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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Gone Visiting: 1939

Gone Visiting: 1939

July 1939. "Sons of Negro tenant farmer go visiting on a Saturday afternoon." Granville County, North Carolina. View full size. Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration.

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Type of crops

Most likely they grew tobacco. That's the only real cash crop that was grown in the region. Too far north for cotton and soy beans and peanuts came later. For the record, it's actually very good farm land in that area. The picture give a bad impression.

I used to work in Granville Co. You wouldn't recognize the place now. Most of the farmland has gone wild and the deer are so numerous that it's almost impossible to drive at night during the rutting season. I don't want to start a political argument, but I have to scratch my head when I hear how we're "destroying the environment". You couldn't prove it by Granville Co, or much of rural North Carolina for that matter.

I remember

If you had a pair of mules, you couldn't ride just one because they would be stubborn and act up if you tried to ride off without their mate. That is why I suspect there are two mules in this picture. And you could get awfully sore "you know where" from riding these things too unless you had a saddle or blanket or something for a cushion.
That sure is some hardscrabble land to try to make a farm out of too...I wonder what types of crops they farmed.


a ridiculously beautiful composition. the story this pictures tells is marvelous!

Rocks in a Row

The intentional placement of those rocks in a row suggests they were intended to mark some kind of boundary, but of what? I've seen photos of military bases where rocks would be arranged along the walkways to the barracks. Some were even whitewashed. And rocks were often used to outline flower beds.

Whatever the reason, it demonstrates some pride of place on the part of the tenant farmer.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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