Gathman & Haynes Photographs

Bruce G. Gathman Studio Photography Collection

The Historical Society’s archive contains thousands of photographs and negatives. Our largest collection is the Bruce G. Gathman Studio Photography Collection. The Gathman Collection was donated in 2009 by Bruce and Mary Gathman, who operated a photography business in downtown Harbor Springs. The collection contains approximately 20,000 images made between 1947 and 2003.


The Gathmans got their start when they purchased "Photography by Haynes" from Virgil and Audrey Haynes in 1974. That purchase included all of Virgil Haynes’ commissioned works, essentially any photograph that was made for a customer. Gathman’s business carried on from 1974 until 2003, and his commissioned works included similar types of portraits: families, weddings and other events.

A full listing of negatives in the Bruce G. Gathman Collection can be seen in our online database, which is keyword searchable. Because of the size of the collection, most of the negatives have not yet been scanned. If you are interested in seeing a specific image or ordering prints, contact curator Beth Wemigwase at (231) 526-9771 or Fees for usage rights and prints apply.

Virgil D. Haynes Personal Harbor Springs Collection

Virgil D. Haynes (1915-1998) began his many years behind the camera in the 1930s when, as a hobby, he began to photograph the people and places around him. Shortly after his marriage to Audrey Davis, World War II led him into U.S. Army service in England and France where he continued his interest in photography. After completion of courses at the Detroit School of Photography, and with much urging from Audrey’s family (the Hoovers in Harbor Springs), the young couple headed north in 1946 to open a studio. Photography by Haynes became a well-known business on Main Street for 28 years.


The personal works of Virgil D. Haynes are maintained by Haynes’ daughter Cynthia, who estimates that the collection may contain 40,000 images. These personal images are not a part of the larger commercial file that was sold to the Gathmans. 

In 2023, the Historical Society acquired more than 6,000 negatives from Virgil Haynes’ personal collection of Harbor Springs scenes. This acquisition was supported through a generous gift from the Henry E. and Consuelo S. Wenger Foundation. Haynes' Harbor Springs images can be viewed in our online collections database, which is keyword searchable. A selection of classic images are also available for purchase as high quality lithographs in the History Museum Store.

If you are interested ordering prints of specific items in this collection, please contact curator Beth Wemigwase at (231) 526-9771 or Print fees apply.

Disclaimer - The Harbor Springs Area Historical Society acknowledges that there are some artifacts and images in our Collection that are culturally  sensitive, offensive or discriminatory. Some records may also include offensive language. These records do not reflect the Historical Society's current viewpoint but rather the social attitudes and circumstances of the time period in which they were created or collected. 

We encourage and welcome your feedback. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information available on our website, some content may contain errors or could have been interpreted incorrectly. Please contact us to help us confirm or clarify content found in our records.

Gathman & Haynes Photographic Collections - There are problematic and controversial images inside the Gathman and Haynes Photographic Collections - particularly those taken in the 1950s and 60s of local Naming Ceremonies and Hiawatha Pageants involving the local Anishinaabe community. These images are a snapshot of a time radically different from our own when native and non-native participants and spectators wore clothing and took part in activities that were often neither historically nor culturally accurate. 

However, these images are an important chronicle of early political and outreach efforts which the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa tribe took part in. Early pageants and naming ceremonies helped promote indigenous culture, even if it was incorrect in some aspects, and improved community relations. Building these partnerships was not easy and these images show some of the early efforts on behalf of the tribe to show that the idea of the “vanishing Indian” was wrong. That the LTBB of Odawa Indians were and still are a vibrant part of our community. We share these images because we believe they are important to gaining a full perspective on our area’s history.