Davis, Trevor Montgomery
by Constance Davis
Trevor was born in 1892, in Alameda, California, where his mother, Frances, went for the event. In three months, they were back in Juneau. At age twelve, he began working on the Davis Properties. In 1910, he bought a sailboat and converted it to a gas boat in partnership with brother Cedric. They exchanged the little boat for the Cordelia D in 1914, when they started a charter business for hunting and cruising. Trevor earned the operator and pilot’s license for a 100-ton boat, and in 1917, completed the requirements for an engineer’s license at the Duthrie Shipyards in Seattle, Washington. Then he joined the Navy and was stationed at Bremerton, Washington, San Diego, California, and the Great Lakes Naval Station in Chicago, Illinois.
Photography became a big interest in 1912, when Trevor obtained his first camera. He developed his oil tinting technique on enlarged photographs. He sold them at the Nugget Shop and at other gift shops locally. The older photographers, Winter & Pond and Case & Draper, gave him some of their pictures and suggestions. In 1921, he exhibited his photographs in San Francisco, and in 1926, he published a charming booklet of his early photographs, Here and There in Southeast Alaska.
Trevor was one of seven on the committee to choose the Alaska flag, and he supported and voted for the present design in 1927. He was a charter member of the American Legion, Juneau Yacht Club, and Pioneers of Alaska, where he served a term as Secretary. As a member of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce for forty-eight years, he was eager to see things happen in his home town. The first small boat harbor and the breakwater project were among his propositions. Trevor contributed to several magazines and newspapers on his adventures in Southeast Alaska.
In the spring of 1921, Trevor met Carol Beery, a newcomer who was inquiring how to find the beautiful wild violets often displayed in downtown shop windows. Her inquiries led her to the “boatman.” He told her it was hard to explain how to get there and that he would just show her. This demonstration entailed a boat trip aboard the Cordelia D, and getting to Sheep Creek Basin via the Thane tramway. Not many people used the unpredictable road. In this way, the romance began. They were married in 1922, and raised four daughters: Sylvia, Shirley, Connie, and Patte.
In 1934, Trevor set up business on Seward Street in developing, printing, and tinting. He became an Eastman Kodak dealer. The Snap Shoppe had a busy life for twenty-five years. His tinted photo of Juneau’s Harbor Lights was an hour long exposure on a clear night in 1942. A fishing boat chugged by, causing a wake, so he had to start over again to achieve the perfect reflection! His artistic forte was in contrasts and composition, especially with winter light and shadow. Progressing from black and white to the new color photography, he acquired a vast collection of slides and movies. Many friends and acquaintances were entertained by his public and home shows. Hired by the Prince William Sound Canneries, he captured salmon runs on colored film along with the bears.
After retiring from his business, Trevor developed the subdivision, Pinewood Park. The Davises piloted the newly acquired Sylvita to the Seattle World’s Fair where they joined family and friends. Trevor enjoyed many new adventures. He traveled to the east in company with a local Tlingit dancing group for the U.S. Bicentennial, motored throughout Alaska in celebration of its Centennial, visited relatives on the west coast, and saw the South Pacific. He authored a pictorial review of Juneau, Looking Back on Juneau - The First Hundred Years.
Trevor died in the Pioneers Home at age 97 in 1990, and was buried at Juneau’s Evergreen Cemetery. He was survived by his wife and daughters: Sylvia, Shirley, and Constance.
Trevor Montgomery Davis