|Found: The Demons Anvil, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin copyright H. H. Bennett Studio, circa 1965|
Verso Caption: In spite of its ominous name, the Demons Anvil holds no terror for the modern day camera fan.
H. H. Bennett (1843-1908) settled in Kilbourn City in Wisconsin. He admired the landscape and made it the focus of his photographic practice in 1865 making glass plate pictures of rock formations and the land forms along Devils Lake and the Wisconsin River so much so that he began making photographs to show it off. Kilbourn City became Wisconsin Dells and the rest is history. Were it not for Bennett's photographs, the area may have remained a secret or perhaps another river side factory town. Bennett's restored studio space. a historic site, is not to be missed at 215 Broadway in Wisconsin Dells. Operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society, his darkroom, studio set up, storefront shop are preserved as they were at the time of his death in 1908. Multi-media exhibitions tell the story of photography's relationship with the growth of tourism and Bennett's relationship with native peoples. A recent book, H. H. Bennett, Photographer: His American Landscape (University of Wisconsin Press, 2010), by Sara Rath tells his biography and reproduces his photographs.