By the time Alvin M. Josephy first visited Joseph, Oregon in 1955, middle-aged Josephy had dropped out of Harvard, worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood, at the age of 22 interviewed Soviet Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky and Mexico’s president Lazaro Cárdenas del Rio, worked for the New York Herald Tribune, fought in the South Pacific during WWII, recorded the landing at Guam, landed a job at TIME magazine and had four kids from two marriages.
MAUD DRAPED THE SOFT, dark cloth over her head that blocked out the rest of the world. Her eyes focused on the reflected scene, flipped upside down to be exposed onto the glass plate negative. She saw the aspen leaves shiver in the breeze, and she saw the woman’s fingers ply tulle reeds into a basket on her lap. The woman in the frame looked straight into the lens. The shutter opened—just once. Life would never be the same again.
Henry Pittock arrived in Oregon via wagon train in 1853 at just 19 years old. In 1860, as payment for back wages, he became owner of The Oregonian and subsequently married his wife, Georgiana. So began a life of entrepreneurism for Pittock and one of philanthropy for Georgiana. In 1914, the grand home designed for the Pittocks by Oregon architect Edward Foulkes was completed, and eleven family members moved into the mansion that overlooks Portland and Mt. Hood from the city’s northwestern hills. By the early 1960s, the home lay vacant. The City of Portland bought the property for $225,000 and has since restored the home to its original grandeur. Stroll the lush gardens, take in the views and tour the museum daily. pittockmansion.org