Gertrude Southworth
Dr. & Gertrude Southworth Clamming
10" wide

8” x 10”


Large format limited edition print available for $250.

c. 1900, C-print
19-1/4” x 19-1/4”
Edition of 10

This photograph is of Dr. and Gertrude Southworth digging at the clam patch on Brighton Beach. Photographer Gertrude Southworth left an invaluable legacy to Bolinas through her photographs. Historian Phil Frank noted that out of some 500 images, Gertrude Southworth only appears in five of them.

The Southworths were much loved by the Bolinas community. Gertrude immigrated to the United States in the 1800s and was trained as a home health nurse. The wife of Dr. Stephen Southworth, a kindly and wealthy dentist in San Rafael, hired Gertrude to care for the doctor. Gertrude often traveled with the family to their summer house in Bolinas, one of the first to be built on Terrace Avenue in the late 1880s. Two years after Mrs.Southworth died, Dr. Southworth and Gertrude were married. They lived together for 32 happy years until he died at age 95, in the 1930s. Much of their life was spent in Bolinas where Gertrude’s photographs show many of their family outings. Clamming was a common part of the Bolinas experience in those days.

From the late 1880s through the 1930s, Gertrude Southworth used her Kodak camera to capture images of the events and details of life that today present us with an invaluable window onto Bolinas history. She had a gifted eye for composition, light and shadow, and what brought out the magic in a photograph.

Little is known about the early life of Gertrude Rice-Coles Southworth except that she immigrated to the United states in the 1800s and was trained as a home nurse. She came to Bolinas with Dr. and Mrs. Southworth, serving as an assistant and nurse. Dr. Southworth was a dentist who was well liked in the community. Two years after Dr. Southworth’s wife died, he and Gertrude entered into a marriage that lasted 32 years. Gertrude died in 1946 at the age of 84. People remembered her fondly as a neighbor who reached out to everyone.

In the late 1990s Amy Edwards Jordan, a lively sharp minded woman in her nineties, came across a box of more then 500 Southworth negatives that had been preserved by her brother Parker Edwards. Amy and Parker had spent a lifetime coming to Bolinas for summers and weekends, and knew the Southworth family. Amy Edwards gifted the negatives to the Museum to be preserved for the community. Her images capture the changing times: the dress and styles, horse drawn carriages changing to car travel.

Small format, $20

Large format, $250