Picnooga/Chattanooga Historical Society has acquired the original glass plate negative attributed to the photographer A. A. Haskell of President Benjamin Harrison’s April 15, 1891 visit to Chattanooga. Low-resolution and severely cropped copies of the image are in the Chattanooga Public Library and Tennessee State Archives collections.
The glass negative was purchased in an estate sale in Massachusetts. It features a high-resolution view of President Harrison, his son and the postmaster-general. Also present are prominent Chattanoogan’s, including Judge David M. Key, Capt. Charles A. Lyerly, T. G. Mountague, Charles E. James and Charles Whiteside aboard a string of decorated streetcars. The scene is an expanded view of the bottom station of the steam-powered Incline No. 1. The Incline station was once located at 38th and Church Streets in St. Elmo and ran to the Point Hotel, located just below Point Lookout on Lookout Mountain.
“The resolution is very sharp and detailed for 1891,” said the Society’s President David Moon. “It was a surprising find and welcomed addition to our collection.” The image was included with other glass plates taken about the same era. Many have already been shared with the public through social media.
Officials said, "Picnooga/Chattanooga Historical Society’s mission is to bring local history to the surface and make it accessible to everyone. Locating this essential piece of local and national history has only strengthened their position that more is out there still yet to be rediscovered. The 501(c)3 appreciates public leads to help find other items of historical value. They also accept donations of historical objects."
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