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Wisdom's End: 1942

Wisdom's End: 1942

April 1942. "Wisdom, Montana. Edge of the town." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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When I look at many of these small town photos I'm struck by how little there is in the way of entertainment for the people who live there. We're surrounded now by all sorts of things and have the prosperity to be entertained inside and outside the home. For these folks, money was so very tight and even if you had some maybe a beer and song from the jukebox were your options (or make your own music). A very different expectation about leisure.

Just East Of Wisdom

Just east of Wisdom is where I believe this picture was taken. The topography of Odell mountain can be seen on this snip-it from Google Earth.

Home, home on the range

On April 22, while here in Wisdom, John Vachon wrote to his wife:

"I've got to come back here again. I want to live here and raise my children here. It keeps growing and growing. If I stayed 2 weeks I wouldn't even leave to go home and pack up. I'd just send for you."


For the vintage vehicle experts here on Shorpy to ID these two muddy pickups, seemingly a matched pair.

Yellowstone coach remains?

It looks like an old Yellowstone coach resting in pieces to the left of the gas station.

Wisdom's start

and Wisdom's end looks to be about a block long.

Looks like the edge of town

is the town.

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