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Trucked: 1935

Trucked: 1935

October 1935. Our third shot of Red House, West Virginia, youngsters on the way to school by truck. 35mm negative by Ben Shahn for the FSA. View full size.


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The kids

Hi Marlane,

I was wondering if you could identify any of these children as any of the Burgess children -- Jean, Leland, Corliss (Burl), Willo or Lillie.

Thank you,

Houses in Red House Farms

I am an originia [?] family child and still one of the 150 houses in Eleanor WV also known as Red house Farms. The clothing the children had on was what they had. Some would wear a jacket or coat over a torn dress so it wouldn't show. Some of us had shoes, some didnt. There were 150 houses and three repalacement houses for the three land owners who chose not to sell to the Gov. in 1934. The house referred to in the picture is still standing however there was NO knotty pine in the houses, it is all wormy chestnut. Stll very much in demand when it can be found. As I said I own one of the homes yet. The truck is parked in front of the barracks where school was being held. The working men had lived there before the families moved in. What a special Bonding the remaining children have today. We are proud to be called Project children.

Marlane Crockett Carr

I keep coming back to this photo.

What I can't get over is that it would seem that it's a chilly day, judging by the fact that most of the kids are in heavy sweaters or jackets. Yet the boy in overalls and at least one other (the boy with his back to the camera) aren't wearing shoes. Their toes must have been frozen!

But what really gets me is thinking how times have changed. Twenty-five years or so ago, I was the same age as many of the kids in this photo. In my school, you were often ridiculed for not having the "correct" $100 Nikes. Yet in this photo, no one seems bothered in the least that some in the group don't even have shoes.

Makes me wonder what happened between now and then....

Red House

They all look so happy to be going to school. Wonderful picture.

Eleanor Roosevelt

This is from the Putnam County farm project near Red House (Red House Farms). The project was established in 1934 and was underwritten by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, a forerunner of the Resettlement Administration and the FSA. There were over 150 families settled at the site who had been receiving relief, and who were to become self supporting through training and farming. It was called a "subsistence homestead community."

Notice the "government house" on the right side of the frame. Each was on an acre of land along with a small barn, chicken pen and garden. The houses were mainly of cinderblock construction, but knotty pine inside. There was also a community farm and barn, public owned gas works, greenhouse, canning works, carpentry shop, cooperative factory, filling station and pool room.

And the poster is correct, you can see the sort of adults that they would become.

Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the most important voices in establishing these communities, and the site is now called Eleanor. It claims to be "the cleanest town in West Virginia."

Red House

You can almost see the adults that they will become. I love this shot.

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