“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Twin Falls in Twin Falls County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)

Clarence Bisbee

Clarence Bisbee Marker, panel 1 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 15, 2018
1. Clarence Bisbee Marker, panel 1
Captions: (left-side, top to bottom) Bisbee's Studio (three views); Main Street 1910, Five Points Store; Blue Lakes Blvd. 1906; First House in Twin Falls 1904; Perrine Hotel 1910; Prize Potato Field; (center, top to bottom) Flag Day June 17, 1910; Twin Falls City Park 1912; Shoshone Falls Hotel; Clarence Bisbee (on right).
Inscription.  (Three panels are found at the Bisbee kiosk:)
The Bisbee Collection
The earliest dreamers knew how to sell Magic Valley: you just has to see it.
By 1904 Twin Falls was a real city with platted streets, basic services, permanent buildings, a canal company with hopes of making a million acres productive and a newspaper. What it needed were merchants, professionals, farmers, and laborers - but they were far away without the means to see it for themselves.
Twin Falls News publisher, Charles Diehl, knew just the man to show it to them: Clarence E. Bisbee, a man he remembered from photography school in Illinois. Encouraged by Diehl, 30-year-old Bisbee arrived in Shoshone by train in January of 1906 and proceeded to Twin Falls by wagon.
Bisbee first worked from a tent, and then a brick studio at the corner of Second Ave. E. and Second St. E. (now Jerome St.). Clarence Bisbee himself was a skilled technician who ultimately became a force in the artistic live of Twin Falls.
His subjects were mostly promotional offering proof that schools, churches, businesses, and other necessities
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of civilization were established in the small town on the remote high desert. He recorded Magic Valley economic development, social life and landmarks, but mostly the area's striking topography -- towns, the Snake River, the canyon, the falls, other natural features and irrigation systems from dams to ditches.
Agriculture was the second most frequently photographed subject, emphasizing modern machinery and abundant harvests of oversized fruits and vegetables. Although disinterested in commercial portrait photography, Bisbee's photos include people and many scenes of city life, fairs, parks, holiday celebrations and recreation. And there were images of businesses: imposing buildings in series from cornerstone to completion, or interiors of helpful clerks posing with fully stocked shelves, or inventories of the latest model cars, or illustrations of delivered vehicles at the ready.
By the time he retired in 1939, Bisbee's priceless record of the prosperity of Twin Falls had failed to bring him personal financial security. At his death in 1954 his life's work was left behind mostly in the form of glass-plate negatives. Local residents Gus Kelker, Dewitt R. Young, and Dr. Wallace Bond purchased the collection from Bisbee's heirs and donated it to the Twin Falls Historical Society
The collection consists of more than 2,350 images on glass-plate negatives maintained
Clarence Bisbee Collection, panel 2 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 15, 2018
2. Clarence Bisbee Collection, panel 2
Captions: (center top to bottom right) Shoshone Falls 1932; Trails to Sun Valley 1912; Log Stairs - Shoshone Falls; Auger Falls; Shoshone Falls; Sturgeon; Rock Creek Bridge; Pillar Falls; Twin Falls County Game; Honey Comb Cave; Balance Rock.
by the Twin Falls Public Library. Through their efforts in conjunction with Blip Studio, the collection has been fully catalogued, permanent archival storage has been secured, and public access is now provided through multiple media.
Few communities possess a treasure of this magnitude. Purely as an architectural record, the Bisbee collection is invaluable. But this collection is so much more: it is a nearly complete record of the first 30 years of the life of Twin Falls.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
Location. 42° 35.617′ N, 114° 24.121′ W. Marker is near Twin Falls, Idaho, in Twin Falls County. Marker is on Champlin Road near North 3339 East. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4155 Shoshone Falls Grade, Twin Falls ID 83301, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Shoshone Falls (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Shoshone Falls (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Shoshone Falls (within shouting distance of this marker); Shoshone Falls Project (approx. ¼ mile away); Before there were potatoes, there was GOLD (approx. 2.3 miles away); History Through the Eyes of a Camera
Clarence Bisbee Collection, panel 3 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 15, 2018
3. Clarence Bisbee Collection, panel 3
Captions: (top center to bottom left) Grubbing Sage Brush; Electric Train to Shoshone Falls 1913; Oregon Trail Tours; Winter Fingers; (Oregon Trail) Monument; River Ferry 1912 Above Shoshone Falls; First Passenger Train - Hollister 1909; Hansen Bridge; Perrine Bridge 1927; The Blue Lakes Bridge.
(approx. 2.3 miles away); Snake River Canyon Gold Rush (approx. 2.3 miles away); Robert Evel Knievel (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Twin Falls.
More about this marker. The kiosk is located in Shoshone Falls Park at the end of Champlin Road.
Clarence Bisbee Collection Kiosk, back left image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 15, 2018
4. Clarence Bisbee Collection Kiosk, back left
Credits. This page was last revised on October 26, 2018. It was originally submitted on October 26, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 285 times since then and 118 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 26, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Dec. 8, 2023