Native American portrait by Gilman L. Eastman, Portland, Oregon

Here is a stunning Native American portrait from Portland, Oregon.

Native American by G.L. Eastman
Native American by G.L. Eastman

I’m showing the back and front separately because the image is just so nice I wanted to let it stay larger on the page, and I also wanted to keep the text on the verso very clear because it’s so specific and unusual. It really speaks to late 19th century business style for a custom service business.

Verso, G.L. Eastman portrait
Verso, G.L. Eastman portrait

This photo would have been taken between 1886-1900, my guess is the earlier part of that period based on the style of the mounting card. Again guessing, this looks like Chinook tribal decoration but I could be completely ass-over-teakettle wrong, so if anyone has a better idea or knows specifically (and even better, if you can identify the sitter!!!) please let me know!

Here is what I found about Prof. G.L. Eastman in Portland:

R. L. Polk’s Portland City Directory:
1881: I didn’t find any reference to G. L. EASTMAN.
1887, page 202: EASTMAN, George L., artist, 229 5th.
1889, page 234: EASTMAN, Gilman L., photographer, 283 1st, res same.
1890, page 223: EASTMAN, Gilman L., photographer, 283 1st and 169 3rd, res 283 1st.
1897, page 257: EASTMAN, Gilman L., photographer and printer, 203 1/2 1st and 167 4th, res 203 1/2 1st.
1903 and 1904 didn’t have anything on EASTMAN the photographer.

1900 Census, Idaho, Ada County, Boise, Wd 2, E.D. 2, Sheet 10B, line 93:
EASTMAN, Gilman L., Boarder, White, Male, born Oct. 1848, 51, Married, 7 years, born in Maine, father born in Maine, mother born in Maine, occupation Photographer.

U.S. National Home for Disable Volunteer Soldiers 1866-1938, Sawtelle, Los Angeles County, California.
#13021, Gilman L. EASTMAN
Military History:
Private, E. Company, 30th ME Inf.
Enlistment: 19 July 1864. Augusta, Maine
Discharge: 20 Aug. 1865 Savanah, GA.
Domestic History:
Born in Maine. Age 68. Height 5′ 10″.
Religion: Protestant. Occupation: Photographer.
Residence subsequent to discharge: Salt Lake, Utah. Married. Nearest living relative: Mrs Minnie EASTMAN.
Date of Admission: 6 Apr. 1915; 26 Sept. 1917; 5 Sept. 1918; 10 July 1919.
Discharge and Transfer: 31 Jan. 1917; 6 Oct. 1917; 9 Oct 1918. In the same column was a stamped date “Sept. 17, 1924”.
Pension Certificate: 1078,985.

1910 Census Utah, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City, E.D. 145, Sheet 1A, stamped #216, lines 88-89, shows Gilman L. EASTMAN as age 62, a photographer born in Maine, with 23 year old wife named Minnie and daughter Minnie L. age 11 months. It also shows they hav been married 2 years and this is Gilman’s 5th marriage.

1920 Census, California, Los Angeles County, Malibu, Dist 486, Sheet 18A, stamped #24, line 38. in the National Military Home.
Gilman L. EASTMAN is listed as an inmate, born in Maine, age 73 (see census for additional information).

If anyone is interested in this Gilman L. EASTMAN, there are several Ancestry Family Trees posted by Ancestry members for Gilman.One of these postings had several sources attached to their information, some of which are above. They also show the name for his middle initial L. and the names of his parents and names of other spouses. Date and place of birth and death are also listed.

Based on the above information, your G. L. EASTMAN, photographer, was Gilman L. EASTMAN. He was a photographer in Portland, Oregon, possibly from about the end of 1886 until at least 1897, and possibly a year or two more. He was in Boise, Idaho for the 1900 census.
[Information gathered for city directories was usually done at the end of the prior to the year of the directory in order to be printed in time to issue the first part of the year for which the information was gathered.]

2 thoughts on “Native American portrait by Gilman L. Eastman, Portland, Oregon”

    1. I had suspicions they were related but did not know for sure. That’s a pretty decent remove, 6th cousin. Still, makes for an interesting story. Thanks for the comment!

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