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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Dorothea Lange: Granville County, North Carolina


Sons of Negro tenant farmer go off visiting on Saturday afternoon. Granville County, North Carolina

Good tobacco, cropped and ready for priming. Granville County, North Carolina

Families stringing tobacco brought in from the field by sled. Granville County, North Carolina

Tobacco strung on sticks. Granville County, North Carolina

Coming out of tobacco barn in which tobacco is being cured. Careful check of temperature must be made. Granville County, North Carolina

Tobacco people take it easy after their morning's work of "putting up" tobacco. Granville County, North Carolina

Ten year old son of tobacco sharecropper can do a "hand's work" at tobacco harvest time. Granville County, North Carolina

Eight year old daughter who helps about the tobacco barn and takes care of the baby. Granville County, North Carolina

Dirt road. Earth is red-colored clay mud. Granville County, North Carolina

Crossroads hamlet after a rain. Culbreth, Granville County, North Carolina

Wife and five month old baby of young tobacco sharecropper (Mr. Taylor) in window of their home. She is seventeen years old. On the following day she helped "put in" tobacco at the farm. Granville County, North Carolina

Home of Negro tenant farmer. The right half was built hurriedly after the tornado in 1900 which destroyed all the houses in the section. The last half was built later. One of the daughters has come to the doorway, the rest are hiding. Granville County, North Carolina

Putting in tobacco after the morning work. Shoofly, North Carolina

Colored sharecropper and his children about to leave home through the pine woods after their morning work at the tobacco farm stringing and putting up tobacco. Shoofly, Granville County, North Carolina

Noontime chores: feeding chickens on Negro tenant farm. Granville County, North Carolina

Noontime chores on Negro tenant farm. The grandfather and children off to feed the pigs. Granville County, North Carolina

Noontime. Son and grandson of tenant farmer bring in the mules to water at noon. Granville County, North Carolina

Noontime chores. Mules are brought in from the field and watered at well across the road from the house. Granville County, North Carolina

Country filling station owned and operated by tobacco farmer. Such small independent stations have become meeting places and loafing spots for neighborhood farmers in their off times. Granville County, North Carolina

Country filling station owned and operated by tobacco farmer. Such small independent stations have become meeting places (community center) and loading spots for neighborhood farmers in their off times. Granville County, North Carolina

Oxford, Granville County, North Carolina. Small agricultural center. Note everpresent Confederate monument, and calf in a two horse wagon

Photos by Dorothea Lange, July 1937, from Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress


Nin Andrews said...

Wow, I love these. I remember driving through the tobacco countryside in the 60s. It was a huge part of the drive to the South Carolina relatives and beaches when I was a girl. Now, oddly, I think Reynolds is one of the philanthropists of NC with a D leaning, hated by Art Pope. I think . . . And I have read that a lot of the fields are poultry farms.
I wonder what a photo tour would look like now.

TC said...

How things change. I remember driving through the Santa Clara Valley in 1951. Abundant farms, a feeling of Spain. Now it's silicon and concrete.

But whether poultry farm or chip farm, it's hard to imagine anyone getting up the gumption, or for the matter the interest, much less the permission, to do a close-up photo tour of -- as that Trollope has it -- The Way We Live Now.

Lange and the other FSA photographers were tolerated, if not always welcomed, in the South. There was a certain modicum of trust/hope invested in the government in 1937. And too, any such trust would look to have been fairly well founded. There was the undeniable fact the government was willing to bother to try to look into, and even help out with, the material conditions of poverty.

Lange and the other FSA photographers, by the way, received a stipend of exactly $5 a day for their work.

She did a very interesting interview for the Smithsonian Oral History Project, shortly before her death. Doesn't pull any punches.

Dorothea Lange: "We've Been Blown Out"

M.J.D. said...

I asked if anyone at the Granville County Historical Society knew the location of the store in these pictures. I was told that it was the located at Wilton and owned by Lindsey Aaron Currin thus the "L.A. Currins Store"

M.J.D. said...

Allen Dew of the Granville County Gen. Soc. says

"The store was located at the intersection of Hwy 56 and Hester Road. The store operated until the late 1950s until Mr Currin died in 1958 and the store ceased operation. At that time, the Hester Road was a dirt road. Hester Road was paved sometime about 1985, and at that time the old country store was torn down."

M.J.D. said...

Here is the exact intersection today. The store would have been to the left of the stop sign.,-78.59173,3a,75y,311.55h,83.34t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sNnSZWK2-7f2YoiTISvzS1w!2e0

Mary Ann Potter said...

That little store was actually in Shoofly, if we are talking about the same one. It was torn down sometime in the nineties.

We live just a little ways from the intersection described as a crossroads hamlet, the one that has the road sign pointing different ways to Culbreth, Shoofly, etc. The large white house in the background burned two years ago after an ice storm; it had been serving as storage for the Jones family, and they maintained the exterior just as though someone stil lived there. Electrical problems were the cause of that fire. The chimneys still stand. The store in the foreground was taken down quite some time ago. I am not certain of the year. We've lived in this area for almost five years but drove through it over about the last 25 years! Love your blog. I have come to appreciate beautiful, rural Granville County even more.