My Great Grandfather’s Incredible Postcard Art! O.T. Frasch Was Seattle’s Legendary Photographer!

Welcome To Seattle, Washington!

Located in the northwest corner of the US, Seattle is where I grew up, taking for granted spectacular scenery like this on a daily basis:

However, thanks to my Mom and Sister, I am learning that my family history includes a legendary Photographer who captured the city as a work of historical art!

Here are photos I took Of Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market:

Except that my Great Grandfather O.T. Frasch beat me by more than one hundred years:

You see, my Grandfather took literally thousands of photgraphs that became postcards, which at the time was a piece of art – so, if yo were wondering what Seattle’s 2nd avenue looked like shortly after the turn of the 20th century, here you go:

How did I uncover all of this? Well, my Mom has told us stories of course, and then my sister recently went on a day trip to the Point Defiance Zoo and Park south of Seattle:

My sister called Point Defiance “a jewel of a park with forest, trails, a fort, gardens, zoo and aquarium.”

Near the end of her visit, she happened upon this sign:

She read the information, then noticed something.

And there it was, a picture of my grandmother, Elsie Chapman as a little girl in the early 1900’s, standing with her mother, my great grandmother.

The photo was likely taken by my great grandfather, O.T. Frasch!

You can see my Sister’s whole story of her trip by clicking on my story here:

This led me to head to a web site is dedicated to the history and photos of Otto Theodore Frasch, better known as “O.T. Frasch” for the way he signed his real photo postcards of Seattle and surrounding areas of the state of Washington from about 1907 to 1915. It is maintained by the children and grandchildren of his first daughter, Elsie Frasch.

Elsie was my Grandmother.

My Sister has been discovering my Great Grandfgather’s photos all over Seattle – moments that are personal, and moments that capture historical aspects of Seattle, like this:

This is the regrade of Seattle’s Fourth Avenue in 1907. This photo, and many more, exist on the official O.T. Frasch website, which you can explore here:

My Mom recently gave me a stack of his work, and I plan to share more of it going forward: gorgeous art that is also historically significant.

And that was an early photo of my Grandmother, so here is one of my Grandfather:

This is one of two times he was the cover of the Seattle Times Sunday magazine…more on his life and career still to come. My Mom has shared a lot of great material that I plan to condense into separate stories.

As for my Sister, she explores so much of the Pacific Northwest, and captures it isn gorgeous photos like this one:

Imagine an idyllic picnic with Mt.Rainier watching over you – just one of the great adventures ahead if you take a look at her website by clicking here:

Yes, she shares pictures of her two great Cats as well!

As for me, I got to see some magical Pacific Northwest beauty when I was there last fall:

A ferry ride across Puget Sound brings all sorts of opportunities to get photos…and when you take a trip to the small town of Brinnon, you meet some unusual citizens as well:

The Elk Are Out!

I came across dozens of wild Elk, happily grazing on the neighbor’s lawn and more…you can see more of this trip to the Olympic Peninsula by clicking on my story here:

I drove down the Oregon Coast on a trip from Seattle to Los Angeles with my wife a few years ago, and if you haven’t done it, you are missing some truly spectacular scenery:

Forget the coastline, I’m talking about the Tillamook Cheese Factory!

Yes, you can take a tour and eat some terrific cheese too!

Click here to see more of Oregon’s spectacular coastline:

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Categories: Art, Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Memoirs, nature, Pop Culture, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

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22 replies

  1. John- This is super cool! Looking forward to the next installment. And thanks for reminding me that I have to get up to Seattle one of these days (just the Tlllamook cheese factory is reason enough).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The history and memories are wonderful. I love the photo of your great grandmother and grandmother. You are on a wonderful roll of finding your great grandfather’s photography. That’s a very good thing!


  3. That is so cool and what. A wonderful family legacy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a cool post! Very intriguing art pieces and a cool look into life!


  5. I love old photographs, John. The one of you grandmother and great-grandmother is excellent and what a great find.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh wow, how interesting! I love it when people discover something like this in their family history. There were little bits that were known but then it wasn’t until seeing that board that things really took off… so if it weren’t for your sister going to the zoo and seeing what she did, you might never have found out? I think you take after your great grandfather with your photography skills, John!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I LOVE this post and your sister´s pictures are great, as are yours. The photo of your great-grandmother and grandmother is precious! We rode from Vancouver to California on our Honda Goldwing a few years ago. Incredible scenery along the Oregan coast and viewing it from the back of a motorcycle was the best! A cool fact, my maiden name is Frisch, very close to Frasch. Would your great grandfather have been German or Eastern European? I look forward to learning more about your family history.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Reblogged this on Cats and Trails and Garden Tales and commented:
    My brother has a great story on his blog today with some early Seattle photos taken by our great grandfather, photographer, O.T. Frasch. Check it out! 🙂


  9. Wonderful family history John! Thanks for the shoutout too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have seen some of those photos on Susanne’s blog, John. Such a great family connection with the past!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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