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Houses on the Hill: 1935

Houses on the Hill: 1935

October 1935. Coal miners' houses in Omar, West Virginia. View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by Ben Shahn for the Farm Security Administration.

 

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Outhouse

These were most likely Company owned houses and everything was built with ease of maintenance in mind. You'll notice a large trap door at the base of the rear of the outhouses in the picture. These doors allowed access for the "honey dippers" to clean the outhouses and keep down odors and avoid the need to relocate the outhouse every few years. The building that was mentioned as a chicken coop could also be a wood or coal shed, wash house and possibly even a chicken coop. These were also most likely foreman homes since they seem to be much larger.

Outhouses

There was a James Garner TV-movie (he worked for a railroad) where each time he went across his back yard headed for the outhouse, the annoying little neighbor girl would say, "I know where YOU'RE going!"

Omar

Great image. These duplexes near the tracks look nicer than the ones on the hill. I wonder what you say to your neighbor as you walk past on your way to the outhouse.

Smokehouse

Interesting--large houses, every one has its own outhouse and there's even a smokehouse and what appears to be a chicken coop at the one on the left.
Very interesting house designs, would look good today.

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