Wisconsin Death Trip Photographs
Wisconsin Death Trip

This set includes a selection of photographs produced by Charles Van Schaick between 1890 and 1910 that were used in the book Wisconsin Death Trip by Michael Lesy (1973). The book has been reprinted several times and in 1999 James Marsh directed a film adaptation of the book, which was filmed in Wisconsin.

About the Photographer

Born in 1852 near Rochester, New York, Charles Van Schaick moved with his family to the vicinity of Portage where he later taught school. He learned photography after moving to Jackson County, and in 1885 opened a studio in his wife's home town, Black River Falls. There he was town photographer for fifty-seven years. His work includes both studio portraits and richly varied and intimate snapshots of small-town life.

There are approximately 5,600 glass plates in the Charles Van Schaick collection preserved at the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Jackson County Historical Society. WHS Images is in the process of mounting the entire collection on its website. To view the Van Schaick images currently available online, click here »
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