Oakley H. Bailey
American, 1843–1947
Published by Oakley H. Bailey, Boston




After partnering with Thaddeus Fowler in Milwaukee during the early 1870s, Oakley Bailey moved in 1875 to Cambridge, Massachusetts, his wife's hometown, and set up his own lithography firm in Boston. Although Connecticut and Massachusetts towns attracted him the most at that point, he did manage to publish as many as twenty-five views of central and eastern Pennsylvania locations during the mid-1880s.

One of the more interesting aspects of this view of Lewisburg is the reminder, by way of the raft about to pass beneath the covered bridge in the foreground, of just how critical the Susquehanna River was to the lumber business. Northern Pennsylvania held vast reserves of old-growth timber, including plentiful stands of some of the finest white pine ever known, that were felled, almost to the last tree, to fuel construction up and down the east coast. The Susquehanna, particularly the West Branch, provided the means of transporting nearly all of it to market. The logs were lashed together in narrow but long—some measuring 100 feet or more-vehicles called spar rafts, which the raftsmen would manipulate downstream with two tillers mounted fore and aft. The raft here, once it passed safely under the bridge, would next prepare to "shoot the chute" in the Lewisburg dam, one of perhaps a half dozen built from Williamsport to Port Deposit, Maryland, to keep the water deep enough for transportation.

Adapted from the entry written by Judith Hansen O'Toole for the 1980 Pennsylvania Prints exhibition catalogue.


Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, Partial gift and purchase from John C. O’Connor and Ralph M. Yeager




John C. O'Connor and Ralph M. Yeager Collection, Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University


This image is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. Other uses are not permitted.


Color lithograph; 17-1/8 x 23-7/8 in. (43.5 x 60.6 cm)


United States, Pennsylvania, Union (county), Lewisburg