Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Depression Years

While looking back through my old photos I came across a few gems from the Depression Years.  They are all black and white or actually more sepia now with age, but they all have that grey feel of hard times.

The ones of my mother's family were taken by the more wealthy California cousins who came for a visit every few years.

 This shot is of Mom's family (Mom is the front left in the little grey dress), taken on the east side of the farmhouse.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog, this photo would have been taken late 20's, a couple of years after the house was built.  The original farm house burned in June 1926.  Note the pine siding is not complete.

Mom came from a family of ten.  The youngest brother was not yet born in this photo

This photo which was probably taken the same day as the above one, judging by the same outfits worn, by most of the family, is to the south of the house.  The gentleman on the right was Uncle Ash.  Mom always referred very lovingly to this particular uncle.  He was a short little chap - compare him to the adolescent boys on the left - none of whom ever achieved great stature. It was his car, pictured that brought the California group across the continent to visit.

This photo is the same location, same family, but a few years later.  I note that Grandpa in the back row is holding the new baby - the final son, Dave. Mom in the dark dress, third from left, is a few years older than the one atop the car (first on left).  This must have been a stellar vehicle, to have crossed North America twice inside of a couple of years - I wonder how many tire changes that venture would have required?

The next photo, I have for comparison sake, is of Dad's family.  Dad had eight siblings in his family.  Middle sister Mary is not in the photo, whether she was away, or is actually behind the camera is not known.  Dad looks to be twelve or thirteen, which would place the photo in the early 30's.

Dad is the one on the left in the front, with a light coloured jacket.  For years I thought this was the earliest surviving photo of Dad, but I have since discovered a school photo of him and his chums, when he was probably about seven or so.   I'm not sure, why there are so few photos of this family in early years.  They were not as poor as Mom's family by any means, but there seems to have been a lack of photographic renderings.  In this photo, Dad's older siblings are obviously back home from Toronto, where most of them landed to enter the work force.  I would hazard to guess, this is probably a Christmas gathering, judging by the clothing. The ladies all look elegant, decked out in their winter garb and fur collars.  I can't be certain, but I think this is the new house, that was built in the village of Dunchurch.  Like the Patterson house above, paint had not been allowed to sully its weathered wood surface yet either.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

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