Arthur C. Pillsbury Foundation

Protecting and Preserving All Life -- By Extending Human Vision

Steven Douglas Harrison

Born:              July 4, 1950 

Place:             Fresno, CA 

Married to:   Donna 

Harrison was a Seasonal Employee with the National Park Service in the early 1970s when he first introduced himself to Dr. Arthur F. Pillsbury.  While working at Yosemite he had gotten to know Virginia Best Adams.

1974 – Working at Yosemite National Park for “three years and four summers.

1977 – Summer - Harrison working at Fort Bowie National Historical Site in Arizona. 

1978 - February - Introduces himself to Grace Sylvia Pillsbury Young and Dr. Arthur F. Pillsbury, asking for information on his father, Arthur C. Pillsbury.  Even after being corrected on the relationship between Father, and Arthur C. Pillsbury, Harrison persists in calling Grandfather Dad's Uncle.   

             Summer -  Harrison was working at Scotty’s Castle at Death Valley National Monument.
             May 5   - Harrison to AFP – Harrison reports he and his wife, Donna, left Scotty’s Castle and spent three weeks with family in Sacramento and Fresno.
             June 14 -  Harrison to AFP – Harrison and his wife, Donna, are on their way to a second summer at Fort Bowie National Historical Site in Arizona. 
On July 19th, 1979, Harrison writes to Dr. Pillsbury with the news he has, suddenly, been offered a permanent job with the NPS and also that he has written an article on Pillsbury to be published in The Alaska Journal.  The article appeared in 1980, pages 48 - 52.  Dad was very disappointed and, to me, wondered why it was on his father's earlier experiences and not on his time in Yosemite. But he was polite, as he was, and hoped for more to be produced.  
                His Camera Was His Gold Mine by Steve Harrison 
                   The Alaska Journal 1980 - Autumn - Pages 48 - 53

                Cycling Into Yosemite History by Steve Harrison
                    Yosemite AssociationSummer 2005 Volume 67 Number 3

                     An Article in the Yosemite Sentinel by Steve Harrison
Book III, Vol. VII - June 1977, Page 3

                   Photographs From on High   by Steve Harrison
                       Yosemite Association - Summer 1996 - Volume 58 Number 3


Correspondence - Personal and Professional 
About Arthur C. Pillsbury

                                             1978 - 1990 

And Meet Rell Francis, a man of honor

This correspondence is organized to include  to letters all relating to A.C. Pillsbury and his work.  They all relate to how the Pillsbury Collection came to be located at BYU instead of someplace more appropriate, for instance, Stanford, Berkeley or UCLA.  This presentation provides a clear understanding of Harrison's misrepresentations to Dr. Pillsbury and his relationship with the Adams Family.

Harrison approached Dr. Arthur F. Pillsbury presenting himself as someone interested in publishing a book and articles about Dr. Pillsbury's father.  On that basis, Dr. Pillsbury supplied Harrison both with interviews and also with valuable photographs. documents and collector's items.  

Nothing published by Harrison fulfilled the expectations which moved Dr. Pillsbury to trust Harrison to tell a full and truthful history of his father. 

After Dr. Pillsbury asked his daughter, Melinda, to ensure a book was written, she contacted Harrison.  She was shocked when he asked her to pay him $5,000 for the research he had carried out and declined the offer, beginning the necessary research herself.   No one in the family had been impressed with the work Harrison had produced and his evasiveness and attempts to persuade Dr. Pillsbury to pay him to write a book had disgusted them after the generosity which had been shown him.    

Pillsbury-Foster's communications with Harrison were very limited, confined to a post card and several brief phone calls until she had, by accident. refiled his communications with her father, Dr. Pillsbury, with letters sent to her by Rell Francis.  

Finally, having documented Harrison was working as an agent for the Adams Family in his attempts to acquire the BYU Collection of Pillsbury's work, she confronted him, demanding he return all of the materials provided to him by her father.  He responded he had sold these to pay for the house he had then been able to purchase.