Shadow catcher: Valley connection with famed photograper leads to museum, theater show

It is the Snoqualmie Valley’s connection with the Curtis brothers, Edward and Asahel, that brings a rare performance to North Bend this week. The two Curtis brothers were active as photographers, promoters and documentarians in the early 20th century. Asahel’s work took him from Snoqualmie Falls to Eastern Washington and the Klondike. The Asahel Curtis trail over the Pass is named for him.

It is the Snoqualmie Valley’s connection with the Curtis brothers, Edward and Asahel, that brings a rare performance to North Bend this week.

The two Curtis brothers were active as photographers, promoters and documentarians in the early 20th century.

Asahel’s work took him from Snoqualmie Falls to Eastern Washington and the Klondike. The Asahel Curtis trail over the Pass is named for him.

Edward found a different passion. For 30 years, he crossed the continent, photographing and documenting the vanishing ways of 80 Native American tribes.

His work is the subject of a book, “Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher,” by Seattle author Timothy Egan. A live reading for the stage, put on by Seattle’s Book-It Repertory Theatre and sponsored by 4Culture, comes to the North Bend Theatre, 7 p.m. Thurday, Dec. 12. North Bend Theatre and Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum were asked to partner and host the event by 4Culture, because of the Valley’s link to the Curtis brothers.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for our four organizations, the Historical Museum, North Bend Theatre, Book-It Theatre and 4Culture, to work together to bring a great program to the community,” local historian Cristy Lake told the Record.

Edward Curtis and his work have enabled future generations to have access to images of many people and their ways of life that would otherwise have never been recorded, says Lake. It’s also a fascinating story about a man and his life’s work over a hundred years ago, Lake added.

Asahel is far better known here in the Valley, with many of his Snoqualmie Falls photographs, and the Asahel Curtis trail on the Snoqualmie Pass, than his brother Edward. But they both made an impact, says Lake.

Spanning 30 years and an entire continent, Book-It’s production is meant to bring Curtis’ work vividly to life.

“I have seen two other of their performances, one for the anniversary of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and one for the anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair and they were both wonderful,” said Lake.

• Admission is $5.

 


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Lariat. Courtesy photo
2020 Ford Ranger SuperCrew Lariat | Car review

Ford’s venerable compact Ranger pickup went away for a while. But it… Continue reading

Courtesy photo
Sign up for 2020 ‘Run to Rwanda’ Fun Run slated for September

Clyde Hill resident Sophie Sharp, an 11th grade student at The Overlake… Continue reading

Washington State Fair cancelled

COVID-19 outbreak claims another event

TLG Motion Pictures CEO Erik Bernard and TLG founder Courtney LeMarco on a set. Photo courtesy TLG Motion Pictures.
Local production company seeking film, TV pitches from young minority creatives

The Big Pitch competition, put on by TLG Motion Pictures (“Hoarders”), started about six months ago.

Local musicians hold virtual benefit concert for mental health

The stream-a-thon supports NAMI Eastside and nonprofit Hold Your Crown

Waste reduction from home

A monthly column from Waste Management.

Medic One Foundation’s Gratitude Meals offer support to first responders, local businesses

The initiative provides hearty lunches to first responders staffing the COVID-19 testing sites as they work to test their colleagues.

UW students create Spira app to gather COVID-19 data

The app was created to screen for respiratory diseases but the teen creators shifted their focus once the COVID-19 outbreak began.

KCLS is stepping up its commitment to patrons

A monthly column about the King County Library System.

Earth Month 2020 and COVID-19

A Waste Management column about caring for the planet and each other.

‘Don’t assume it can’t happen to you’

Federal Way resident Evelyn Allcorn shares story of her husband’s battle with COVID-19 after he tested positive on March 28.