Martin Mason Hazeltine was one of the more famous early California photographers. He was born in Vermont on July 31, 1827. As a young photographer he was quite active; studying his craft in Vermont, New York, Chicago & St. Charles, Ill., before arriving in San Francisco in December 1853.
By 1857 he was in partnership with his brother George Irving Hazeltine. They had both been Daguerrotypists from 1853-55. After stints on Mormon Island (1863), Sacramento (1864) and Nevada (1865), Hazeltine had a successful period on the Mendocino coast of Northern California. Many of his views taken in the Mendocino area were later published by such firms as J. P. Soule and Lawrence & Houseworth.
From Mendocino, Hazeltine moved on to Stockton, California, where he established his most famous studio. Working alone and with J. J. Reilly from 1868-1878, he produced his Yosemite Valley and Calaveras Big Tree views. Among these views, he photographed the John P. Soule "California" series (1870) without credit.
Later in life, he moved north, to Baker City, Oregon and became a respected "traveling photographer." During the late 80ís and 90ís he produced series of Oregon, Washington & Idaho scenery. Also during this period he issued his Yellowstone sets. The Hazeltine Yellowstone views are found in two styles. First is the more common set entitled, "On the Line of the Union Pacific Railway." Second is the far more scarce view type credited to the Baker City, Oregon, Excelsior Studio. Hazeltine died in Baker City on Feb 16, 1903.
Norris Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
[Untitled View of Lower Falls]