Thursday, August 14, 2014

New in Special Collections: the E. E. Brown Photography Collection

Special Collections recently acquired a 19th century photograph album from photographer Edward Elmer (E.E.) Brown, thanks to a generous donation by Brown's granddaughter.  E. E. Brown was an Ohio native and professional photographer who was hired by the Western North Carolina Railroad to take photographs of Asheville and Western North Carolina. Brown enjoyed the Asheville area so much that he moved here, eventually operating the Lindsey & Brown photography studio in the 1890s with his partner Thomas H. Lindsey.

Asheville from Sunset Drive

The E. E. Brown Photography Collection contains Brown's personal photo album, complete with a handwritten 1883 inscription inside the front cover.  Each of the album's 46 pages includes one, two, and sometimes three photographs. As you can see from the images in this post, Brown often added captions to the photographs.

South Main Street, Asheville

Brown took his camera all around Western North Carolina, photographing street scenes in Asheville, various places along the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers, a number of railroad scenes, as well as waterfalls and landscapes. The collection also includes biographical information about E. E. Brown supplied by his granddaughter, Eleanore Brown, who donated the collection to Ramsey Library's Special Collections. 

Battery Park Hotel

While his skills as a photographer brought him to Western North Carolina, eventually Brown's professional interests took another turn. He built a house on Oak Street in Asheville and started a florist business, later moving his greenhouse to Murdock Street. When he retired from the florist business he sold it to Middlemount Florist.

Marshall, NC
You can read more about E. E. Brown in the Brown Photography Collection finding aid, and view over 60 of his photos on the Western North Carolina Heritage website. An exhibit featuring 15 photos from the collection is on display on the top floor of Ramsey Library, in the gallery space outside of Special Collections.

French Broad River from Richmond Hill