Where Exactly Was Mark Twain Photographed?

This historic photograph shows a young Mark Twain in top hat signing autographs at Piedmont White Sulphur Springs in 1867. We're asking readers to help us pinpoint exactly where it was taken. Do you know?

In 1867, famous English photographer Eadweard Muybridge photographed famous American writer Mark Twain at "Piedmont White Sulphur Springs."

The photo, from the Joseph R. Knowland collection of the Oakland History Room at the Oakland Public Library, shows Twain in top hat signing autographs. An arrow pointing to Twain was added by graphic artists at the Oakland Tribune, according to library records.

Muybridge is perhaps best remembered for his successive-frame photography capturing human and animal movement, and is credited with proving that a running horse can have all four hooves in the air at once.

We're asking readers to help us pinpoint the exact location of where this photo was taken. If you know or have a good guess, please tell us in comments.

Charles Burress February 16, 2013 at 08:06 PM
That's a much better version! Thanks for posting that.
Charles Burress February 16, 2013 at 08:11 PM
The Smithsonian catalog lists a slide of 1900 postcard showing the grotto, though I did not see an image of it: http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID:siris_arc_201208. And former Piedmont City Clerk Ann Swift says it can be seen "on the front cover of the original 1878 prospectus for lots in Piedmont Park, the original city subdivision."
Warren Crandall February 19, 2013 at 02:28 AM
Steve Berl I have in fact seen other photos that include the trellis/gazebo in this picture. The exact spot is still identifiable today if you go there and look around for a few minutes.
JayR February 22, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Though it doesn't pinpoint the spot, this 1877 map of the Oakland area does show the White Sulfur Springs (if you zoom in, there appears to be a short dashed line directly left of the lettering, which presumably is the actual "sulfur springs") http://imgzoom.cdlib.org/Fullscreen.ics?ark=ark:/13030/kt9g5028qh/z1&&brand=calisphere
JayR February 22, 2013 at 07:19 PM
This georeferenced version would place it in Piedmont Park, above the field. http://teczno.com/old-oakland/


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