The Shorpy Archive
 
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
 
Join and Share

 
Social Shorpy

To love him is to like him. Our goal: 100k "likes":

 
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:

 
 
 
 
Member Photos


Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

 
Colorized Photos


Colorized photos submitted by members.

 
About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600
VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

Dry Goods: 1936

Dry Goods: 1936

July 1936. "J. Huffman of Grassy Butte, North Dakota, has been forced to close his general store on account of the drought." Medium-format nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

 

Dry Goods: 1936

John Paul Huffman was born in 1878 and died in 1965. Four years after this photo was taken, Mr. Huffman no longer owned the store. According to the 1940 census, he lived in the neighboring town of Rhoades and worked as a clerk in a retail store. I have located two of his granddaughters, and I plan to call them soon.

Super Ball

Peeking over the roof line is a Super Ball Radio Antenna.

O & G?

I fiddled with this wonderful image in Photoshop and I think I see tracess of faded letters, in a different color, that show the sign to have originally been Oil & Gas.

I won't swear to this, and I wish I could see a pump to back up my theory.

--Jim

O

I don't think it's an O at all. If you look at the bottom, it looks like the top half of an 8. But even with that, it remains a mystery.

Faded letters

I can't help but think that the "O" and the "G" on the building were the first letters of something; but what? The word "Gen" (as in "General") has almost completely faded away from "Gen M'dse", so it's tempting to think that other letters--perhaps in the same less-than-weatherproof paint--once followed the "O" and the "G". I can't imagine what it might have said, though.

Signed work

Looks like Speedy signed and dated his work for the J. Huffman Merchandise sign -- 8/29/29 I think. Wonder what the O and G are for?

[Looks like 8/29/27 for the sign and 9/17/32 for the windows. - tterrace]

Nothing left?

Maybe not in Montana, but in Grassy Butte, North Dakota...


View Larger Map

But the picture's of the ND Grassy Butte

Grassy Butte, North Dakota is still there. It has a bar (the Long X Saloon), a community center, a post office, a Standard service station (Beicegel Station, probably also a convenience store), a fairly large church, and what look like several other businesses, and even some trees. Pretty much all the necessities of life, except maybe high speed Internet service.

Across the street from Robert Evans, I guess

Three or more general stores in the same tiny town. During the Depression, no less. Maybe he was across the road from Robert Evans, with the bare light bulb dangling over the gas pump.

I love the sign painter's signature. You can still see this kind of work in Mexico, and maybe a few towns north of the border. In the unlikely event that these clapboards survived into the late '80s, I'd be amazed if they didn't end up on the wall of a frontage road chain restaurant (I don't know which one, as I try to avoid them). Next door, no doubt, to the Wal-Mart, which eventually finished off those colorful family-owned stores that survived the Depression.

Nothing left

of Grassy Butte Montana except a radio tower.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2014 Shorpy Inc.