Herbert R. Huested

Herbert R. Huested was a prolific local photographer who captured many aspects of life in early Jefferson County. His photographs of storefronts, businesses, adults, children with their pets, even farmers in their fields, have added to our understanding of what life may have been like in Jefferson County during the first half of the 20th century.


The very first Huested studio was opened by Herbert Huested’s father, George P. Huested, and his brother Ralph W. Huested. The Huesteds were traveling photographers who came to the Mannsville, NY area in 1873, setting up their first studio on a horse drawn wagon. In later years, the Huested brothers worked out of more permanent studios in Belleville, Adams, Sackets Harbors, Ellisburg, Camden and Orwell. Herbert Huested was born to this entrepreneurial family in May of 1874. Young Herbert learned the photography trade from his father, as well as the art of capturing people’s personalities on film, often traveling with his father between the family’s various studios.

The Huested Studio

Those familiar with the Huested Studio think of the famous Watertown location at 119 Stone Street. Herbert opened this studio with his father George in 1904, but soon after bought out his father’s share in the business. In 1919, Huested moved his studio to 241-243 Washington Street, which was at that time located just south of the present day Flower Memorial Library. He operated from that building until he closed the business in 1943.

The Huested Catalog

Looking through the Huested catalogue, Herbert Huested seems to have photographed almost all of Watertown’s citizenry, from well known individuals like Emma Flower Taylor and Orville Hungerford to ordinary people. Being photographed by Huested was a special occasion and Huested, in turn, photographed many occasions. Listed among his catalogue are pictures of brides and grooms, baptized children, and funerary photographs.


Catalogues from our Huested Photograph Exhibit are for sale in the gift shop for $0.50/piece (+shipping and tax, if applicable.) The catalogue has biographical information on Herbert Huested, his family, and the museum’s collection of 15,000 + Huested negatives. Also included are selected negatives with information on the subjects. Catalogues are complimentary with each order of Huested photograph reproductions.


An index to the Huested catalogue is available in PDF format. Click here to view the catalogue.

For additional information on any of the photographs listed in the index or to order prints, please contact the Curator at 315-782-3491.

The Huested Collection

After Herbert Huested’s death in 1944, the Jefferson County Historical Society acquired over 15,000 of his glass plate negatives– a collection that spans over four decades of photographic history of Jefferson County. If you'd like to purchase any of these glass plate negatives, please visit the museum.