R.H. McKay: Western Montana Photographer


Rollin H. McKay, a prominent Missoula commercial photographer from about 1911 through the 1940s, created an impressive catalog of images of Missoula and western Montana’s places, landscapes, people and lifestyles.

Not only was he a prolific photographer, McKay was also a master of his craft. He was able to shoot action scenes (such as “A Bucker”) using very large, awkward equipment, especially by today’s standards. He also documented much of the Missoula, Mission, Flathead and Bitterroot Valleys from the air and on the ground. In doing so, he captured the geographic landscape, architecture, and people of western Montana.

The images here represent a small sample of over 5000 images in the Rollin H. McKay photograph collection (Mss 249) held in the Mansfield Library’s Archives & Special Collections.