Clatworthy Bio

Fred Payne Clatworthy - Historic Photographer

Fred Clatworthy was an historic photographer who lived from l875 until l953. After graduating from law school he rode his bicycle west on a circle trip through Arizona, California, Oregon and back to Chicago. On parts of this trip donkeys carried his bicycle. He had to use several different bikes to make this long trip. After his trip to California he decided to settle in Estes Park & he began a career in photography. He owned a shop and studio in Estes called “Ye Lyttel Shop. In his shop he displayed his black and white photos, sepia and color prints. According to his daughter, Barbara Clatworthy Gish, his early black and white photos were often hand colored by Colorado women who were paid 25 cents per hand colored photo.

His photos appeared in many eastern magazines including the National Geographic, but his assortment was always brought home to Estes Park. His Estes Park Studio had the largest assortment in the country from which to make a selection. His photos represented his own original work in landscape photography. Mr. Clatworthy’s work gained distinction from his western scenery; especially photos of the Southwest, California and the Rockies. His collections of autochrome, natural color photography, were on exhibit in his studio. He gave many lectures throughout the United States, including Hawaii, and Mexico. In his lectures he showed his autochrome color photos. His autochromes were often projected onto a large silk screen for the lectures. He gave local lectures at the YMCA, local churches and many other places.

He raised his family in Estes Park and California. He and his wife had three children, one of which is living in Estes Park today. His daughter, Barbara Clatworthy Gish, has give Cheryl Pennington permission to hand color some of his old photos.  They were hand colored with oil paints in the same way as the historic photos of the past. Many of the historic Clatworthy photos were often hand colored with water colors.

The historic home of the Clatworthy family is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.  The home has been renovated by his granddaughter’s family and is in use today as their vacation home. It is a grand combination of the old and the new just as are these had colored photos.


©2011 Cheryl Pennington • Allenspark, Colorado •