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Idaho Chief: 1941

Idaho Chief: 1941

June 1941. "Filling station and store across the street from the FSA labor camp. Caldwell, Idaho." Acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

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Not exactly the Piggly Wiggly

It's hard to imagine that the groceries could have been very good there (as in, plentiful and of a wide range), but I bet it was nice to have a cold drink while you filled up. For archfan: the Japanese Americans were interned ... not interred. xo

Turn around, Bright Eyes

I can't find a building similar to the one pictured near any entrance, but the Caldwell labor camp is still around - just transformed. It was originally built in 1938 to house American farmers displaced by the Depression. WWII caused labor shortages, so the Bracero program brought folks to Caldwell from Mexico as farm workers to cultivate and pick sugar beets, hops, and potatoes. The Bracero program continued until 1964; then the camp housed Mexican-American workers. Today, it houses workers from Mexico on H-2A visas. Also during the war, interred Japanese Americans were allowed out of the camps for temporary farm work, and some stayed at Caldwell.

The camp originally had a mix of 2 bedroom houses and single-room apartments. The houses were occupied year-round; the apartments were for seasonal workers. After the war, the government transferred the camp to the Caldwell Housing Authority. Today, it's known as Farmway Village.

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