“An insightful and engaging work that brings to life Houghton’s prolific career, ensuring that the electronic age will appreciate the pen-and-ink work of this skillful artist.”
—Derek Everett, Metropolitan State University of Denver and Colorado State University
Between 1891 and 1915, pen-and-ink artist Merritt Dana Houghton made over 200 bird’s-eye sketches of towns, ranches, mines, businesses, historic sites, and animals in Wyoming, northern Colorado, Montana, Idaho, and Washington state. Historian Michael A. Amundson brings these many views together for the first time in these pages.
This lavishly illustrated biography details Houghton’s life and work from his birth in Michigan in 1846 to his death in 1919 in Spokane through extensive genealogical records, newspaper accounts, and his illustrations—including historic ranches and bird’s-eye views of Fort Collins, Colorado; Dillon, Montana; Spokane, Washington and the only known illustrations of long-lost places like Pearl, Colorado, and Rambler, Wyoming. Also included is a four-foot-by-eight-foot view of Sheridan, Wyoming and a sixty-image sample portfolio of his best-preserved illustrations organized by type.
Houghton’s work depicts the infrastructure of the new settler society that was remaking the West in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, and Amundson demonstrates how Houghton’s vision of the American West remains active today.