten and signed by AC.  

Arthur C. Pillsbury

Pictures and Story.

(Note that the right margin here carried a narrow band of vertical print with the following) A MILE of motion pictures and colored views of Yosemite and the High Sierra SUMMER AND WINTER Sunshine and storm. Its towering waterfalls and cliffs its glaciers and lakes, giant trees and wild flowers. The climbing of Mr. Lyell and Half Dome, and many new waterfalls all reached for the first time with the motion camera. These views were shown before the National Geographic Society and the National Press Club in Washington D.C. and are endorsed by Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the interior, and other prominent educators and public men. The Department of the Interior has granted me two years’ exclusive rights on the Indian Legends of Yosemite, now in course of production in a seven reel story. 

Dear Mr. Lewis, 
Will you please give me your ruling on group work as done by the photographers in Yosemite, last year a rule was made so as to do away with more than one man at a place at a time, that was very satisfactory to most of us, and saved a large part of the waste, as it three studios had at Mirror Lake for instance and each took the same view at least two of the plates, prints, and man’s time was almost sure to be wasted.
By dividing (sic) the places at which we take views, so we could each have them once in three days, it was perfectly fair, and the public was well served, while if all three of us snapped them it was to say the least not dignified, and often a great annoyance to the public.  
As Mr. Boysen is the only one who objects to this, claiming the right to go to each place each day I would like to know if last years ruling is still in effect. 
I dislike to trouble you about these small matters, but I also an opposed to handling that part of the business at a loss if it can be helped.

Yours Respectfully, 
Arthur C. Pillsbury

  20 - Letter to AC from N.B. Lewis, Supervisor. Letter citing the three day rotation adding that if one cannot make it he should inform the next in line.  

20 - Mariposa Gazette - (Grace and Art up from S.F.)

31 - Letter to AC. from N.B. Lewis. The three could not come to an agreement so all will be allowed to work at will.  


17 - Mariposa Gazette - 1:3 (ACP breaks previous record from Oakland to Yosemite by 1 hour, 16 min. - in Studebaker Six - won silver cup offered by D.A. Curry - came in Saturday, June 10, via Big Oak Flat in 8 hours, 44 minutes.)

11 June - Mariposa Gazette - 1:4 ``...A.C. Pillsbury has undertaken to picture development of Sierra wild flowers, beginning with a snow plant, which by special permission he was allowed to transplant to a position before a camera in his Yosemite Studio."

22 - Letter from N.B. Lewis to AC. Reminder that second payment is due August 1st.  


1 - Mariposa Gazette - 1:3 (ACP chairman of 4th of July Committee.)
15 - Mariposa Gazette - 1:3 Half Dome - ``New iron pegs, soldered with melted sulfur, have replaced the old and a new half-inch Manila rope had been stretched from top to bottom. Headed by A.C. Pillsbury, a party of sixteen went up to the summit of the Dome after completing the safety measures."

17 - Letter to AC from N.B. Lewis. Noting that since he is using his auto for the production of Indian Legends that the $100 is due.  

21 - Letter from N.B. Lewis to AC asking for payment of the $100 for using his auto in the Valley for filming of Indian Legends.  

 22 - Mariposa Gazette - ``Mrs. A.C. Pillsbury came up from San Francisco, Sunday for a short visit with Mr. Pillsbury."

28 - Letter to Sec. of Interior from N. B. Lewis noting for forwarding of three express money orders 849721, 849722, 849723 & 849724, dated July 28, 1916 each for $50.00, total $200.00 payable to the Sec. of the Interior, from AC Pillsbury. 

Seeing Yosemite with David Curry Film 


17 - Article and picture on front page of San Francisco Chronicle. Sunday Edition.
Studebaker Car Driven to Very Edge of Famous Overhanding Rock
Automobile Figures in Unequaled Feat in History of the Yosemite
Arthur Pillsbury Thrills Visitors in Valley
by Daring Act to obtain
  Unique Photo

Arthur Pillsbury sitting on the hood of his Studebaker six, which he drove to the edge of Overhanging Rock at Glacier Point, with an abyss of 3240 feet deep yawning beneath. Crowd in the car were among Yosemite visitors who witnessed Pillsbury’s daredevil drive.  

Making history in Yosemite National Park, Arthur C. Pillsbury, a photographer well known throughout California, Tuesday drove a Studebaker six to the extreme edge of the noted Overhanging Rock at Glacier Point, a rock varying in width from six to eight feet, jutting over a precipice 3240 feet deep. The sturdy six responded like a human to each purr of the engine and twist of the steering wheel.  
Pillsbury and his Studebaker six are the wonder of Yosemite. It has heretofore been considered a perilous task to walk out on Overhanging Rock, and to drive a car weighing 2700 pounds on this narrow shaft of granite was thought as impossibility. While the merry driver was worming his way out over the Valley, the guests of the Sentinel Hotel and El Capitan Camp, who had been apprised of the feat to be performed, trained scores of glasses on the driver. Gathered at the summit of Glacier Point were a hundred or more hotel guests, who snapped every move of the Studebaker six.
Pillsbury had been engaged by D.J. Desmond, president of the Desmond Park Service Company, to take a series of motion pictures of the Desmond camps and concessions in Yosemite. To illustrate the Glacier Point trip, Pillsbury added the passage of Overhanging Rock as an attraction not in the original scenario.
When Pillsbury first stated he intended driving his Studebaker six to a point adjoining eternity, his claim was received with incredulity. Early Tuesday morning he wired D.J. Desmond in San Francisco:
“I am going to drive my auto across Overhanging Rock today. I will win this test as easily as I made the fastest run from San Francisco to Yosemite.”
Pillsbury left Yosemite early in the morning and made the twenty-six-mile trip to Glacier Point Hotel in leisurely fashion. A survey of the approach to the Overhanging Rock showed the necessity of a runway necessary to surmount several granite boulders which barred the way. A trestle was speedily erected by the carpenters working on the Desmond Glacier Point Hotel, now in the curse of construction. Testing the trestle as a precaution, Pillsbury then boarded the Studebaker six and unerringly the car climbed to the brink of the cliff.
Now the real work began. Stretching before the intrepid driver was a solid rock averaging seven feet wide and fourteen feet long. Beneath fell blue space for 3240 feet. Lack of perfect control might mean disaster. Pillsbury, with the confidence of a man ho is driving a car he can trust, jockeyed the Studebaker six for the fraction of a minute and then unerringly guided the throbbing auto within two inches of the rock’s end.  
Not a sound came from the spectators- (continued on Next Page)

22 - Yosemite in Pictures and Story stationary. Handwritten by AC

Mr. N.B. Lewis,

Dear Sir: - Regarding the charge of $100.00 for use of my auto in the Park while working on my Indian Legends, will say, I started on the Legends and worked in all perhaps three of four days and then saw was going to be unable to finish this season, and what I have now made is waste, as I shall use other actors next year, Under these circumstances I presume their will be no charge for the slight use I made of the car.  

Respt. Yours
Arthur C. Pillsbury

  23 - Mariposa Gazette - ``When it is a question of originality and nerve A.C. Pillsbury is just the man." (re: Driving Studebaker out on overhanging Rock.)


12 - Letter to W. B. Lewis, Super of Yosemite, from Marshall, Superintendent, Dept. of the Interior, National Parks, Washington. Report received from C.G. Smith, examiner of Accounts, upon operations of Mr. A.C. Pillsbury’s Studio. AC seems to exclude reporting of receipts of amounts personally received by him for fieldwork in Yosemite National Park. Mr. Smith suggests a portion was charged as studio expenses, receipts should have been reported. Wants all receipts reported for 1916. (good for AC!)  

16 - Letter to AC from W.B. Lewis passing on request he report receipts for field work.  


8 - Letter from AC to W.B. Lewis, Yosemite, copies on stationary 783 Mission St. SF Calif.  

Dear Mr. Lewis:
Enclosed you will find our report for this year. It shows a smaller profit this year due to the Desmond sale of prints in hotel, camps, and store, and the motion pictures and shows a loss as I have not yet filled or see the prospect of filling the Desmond order, they having paid so far only for the negatives.  
I envy you staying in the valley now as I have never seen it so beautiful in color as when I was in last week.  
Yours Respectfully, 
(signed) Arthur C. Pillsbury