Geronimo, The Apache Chief (FLY) 1905 Very Rare 100th Anniversary Edition (148/500)
Geronimo The Apache Chief: Book of Photos taken by Legendary Tombstone Photographer C. S. Fly. Scenes in Geronimo’s Camp The Apache Outlaw and Murderer, Taken before the Surrender to Gen. Crook, March 27, 1886, in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico. Escaped March 30, 1886 (Tombstone: Mrs. M. E. Fly, 1905). An extremely rare book, published by Fly’s widow after his death. It contains three pages of text, two color-tinted and twenty-three B&W tissue-covered plates. These represent the only known photos taken of Geronimo while he was still at war with the United States. In 1986, Arizona Historical Society printed a limited edition replica of the book which is very scarce in today’s market.
Camillus Sydney Fly and his wife Mary, also a photographer, moved to Tombstone, Arizona Territory, after their marriage in 1879. Their first studio was in a tent, but soon they opened a boarding house with a separate studio in the back named Fly Gallery. This was a wild period of time in Tombstone. The infamous 1881 “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” actually took place between their boarding house and the house just to the west. It was C. S. Fly, armed with his Henry rifle, who disarmed Billy Clanton as he lay dying against the house next door. Mary ran the boarding house and the studio as Camillus travelled around taking photographs. In 1886, he accompanied General George Crook to the negotiations with Geronimo where he captured these powerful images. Fly died in 1901 at Bisbee, and even though they had been separated for some time, Mary went to be by his side at his deathbed and then brought him back to Tombstone for a funeral and burial. She continued to run the boarding house and studio, and after her retirement, donated his plates to the Smithsonian. Fly’s Peak in the middle of the Chiricahua Mountains was named after him.