Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Village is in sight

L - R Gazebo/seating for movies, Old Village - Pillsbury Studio and 1st ever
 Nature Center with photo merchandise displays for sales, cook house,
long building for photo developing and production, corner bath house, small
tents for family and employees, mostly students from Stanford and UC Berkeley. 
Yosemite Chapel, peeking out behind Chapel Young Arthur F. Pillsbury's own
Around 1914 Uncle built a gazebo out from the Studio that could hold an awning in the summer so that tourists would have a nice place to write letters and postcards. We showed movies there, too.

The Studio, our home and place of business, spread out through the trees and boulders surrounding the Chapel as a small compound. When Uncle had bought it with the proceeds from the photographs he had taken of the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire in 1906 he had fulfilled a life long dream to justify spending time in the Valley. The studio was called The Studio of the Three Arrows then. We kids called it that from time to time because we liked the Indian sound of the words.

Life in Yosemite was a very different thing from our lives in Berkeley.

In Yosemite we worked hard, or course. The family did not believe in idleness. I learned early to sell post cards, develop photos, keep accounts, and finally to turn my hand to anything that needed doing. Eventually I was happily allowed to do the artwork for some of the items we sold in the studio. I always felt a flush of pleasure when I saw someone look at a card that carried my work.

After Uncle built the first machine to mass produce photo post cards it was also my responsibility to run that. Thinking up new things to make was a fun family activities.

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