Presumably, the Gardner Collection of Photographs, Harvard University
To the present owner, 1965-66
The view here is likely that of the lighthouse on South Farallon Island, one of the islands in the Farallon group off the coast of San Francisco, approximately 20 miles south of Point Reyes. The Farallons (literally, 'outcroppings') were given their name by Sebastian Vizcaino, who mapped them in 1603. In the 1860s, when the present photograph was taken, the islands were an important source of birds' eggs and fur seal skins--the famous 'Seal Rock,' which Watkins also photographed, is a part of this South Farallon group. Extensive 'egging' and seal hunting threatened the islands' resources by the end of the 19th century. Protected as a National Wildlife Refuge since 1969, the Farallons is now home to one of the largest seabird colonies in the United States.
Weston Naef and the Carleton Watkins Mammoth Plate Catalogue Raisonné Project locate only three other prints of this image, all in institutional collections.
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