Rowe Historical Society

Meet one of Rowe's Most Famous Residents


John Henry Haynes, Rowe Native and Noted Archaeologist




John Henry Haynes was born near County Road in Rowe on January 27, 1849. He was the eldest son of John W. Haynes and Emily Taylor. He went to elementary school in Rowe, high school at Drury Academy in North Adams, and college at Williams in Williamstown.


After a chance meeting with the first president of the American Institute of Archaeology, Charles Eliot Norton, Haynes obtained a position on an archaeological expedition to Crete, where he met the noted photographer William James Stillman. From that point on, Haynes cultivated his two passions: archaeology and photography.


Over the years, his travels would take him to many places, including areas now known as Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. He acquired special skills in photography and would come to be known as the "Father of American Archaeological Photography."


His affiliation with the University of Pennsylvania resulted in his being named field manager and photographer for the university's archaeological expedition to Nippur in Mesopotamia (Iraq). On a later expedition he discovered what is said to be the Temple Library in Nippur, where 23,000 ancient tablets were found. According to many sources, most of what we know about Sumerian literature comes from this discovery. (Examples of his discoveries can be viewed at the North Adams Public Library.)


While he was working in Mesopotamia, Haynes became the first United States Consul in Baghdad.


John Henry Haynes spent his final days back in the Northern Berkshires, living with his sister on Church Street in North Adams. He died on June 29, 1910 and is buried in the Hillside Cemetery in North Adams.







Remembering John Henry Haynes


(Below: The Haynes Home by County Road in Rowe; the Haynes Gravestone in Hillside Cemetery in North Adams and His Obituary)