J Smeaton Chase was an English author and photographer.
Fri, 13 May 2011 04:26:59
Smeaton Chase (1864 – 1923) was an English author and photographer.J. Smeaton Chase has become an integral part of California literature: revered for his poignant descriptions of California landscapes. An Englishman who toured the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains in 1915 with his burro, Mesquit, Chase published poetic diary entries detailing his escapades through the Sierra Nevada mountains and California desert.Joseph Smeaton Chase was born in London in April 1864. He arrived in Southern California in 1890, although information surrounding his motive for doing so is sparse. It is known however, that he lived on a mountainside and managed to obtain a job tutoring a wealthy rancher’s children in the San Gabriel Valley. Chase was always drawn to the plants, animals, and Native Americans that resided along the California coast. Subsequently, in 1911 he took a trip with local painter Carl Eytel, traveling on horseback from Los Angeles to Laguna and then down to San Diego. Chase journeyed through the uncouth California land and detailed his escapades in his book California Desert Trails. He was passionate that the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains be preserved as a national park. Chase appeals to readers who appreciate the unspoiled west and California history.Chase died March 29, 1923 in Banning, California, after several years of poor health. His wife continued to live in their Palm Springs home and died September 30, 1962 in Riverside County, California. She was born April 18, 1876. They are buried in a graveyard at the foot of Mt. San Jacinto, but his name is engraved at their parents headstone in Bexley Churchyard, Kent, England.