Local History Photographs

The Regional History Center has a large collection of historic photographs of Uintah County and Northeastern Utah.

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Photographs also found at the Mountain West Digital Library
Featured Collections

Leo Thorne Photograph Collection:

Our photograph digitization efforts in partnership with the University of Utah have created a treasure trove of historical images that in the past was only available in the back corner of the library. Please note that these images are hosted on the University of Utah’s website to get back here close the browser window that opens when you click on the links below.

In the spring of 1886, little three-year-old Leo Thorne came to Ashley Valley (Vernal) by team and wagon with his parents, George and Louisa Thorne. When Leo was seventeen, his horse stepped into a chuckhole and fell. The fall so injured his back that it was impossible for him to do any heavy work. His thoughts turned to his interest in photography. He ordered a small Brownie box camera from a mail order house and was soon focusing on everything around him. Before long, his interest in photography became both a vocation and an obsession. In 1907 he purchased a studio and a large portrait camera and began to earn his reputation as Vernal’s premier photographer. He photographed events, freelanced for the newspaper, and left a rich visual history legacy. Leo died in 1969 at the age of eighty-six. His son-in-law and daughter (Lawrence and Rhoda Deved) continued operating Thorne’s Studio until 1994. The following photographs have been placed in the Regional History Center with their help.

Vernal Express Photograph Archive:

 For over 120 years the Vernal Express is the premier source for news in Northeastern Utah. This collection contains the photographs that ran in the paper as well as scores of others that were never published. We are adding images to this collection in an ongoing basis.

Basic Photo Series:

These images depict people, locales, events, local businesses, cultural events, and much more. The collection was compiled over thirty years through a variety of sources.   If you have old photographs and would like to have them digitized – bring them into us.   We will scan them and, with your permission, keep a digitized copy for our collection.  You will also receive a digitized copy.

Search All Online Photograph Collections

Unidentified: Help these people out. We put their pictures on Flickr.com so that you can be a history investigator. If you know their names or any information about them please contact Elaine at the Regional History Center.  You may email or call her at 789-6276.


  1. Lee Romrell.... says:

    Found photo of Clarinda Jane Hardy. Wondering if there is a group photo that goes with this. I have this same photo of her with a group. I have some info about this ……

  2. Bryan L. Taylor says:

    Wonderful Collection, great resource. Thanks!

  3. Catharine says:

    This is such a great collection. Found it by chance and was surprised by photos of my great grandparents and their farm, etc. Is there a way to download higher resolution copies of the pictures (for personal use)?

    • Hi Cathrine,
      Thanks for viewing our collection. I’m glad to hear that you found images of some of your great grandparents. Yes we have the ability to get you better resolution on those photos. If you have the photo id# I would be glad to help you. Just email the numbers you are interested in to me and I will send them through drop box. Please send your request to my email at mfuller@uintah.utah.gov.

      Michelle Fuller

  4. Nikki Sorensen says:

    You have the above photo of Leo Thorne that comes up when I do a search for Rueben Thomas Freestone. That is not him.

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