The Stewarts Commercial Photographers collection extends over a period of eight decades and contains images of the Cripple Creek Mining District, Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs, and other communities in the Pikes Peak region. It contains one of the most comprehensive visual records of everyday life in the Pikes Peak region covering a large part of the twentieth century.
Ben H. and Orrie W. Stewart came to Colorado from Kansas as boys, attended public schools in Colorado Springs, and later studied chemistry at Colorado College. The Stewart Brothers opened their first store in Manitou Springs in 1906. In 1912, they opened a much larger store in Colorado Springs. Their business grew to include a photo craft shop, a warehouse, and an engraving plant that provided support for the local newspaper for many years. Clarence Coil and Cloyd Brunson, two well-known photographers in the region and longtime Stewart Brothers’ employees, purchased the commercial part of the business on March 1, 1962. The Pikes Peak Library District purchased part of the collection in 1982 and the remainder in 1999.