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Group Description

150 years ago the California Geological Survey, under State Geologist Josiah Whitney, began their exploration of the natural resources of the brand new state of California. From 1860 to 1864 they traveled over 14,000 miles around the state, mostly on foot or muleback, in a state much of which was barely known (and some completely unknown) to white people. The field leader, William H. Brewer, described their travels in letters to his family; those letters, which were later collected and published as Up and Down California, are the most comprehensive portrait of California at that time.

This group is for modern-day photos of the places they visited in their travels around California--photos that convey a sense of place, and collectively create a visual record of how much (or how little) those places have changed since the Whitney Survey visited them 150 years ago.

Also...since Brewer was the botanist as well as field leader, and collected over 2,000 plant specimens in his travels, photos of California native plants (of species collected by Brewer) are welcome.

>>California photos only (with a couple of exceptions: Aurora and the Comstock area in Nevada).

>>Within California, only those areas visited by the Whitney Survey. (Here's an itinerary of their travels, and here are maps showing the first 9 months of their travels: southern California and the central coast.)

>>Also, photos of plant species that Brewer collected along the way (the California Consortium of Herbaria database contains most of Brewer's records; search for 'brewer' in the Collector field).

>>Photos should be tagged with the date (mm-dd-yyyy) the Survey visited the place in your photo (I can do a lot of the tagging, so don't sweat this if you aren't sure).

Additional Info

  • Accepted content types: Photos, Videos, Images, Art, Screenshots
  • Accepted safety levels: Safe
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