Tag Archives: Georgia People of the Great Depression

Turpentine Culture at Du Pont

Turpentine Worker Dupont GA African American Laborers Photo Dorothea Lange Courtesy Library of Congress Georgia in the Great Depression Website Brian Brown Vanishing Media USA 2013

In the heart of Southeast Georgia turpentine country, Dorothea Lange captured a turpentine worker, broken from a hot July day’s work in the forests, and his wife looking out the window of their cabin. It’s a typical board-and-batten structure, common in the turpentine industry.

Wife of Turpentine Worker Dupont GA African American Laborers Photo Dorothea Lange Courtesy Library of Congress Georgia in the Great Depression Website Brian Brown Vanishing Media USA 2013

Dorothea Lange/Library of Congress (July 1937)

Here’s a “turpentine cabin” I photographed in Appling County last year.

appling-county-ga-turpentine-cabin-verncular-architecture-board-and-batten-walls-picture-image-photo-©-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012

Turpentine Cabin, Fred Carter Road, 2012 © Brian Brown

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Filed under --CLINCH COUNTY GA--, Du Pont GA

Plantation House, Near Eatonton

Dilapidated Plantation House on Piedmont Agricultural Demonstration Project Lands Eatonton GA Carl Mydans Library of Congress Brian Brown Georgia in the Great Depression Website 2013

Carl Mydans/Library of Congress (1936)

Mydans noted that this was all that remained of a once prosperous plantation.

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Filed under --PUTNAM COUNTY GA--, Eatonton GA

Scenes Around Hinesville, 1941

Hinesville GA Liberty County Front Poerch of General Store Texaco Gas Pump Jack Delano Library of Congress © Georgia in the Great Depression Brian Brown Vanishing Media USA 2012

Front Porch of a General Store in Hinesville

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Main Street Hinesville GA Liberty County Jack Delano Library of Congress © Georgia in the Great Depression © Brian Brown Vanishing Media USA 2012

Main Street in Hinesville

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Photo Both Soldiers Dog Hinesville GA Camp Stewart Liberty County Jack Delano Library of Congress © Georgia in the Great Depression Brian Brown Vanishing Media USA 2012

Camp Stewart soldiers at a photomat and novelty shop in Hinesville

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Gun Club Bingo Sign Soldiers Camp Stewart Hinesville GA Liberty County Jack Delano Library of Congress © Georgia in the Great Depression Brian Brown Vanishing Media USA 2012

Gun Club

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Beer Joint in Hinesville GA Liberty County Jack Delano Library of Congress © Georgia in the Great Depression Brian Brown Vanishing Media USA 2012

Paddie’s Beer Joint in Hinesville

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Delano notes in many of his photograph titles that a whole industry emerged in Hinesville to satisfy the needs and curiosities of soldiers coming to nearby Camp Stewart. Today, Fort Stewart is the largest army base east of the Mississippi River and continues to be the economic engine of the region.

All photos: Jack Delano/Library of Congress (April 1941)

http://www.stewart.army.mil/about/history.asp

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Filed under --LIBERTY COUNTY GA--, Hinesville GA

Alabama Family Hitchhiking Near Macon, 1937

Hitchhiking family in Macon GA heading back to Alabama July 1937 Dorothea Lange Library of Congress © Vanishing Media Georgia in the Great Depression USA 2012

Dorothea Lange/Library of Congress. (July 1937)

Lange noted that the father was a sewing machine, lawn mower and small engine repairman who had brought his family to Macon looking for work, but becuase the city of Macon required a $25 license for such work, he was forced to take his family back to Alabama.

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Filed under --BIBB COUNTY GA--, Macon GA

Chewing Tobacco

This iconic image, made in Franklin, Georgia, proves that the Southern stereotype of the rural poor white Cracker was alive and well during the Great Depression.

Jack Delano/Library of Congress. (April 1941)

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Filed under --HEARD COUNTY GA--, Franklin GA

Turpentine Industry in Statesboro, 1941

Tapping the furnace of hot rosin.

The naval stores industry was the only real industry in Georgia during the Great Depression.  When Jack Delano made these photographs in Statesboro in April 1941, turpentining was at its zenith, with orders pouring in to feed the war effort. By the 1950s, the industry was near its end, confined to a few scattered operations around the Coastal Plain.

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Filtering hot rosin through sieves.

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Filling paper sacks with hot rosin.

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Laying out bags of hot rosin to harden.

All images: Jack Delano/Library of Congress. (April 1941)

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Filed under --BULLOCH COUNTY GA--, Statesboro GA

Chain Gang in Oglethorpe County

The Georgia penal system had been under national scrutiny for nearly a decade when Jack Delano made these photographs in 1941. All Images: Jack Delano/Library of Congress. (May 1941)

I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang! was a sensational best-selling book by Robert Elliott Burns. Published in 1932, it recounts the dramatic story of the author’s imprisonment in Georgia and his two successful escapes, eight years apart, with seven years of freedom, business success, and emotional intrigue in between.

Burns’s book is full of sensational, lurid, yet mostly verifiable descriptions of mistreatment, brutality, disgusting food, and labor so unrelenting and exhausting that it left men in a stupor. As he soon learned from his wretched fellow prisoners that to leave the chain gang a man had to “work out, pay out, die out, or run out,” Burns decided to run out. He did so in June 1922, after serving only a few months’ time. Burns’s dramatic escape to Chicago was crowned by brilliant success in the publishing business, social recognition, and marriage. But years later when he proved an unfaithful husband, his wife, Emily, turned him in to the authorities. His arrest on May 22, 1929, caused a sensation in Chicago. Burns had never told Emily about his past, but she discovered his secret by opening letters from his brother, the Reverend Vincent Burns, an Episcopal priest.

Source: The New Georgia Encyclopedia: http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-793

While the book brought national attention to the plight of Southern prisoners and was perceived horribly by the rest of the nation, such practices remained common in the South for another two decades. Delano’s curiosity was surely piqued when he came across these scenes in rural Oglethorpe County.

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Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--

Salesgirl Leaving Work, Atlanta

Marion Post Wolcott/Library of Congress. (June 1939)

Photographers focused more on rural populations during the Great Depression, but city life was well-documented, as well.

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Filed under --FULTON COUNTY GA--, Atlanta GA

Blacksmith & Foreman in Grady County

Arthur Rothstein/Library of Congress. (August 1935)

Many vanishing occupations and ways of life were documented by the New Deal photographers.

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Filed under --GRADY COUNTY GA--