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Eastman Studios History
Jervie Henry Eastman was born, July 20, 1880, in White Cloud, Michigan. His family moved to northern California in 1886. In 1898, Eastman launched his photographic career in Sisson, California (later named Mount Shasta), as a view photographer. He became a partner in the Shasta View Company in 1907. Eastman lost his entire stock of plates and cards in a fire in 1912.
In 1921, Jervie Henry Eastman moved to Susanville and established Eastman & Company as a commercial photography and post card studio. In 1936 he hired Mirl Simmons, a young photographer from Hillsborough, West Virginia, to help with the postcard photography. In 1947, Eastman and Simmons became partners. The business had expanded to provide photographic supplies to southeastern Oregon and studios in Westwood, Weed, and Susanville.
Eastman retired from photography in 1959 and sold his share of the business to Simmons. He died in Susanville on February 11, 1969.
Simmons ran the Eastman Studios until 1980, when he retired and sold the business to John and Shirley Castle. Mirl Simmons died on April 27, 1987, in Jamestown, California.
The Eastman's Originals Collection (the historical postcards and negatives) was sold to Anne Fisher in 1982. She managed the collection until her retirement in 1994. She donated the collection to the University of California, Davis, in 1994.
Eastman Originals Digitized Films
Special Collections has digitized films from the Eastman Originals Collection through our participation in the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP), a grant funded project that is administered by the California Preservation Program. The films, which are of scenes of Lassen, Modoc, Shasta, Tehama, and Trinity Counties, are hosted on the Internet Archive as part of the California Light and found Collection and can be viewed here.