Featured CollectionsCharles R. Savage Photograph Collections

Charles R. Savage Photograph Collections

Featured Collections

Charles Roscoe Savage, a British-American Latter-day Saint photographer, is arguably most famous for his photograph taken in a remote town in northern Utah: on May 10, 1869, the first transcontinental railroad to stretch across the United States was completed at Promontory Summit, and Savage was there to capture the event. While the original photograph is held at the special collections of Brigham Young University, the Church History Library holds many other original photographs taken by Savage during his career as a photographer of the western United States.


Savage was born in Southampton, England, on August 16, 1832. He joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1848 and served a mission in Switzerland from 1853 to 1855. Upon returning to England, he met Annie Adkins; the two were married ten days after immigrating to the United States via New York in 1856. While in New York, Savage started to learn photography techniques, including some then-experimental methods. For example, he took the first stereographic photographs of Long Island.

In 1860, Savage and his family immigrated to Salt Lake City, Utah. He briefly formed a photography studio with Marsena Cannon, but it only lasted a year because Cannon moved to southern Utah. Savage then joined with George Martin Ottinger to form another photography studio, Savage and Ottinger, which was in business from 1862 to 1870.

In 1870, that partnership was dissolved, and Savage opened the Pioneer Art Gallery on Salt Lake City’s Main Street. It operated until 1875, when he expanded and formed the Art Bazaar. The Art Bazaar went on to operate past Savage’s death in 1909 until it finally closed its doors in 1926.

Savage also traveled from California to Utah as a photographer with the Union Pacific Railroad, taking images of the railroad’s progress and of Western landscapes. Many of his photographs were published in magazines in the eastern United States; Savage himself published some collections of his work, such as Views of Utah and Tourists’ Guide and Pictorial Reflex of Salt Lake City and Vicinity. His studio was also open for portraits to those living in or passing through Salt Lake City.


The following is a partial list of collections of images taken by Savage or the Savage and Ottinger studio. Additional photographs and collections can be found by searching the Church History Catalog for “Charles Roscoe Savage” or “Savage and Ottinger” and limiting your search results to “Photographs.” Additional photographs taken by Savage can be found online at the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University and the Merrill-Cazier Library at Utah State University.

Photographs, circa 1866–1906 (PH 500)

Artificial collection of Savage photographs brought together by Church History Department archivists. Includes views of Salt Lake City (including the Salt Lake Temple and Tabernacle), the 1897 Pioneer Day parade, the Great Salt Lake, and Fort Douglas; the Utah cities of St. George, Manti, Logan, Park City, Ogden, and Provo; and mining operations, canyons, natural landmarks, and railroads in Utah. Also includes views of locations outside of Utah (Oregon, Idaho, Yellowstone National Park, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Wyoming) and portraits of Native Americans, including chiefs Kanosh and Washakie.

Salt Lake Temple Square area photographs, circa 1885 (PH 1060)

View of the houses on South Temple Street in Salt Lake City. Contains images of the Salt Lake Tabernacle and the northwest corner of Temple Square with rows of quarried stones in the foreground. Also includes an image of the Assembly Hall on Temple Square.

Salt Lake City photographs, circa 1870–1875 (PH 9228)

Includes cartes-de-visite for Savage’s Pioneer Art Gallery depicting views in and around Salt Lake City, Utah. Includes images of the Deseret Store, with a view looking northeast from East Temple and South Temple streets with wagons and people in foreground; a view looking southeast on East Temple between South Temple and First South streets; the residence of Daniel H. Wells on the southeast corner of South Temple and East Temple streets; a view of five men overlooking Salt Lake City from Arsenal Hill; a view of the central Salt Lake Valley looking east towards Big Cottonwood Canyon with a smokestack visible; a cabin with several people out front, presumed to be located in Little Cottonwood Canyon; a view of the Townsend House (later renamed the Continental Hotel) with children in the foreground; an image of an elderly American Indian seated in front of a tipi; and a view of Salt Lake City from Arsenal Hill looking south down East Temple Street with several children in the foreground.

Nauvoo Legion muster photographs, 1865 (PH 216)

Cartes-de-visite views of a muster near Salt Lake City. Includes views of Major Ladd’s artillery, the officers of the Third Regiment, Croxall’s band, Eardley’s band, and the Third Regiment martial band.

Salt Lake City photographs, circa 1867 (PH 1794)

Contains views looking south from Arsenal Hill, east along South Temple Street from the Council House, and east toward Mount Olympus. Views depict the Tithing Office grounds, the Lion House, and the Daniel H. Wells residence.

C.R. Savage Photographs, circa 1895–1910 (PH 10246)

Photographs taken by C. R. Savage, primarily in his studio in Salt Lake City. Contains portraits of family members, including his daughter and son-in-law, Luacine S. and J. Reuben Clark, and his grandchildren Louise C. Bennion, Marianne C. Sharp, J. Reuben Clark III, and Luacine C. Fox.

Savage and Ottinger collection of studio portraits, circa 1862–1872 (PH 200)

This is a collection of cartes-de-visite photographs consisting of portraits of General Authorities, actors, actresses, American Indians, and unidentified individuals. This is an artificial collection, gathered and organized by the Church Historical Department.

Savage and Ottinger views of Salt Lake City, circa 1863–1864 (PH 1777)

Views of President Young’s residences, including the Lion House, Beehive House, Eagle Gate, and schoolhouse; Heber C. Kimball’s residence and Tithing Office grounds; Overland Mail and Overland Stage buildings; and Salt Lake Theatre. Some of these views are also available in PH 300. Photographs inscribed by Aaron Stein of the Overland Mail Company.

Salt Lake Temple photographs, 1911 (PH 600)

Views of the interior of the temple taken by Ralph G. Savage, Charles’s son, under the direction of James E. Talmage. Set includes views of Joseph and Hyrum Smith statues on Temple Square. Images made from original glass plate negatives. The original numbering system and captions have been retained in the register, but some of the photographs are no longer extant, as indicated in the register.

Top image: Joining of Rails, Promontory Point; May 10, 1869. Courtesy L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602.