Large, Western-Style Wooden Building Atop Small Hill Overlooking Harbor, Samoa


This early-20th century photograph shows the governor's mansion on Togo Togo Ridge in Utulei, American Samoa, overlooking the harbor of Pago Pago. The mansion has served as the residence of all the governors of American Samoa, naval and civilian, from its construction in 1903 to the present. The photograph is by A.J. Tattersall, who wrote on its reverse side: “I warn anyone against using this copy without my permission. A.T., Photo, Samoa.” Tattersall was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1861, and was employed by photographic firms in Auckland before going to Apia, Samoa, to work for the commercial photographer J. Davis. When Davis died in 1893, Tattersall took over his firm. The U.S. Navy established a coaling station at Pago Pago in 1878. Under an 1899 treaty signed by Britain, Germany, and the United States, all parts of the Samoan group east of longitude 171º west were ceded to the United States, those west of this line to Germany. The western islands now make up the Independent State of Samoa (formerly known as Western Samoa), those east of it American Samoa.

Last updated: September 25, 2015