My Blog List

Saturday, December 12, 2015

South Carolina in the 1930s

My maternal grandparents were both born on sharecropper farms here in South Carolina just prior to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

 They grew up very poor, growing tobacco for wealthy landowners and just barely making a living during those long-ago hard times.

Here are some photos taken around the state in the 1930s, of people very much like my grandparents.

http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/south-carolina/rare-sc-depression-photos/

15 comments:

  1. Hard times for many. Tobacco farming has now finished here, and the huge old drying barns are being turned into houses (we have converted one for our youngest son and family). Farm life was very different when we came to live in France 43 years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tobacco was the major cash crop in this area even when I was a f m girl, but those days are over now. I still remember the sweet smell of tobacco curing in warehouses all over my hometown. It was a wonderful smell, nothing like nasty cigarette smoke.

      Days gone by.

      Delete
  2. So much for the "good" old days... Looking at such photos always makes me feel even more grateful than I already do. Grateful for the life I have, in the place and time where I am, (mostly) free to decide what to do instead of being someone's wife, working myself to death and raising 14 children in a house with no running water and no electriciy... *shudder*! And to think that there are still millions of people on this planet whose lives are not much different from that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think about the millions of people who still live like that (or even worse) on a regular basis. And I try to remember how much we have to be thankful for.

      Delete
  3. May be after all we have better life now,inspite of what we feel from time to time,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have an easier life, no doubt about it.

      Delete
  4. "What did you think of the photos? Feel free to share your comments below..."

    Wonderful pictures Jennifer. They remind foreign visitors to your blog that America was never a promised land of milk and honey for everyone. Even working white people had very hard times to face. One of my favourite novels of all time is "The Grapes of Wrath" and these powerful pictures reminded me of that book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I had a scanner and could add some family photos from when my grandparents were young. The houses and farms looked very much like the ones shown here. Tobacco and cotton farming was brutally hard work, and my family worked alongside the poor children and grandchildren of freed slaves. Just keeping everyone fed was a struggle during the Great Depression.

      Delete
  5. Great to see those photos. That's what makes you the great person that you are Jennifer, your grandparents working hard everyday and knowing what a hard life is makes good people.x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rachel. Even though my grandparents achieved some measure of comfort and financial security in their later years, they had a work ethic that reflected how hard their early lives had been. My grandfather grew a huge garden every year, well into his seventies, and stocked the freezers and pantries of our entire family with every harvest. He also did a lot of fishing. He was serious about his family never going hungry, even though by the time I came along we could all afford to buy food in the store.

      They were good people.

      Delete
  6. Amazing photos. Such a different life, and not really so long ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No,not so very long ago at all. There are still quite a few folks alive who can tell stories about the Depression.

      Delete
  7. Great photos. I really like South Carolina. My husband's people originally came from there, so we have gone a few times on genealogy research trips. You have the best BBQ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the comment! What part of the state were your husband's family from?

      I agree about SC barbecue. It's the mustard based sauce that makes it distinctive. Of course, folks in North Carolina would vehemently disagree, but I think ours is the best!

      Delete
    2. Edgefield - really Old Ninety Six (District, way back when).

      We have sampled both NC and SC bbq and like them both. But in our book, SC is the best.

      Delete