|Albumen print, Cabinet card, early 1890s|
Printed on mount recto "Moscow Art Studio, Moscow, Idaho." Printed mount verso is "From H. Erikson, Photographer, Moscow, I. T."
Nice Cabinet view of an unidentified 1 1/2 horse "town" in the arid west. The specialists at the Latah County (Idaho) Historical Society are unanimous in saying this is not the town of Moscow, Idaho.
There is a lot going on here: two of the signs decipherable on the street's buildings read "Hotel Gregory" and "The Homestead Bar." Almost every building has one or more of what appear to be American flags on full display (the Hotel Gregory is festooned with them), one building has what looks like patriotic bunting above the first-story windows and front door, and more flags. (Idaho attained statehood on July 3, 1890, so the flags and bunting might have done double-duty in celebrating Statehood Day and then the Nation's Independence Day on July 4.) There are quite a few people scattered about, and a curious thing in the middle of the street (right middle-ground) surrounded by a lighter-patch of (disturbed?) dirt that might be a trough or well.
Henry Erikson, a German immigrant, operated as the sole proprietor of the Moscow Art Studio for 6 years starting in 1884. In 1890, J.A. Hanson joined Erikson as a partner in the business, staying into 1892. After Hanson's departure, Erikson continued to operate the studio through the turn of the century, and often his mounts were marked "Erichson" as an alternate and cryptic spelling of his surname.