History and Legacy
Maternal grandfather of artist Garric Simonsen, Eric Holger Pearson was born October 5, 1901 in Lit, Sweden. His father Erik Andreas Perrson emigrated to the United States on May 12, 1903, settling in Portland, OR, and began working as a carpenter in logging camps near Astoria, OR, and Longview, WA. In 1910 E. H. Pearson reunited with his father in Portland, Oregon. The family lived and worked in logging camps, eventually settling in Seattle’s Mountlake area in 1923. E.H. Pearson graduated from the University of Washington as an electrical engineer and worked for the Bell Telephone Company.
In 1929, he and his newlywed bride Mary Elsie Mueller-Pearson began a lifetime shaping conservation efforts in Seattle's Puget Sound. They worked closely with friend and neighbor Emily Haig (former president of Seattle Audubon Society), and helped establish the Washington Park Arboretum in the Montlake residential district in Seattle. The pair were also active members of the Seattle Mountaineers, the Nature Conservancy (Washington Chapter), Seattle Girl Scouts and the Washington Arboretum Foundation. Their collection of photos share snippets of the joy Mary and E.H. Pearson experienced as they explored Western Washington’s backcountry in the early 1930’s.
With help from related family, historians and academicians, this site will proudly reveal the extend of a collection containing 1000's of never before seen photographs. The photographs date late-nineteenth century (Swedish) to early twentieth century (USA). A majority of the photographic imagery depicts everyday life in developing Pacific Northwest wilderness and Swedish/American ancestry.
In addition to the photographic documentation there is also a substantial sum of historical artifact and ephemera; which includes 1000's of correspondence letters and postcards, camera equipment, mountaineering equipment and hand-written journals.
If you are interested in finding out more about the collection please contact us via email.
Erik Holger Pearson was born October 5, 1901 in Lit, Sweden and emigrated to Pacific Northwest logging camps in 1910. E. H. Pearson was a lifelong mountaineer and carried his large format Graflex camera everywhere. This site displays a handpicked selection of photographs from a collection containing hundreds of original large format prints, real photo postcards, maps and actual artifacts.
These never before seen works are among some of the rarest photographs of Pacific Northwest history. They can be considered a visual account of a time period when mountains and forests were still wild and untamed. They tell the story of everyday life in early century mountaineering and Northwest timber. Each photograph has been digitally preserved and catalogued by the decedents of the Pearson legacy.