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Colorado River Boarding School photo album

Identifier: C Photo Collection 418

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the photographs (ca.1895-1904) in the album record the activities of the Indian students at the Colorado River Indian Reservation boarding school. Additional photographs document the buildings at the school, local scenery and terrain, class photos, school staff, excursions, Mohave Indian life and customs. Many photographs are notated with some individuals identified. The teacher in many of the class and group photographs is probably Anna E. Sinclair (b. November 1861; Iowa) from Chicago, Ill. She was the sister-in-law of the school's Indian Agent, Charles S. McNichols. A number of photographs were taken by L[ouis]. W. Sinclair (b.January 1865; Ind.), the farmer at the boarding school.


  • between 1895-1904

Language of Materials

Material is in English unless otherwise noted.

Conditions Governing Access

Contact Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library, Denver, Colo.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the author of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Fort Mojave was originally named Camp Colorado when it was established on April 19, 1859 during the Mohave War (1858-1859). Located near Parker, Ariz. on the east bank of the Colorado River at the head of Mohave Valley in Yuma County, the Colorado River Indian Reservation was established near the fort in 1870. Beginning in August 1890, the Department of the Interior began an intensive program of assimilation and established the Colorado River Boarding School at the abandoned fort. The facility provided industrial education for resevation and other non-reservation based Indian children. The students were taught a variety of skills: farming, horse care and management, sewing, cooking and domestic skills. They also participated in a number of non-Indian related social activities such as baseball and holiday celebrations. Students were discourged from speaking their native language and were taught to read and write English. The facility closed in 1931.


1 photo box(es)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift; Unknown; 2012.


Title supplied by cataloger.


Album has been disassembled.


Handwritten title on paper pasted on first page of album: In and about Colorado River Boarding School for Mojave Indians, in Yuma Co., Arizona, 86 mi. south of Needles, Cal.

Table of Contents

Photographs: pg.1 Girl's home, dinning [sic] hall -- pg.2 Looking south from school -- [Colorado River?] -- pg.3 [Rock formation] -- [Saguaro cactus] -- pg.4 [Girl's & boy's class photos] -- pg.5 [Boy's class photo] -- [Students, teachers, staff] -- pg.6 [Mohave Indian girls in traditional dress] -- pg.7-8 [Staff? picnic] -- pg.9 [Man with carriage and Saguro cactus] -- [Two woman] -- pg. 10 Office -- [Sky & Clouds] -- pg.11 [Decorative crafts] -- pg. 13 [Teacher with male students] -- [Boy's archery class] -- pg. 14 [Groups of female students] -- pg.15 [Group of girls] -- [Mohave girls with mother?] -- pg.16 The jerky boys. Hugh, Fred & Eddie -- The jerky line -- pg.17 [Processing jerky] -- Fred Holmes -- pg.18 The girl's home -- [Family outing] -- pg.19 [Old Mohave Indian woman] -- [Mohave Indian Man, Anglo Woman] -- pg.20-21 [4th of July celebration] -- [Student body] -- pg.22 [Indian woman with long hair] -- [Two women] -- [Two girls] -- pg.23 Cremation of the last chief of the Mojave -- A lap full of mesquite beans -- pg.25 They were pulled up the river -- [Colorado river?] -- pg.26 Men on the farm -- [Mohave Indian groups] -- pg.27 [Student body] -- Employee mess hall, 1896 -- [Mohave Indian girls, children] -- A cremation -- pg.28 Employees going out for vacation -- pg.29 [Group of female students by a water pump] -- Arizona -- Cal. from opposite shore -- pg.30 Swimming in the Colorado -- Blanche Elder -- Barney & Eddie -- pg.31 Leesh Havocmohona, Ina Sands; out of school -- Tom Black -- pg. 32 In the school room garden -- In the school garden, cabbage & corn -- pg.33 Bead workers; Blanche Elder, Ruby Bwckbe -- pg.34 [Colorado river/] -- [At the river bank] -- pg.35 [Colorado RIver?] -- [On the river] -- pg.36 Chief of poliece [sic] + his home -- pg.37 Comodore [sic] -- Hepah -- pg.38 The farmer's home: Bessie the lady, Hookawalla, Manatabe-asst. farmer -- [At the river bank] -- pg.40 Working on irrigation ditch -- Blind Antone -- pg.40 Children's picnicing [sic] -- Sugar Eye's home -- pg.41 Arizona cactus -- pg.42 Giving out the junk -- [C. R. boy's baseball team].

Processing Information

Physical condition: photographs are in poor to good condition; fading, creases, staining and adhesive are in evidence.

Finding Aid for the Colorado River Boarding School photo album
Finding Aid prepared from MARC data.
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States