John A. Hanson, Photographer

Hanson’s standard advertisement. Courtesy of Verna L. Haley
The itinerant professional photographer of the late 1800s was an interesting creature in the rural areas such as Lassen. Many were single young men. After all, one would have to ride “circuit.” Susanville at that time, with a population base of less than 500, it could not sustain a full time photography studio. They would travel to neighboring communities in search of business. After a few years, they would move to a new territory.

John Hanson came to Susanville and initially opened his photography studio in a tent. With that type of mobility, it appeared Hanson was just traveling through town. Yet, Hanson found romance in Susanville with a young lady, by the name of Fannie Streshley, who operated a millenery store a block from Hanson’s tent. The relationship turned serious and the two were married on October 31, 1883. The couple made Susanville their home until 1886, when they moved onto unknown greener pastures.


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