George Fricke bought the studio at 510 Main Street from Charles Emery in 1891. Fricke was a born in Germany in 1867 and it was there he learned photography. He worked in studios in New York and St. Louis, among others, before moving to Cañon City. In an ad in the Cañon City Record on September 25, 1895, it was stated that 1,000 photos were turned out the gallery per week. The company also kept a stock of frames, albums, and moulding for purchase. Fricke’s most noted work of the area are the photos he took of the Cripple Creek fire in 1896.
According to an ad posted on July 4, 1901, also Fricke took photos of buildings around the city for the Cañon City Record. He was selling prints to anyone interested, especially those who might like to show off their home.
Fricke, his wife Mamie, and their son Harold moved away to Utah in 1902 before eventually settling in Aberdeen, Washington. In 1927, he came back to Cañon City for a visit with his son. Fricke owned mining property in Cripple Creek and planned to spend the summer there with frequent visits to Cañon City. Since moving away, Fricke had only visited one other time while on his way to Europe in 1910.
Fricke passed away at age 80 in 1947 and is buried in Fern Hill Cemetery in Aberdeen, Washington.
This is part of a series of early local photographers in the area for National Photography Month. Follow the links for more blogs.
The information presented in this article is compiled using research conducted by the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.