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John William Moon (1871-1931) and Mary E. Hays Moon (1884-1952)

The Carolina Room probably has one of the largest collections of John and Mary E. Moon photographs. Known for their large panoramas, the couple captured family gatherings, company employee, local officials  and during World War I they were the only local photographers allowed to film life at Campe Greene, a military training camp just outside of Charlotte.  John William Moon (1871-1931) was born in Freetown, Cortland County, New York. He was the son of Nelson Moon and Fannie Ryan.  Moon and his wife, Mary E. Moon (1883-1952) also of New York, came to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1916 to establish Moon’s Studio, Commercial and Home Photographers and W.J. Moon Company. (1) 

The 1920 census clearly identifies both Moons as photographers. (2) Later their photographs would credit both John Moon and his wife, Mary Moon  were active photographers until his death in 1931. The studio did not continue. (3 Mary and her two sons returned to New York where she died in Watertown in 1952. (4)

Thirty-six photographers from across the country received special permission from the United States Army to photograph Camp Greene, a World War I military training base in Charlotte. Usually they came to shoot company portraits of the young men from their area. Most Charlotteans did not train at Camp Greene. Of all the Charlotte photographers selected to shoot at Camp Green the Moons are the only ones who obtained official permission. (5)

John William and Mary E. Moon. To see more photographers in this exhibit, click on "Charlotte Photographers."

Home Studio of the Moon's on Parkwood Avenue.

The automobile enabled the Moons to travel more freely throughout the area. to reach their clients.

"We Cover Dixie Like the Sunshine"  The Moon’s slogan as it appeared on the back of their photographs.

Charlotte Mayor Thomas L. Kirkpatrick and North Carolina Governor Locke Craig

President and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson visit Charlotte to celebrate Mecklenburg Declaration Independence Day. 

Camp Greene Officers standing in front of Enderly.

  1. Stephen Massengill, Photographers in North Carolina, The First Century, 1842-1941, pgs.146-147 and Mecklenburg County, Vital Statistics, Death Records, Book 38, p. 12.
  2. Fourteenth Census, 1920 Mecklenburg County, Population Schedule, Charlotte, North Carolina, ED 149, p. 1A.
  3. Mecklenburg County, Vital Statistics, Death Records 1931, Book 38, p. 12.)
  4. Find A Grave. Find A Grave.
  5. National Archives Camps, Camp Greene, N.C., RG 393, Box 20, National Archives, Washington, DC.