Virgil Eugene Hill

Silver Medalist in 1984 Olympics and 4 time Boxing World Champion



Virgil Hill is probably the most famous boxer to ever call North Dakota his home.   On February 28th, 2015 he will be stepping into the ring for the final time.  The bout is called "One Last Stand" and will be held at the Civic Center in Bismarck, North Dakota.  I had the honor of having the Champ to my wet plate studio on February 20th, 2015 to immortalize his portrait in silver and glass.  Below are some behind the scene images and the resulting wet plate scans.  We were just strangers the day he walked into my studio, but I am now proud to call him my friend. 

Virgil Eugene Hill (born January 18, 1964) is a Hall of Fame American boxer of partly Native American heritage, who forged a solid connection between the state of North Dakota and the sport of boxing. After winning the silver medal at middleweight in the 1984 Olympic Games, he went on to become a four-time world champion as a professional, including winning the LinealWBA/IBF light-heavyweight titles, and the WBA cruiserweight title.  On November 12, 2012 he was officially inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Class of 2013.

Dustin White the editor of the Mandan News did a series of articles about the history surrounding Virgil's last fight and my wet plate session with him.   (Click Below to see series)

Article #1 - February 27th, 2014 "Quicksilver Captured in Silver: Virgil Hill"

Article #2 - March 4th, 2014 "Taking One Last Stand in Bismarck"

Article #3 - March 11th, 2014 "The Tale of Capturing Quicksilver in Silver"

Article #4 - March 4th, 2014 "Comparing the Past to the Present"

Article #5 - March 17th, 2014 "Preserving the Past through the State Archives"

Digital Horizons for the State Historical Society of North Dakota indexed my Wet Plate in their Archive

Plains Talk, Spring 2015, mentions Virgil Hill Wet Plate in their Archive

Eric Armit's Weekly Boxing Results featuring Virgil Hill's Wet Plate, March 3rd, 2015





On February 25th, 2015, the North Dakota State Historical Society at the Heritage Center admitted into their permanent archive my wet plate "One Final Stand".  What an honor for Virgil and I. 



Contact Information:
Shane Balkowitsch, Ambrotypist
Nostalgic Glass
4419 Centurion Dr.
Bismarck, ND 58504
(701)223-9936 Phone

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Wet Plate Images

of Virgil Hill taken on February 20th, 2015


"One Last Stand"









Copyright Note: All referenced photographs, images and logos provided above are for informational purposes only and they are the property of their respective owners.  Dustin White from the Mandan News was kind enough to take the behind the scene images of Virgil.