In her notes, legendary photograph Dorothea Lange wrote that the Wray family had lived in this house and farmed this land for generations. The devastation of the Great Depression reduced a tenant farm of 2700 acres supporting fifty families in 1918 to one barely subsisting with seven families in 1937. Erosion and abandonment on the plantation are highlighted in the two images that follow.
A master of documentary portraiture, Lange turned her camera on what she called a “Southern lady of the old school, on the veranda of the Big House of the Wray Plantation” in July 1937. The lady appears to be in her 80s, so my guess is that she was born just before or around the outset of the Civil War.
Dorothea Lange/Library of Congress (1937)