Herman Theodore Bohlman was born on April 15, 1872 in Portland, Oregon, and lived there all of his life. He was a lifelong friend of William L. Finley, renowned ornithologist, naturalist, and conservationist. Bohlman and Finley were co-founders of the North-Western Ornithological Association in 1894. Several accounts tell of Bohlman teaching Finley photography, and the two started photographing birds in the late 1890s. Between 1899 and 1908 they made trips to the Columbia River (1900), Three Arch Rocks (1901 & 1903) on the Oregon coast, California (1904 & 1906), Klamath and Tule Lakes (1905), Malheur and Harney Lakes (1908), and other places to study and photograph birds. In 1912 Bohlman and Finley revisited the Klamath and Malheur regions.
Bohlman's photographs appeared in U.S. and international magazines, as well as Finley's 1907 book, American Birds. He was a charter member (1900) of what would become the Oregon Audobon Society, and was serving on the organization's board at the time of his death in February 1943. In his later years, Bohlman was an avid oil painter and a member of the Oregon Artist Society. Bohlman was associated with the family's plumbing business in Portland for over 40 years. On October 14, 1908 he married Maud Bittleston at the Finley home, Jennings Lodge. They had one son, H. Theodore Bohlman.
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