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Ducktown Scab Committee: 1939

Ducktown Scab Committee: 1939

October 1939. "Picketing. Copper miners on strike waiting for scabs to come out of the mines. Ducktown, Tennessee." View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration.


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Ducktown Miners

Hi Delia,

I visited the mine museum yesterday (Nov. 8) and looked at that same calendar page, but it indicated that the man on the left was Bert Hensley. Here's a current photo of the corner where they were sitting:

Scab Committee

My grandfather, John McGee, worked as a supervisor and demolitions expert in the Burra Burra mines in Ducktown, and I was just visiting family there. Folk in town say that this wasn't a scab committee, and these men weren't holding weapons.

Instead, they were sitting around Main Street, whittling (note the carved end of the stick). This was a very common practice in those days; the men usually gathered on street corners, either in front of the hotel or the company store, just to talk and pass the time.

The first gentleman is Wesley Davis, the young man in the middle is Everette Goode and the third man is Tom Mealer. I saw Everette Goode during my visit (and yes, he was wearing overalls).

A version of this photo is featured in this year's Copper Basin Pictorial Calendar from the Ducktown Basin museum; these gentlemen are the September feature.

BTW, my grandfather was a part of that strike; in fact, he was put in jail by the mining company on suspicion of blowing up the power lines to the mines. But they couldn't prove anything, so he was released.

I want to thank David Beckler for his help on this; he lives two doors down from the old Ducktown Hotel on Main Street where this picture was taken.


Rock Or Harmonica?

To me the rock looks like a harmonica and the cudgel could be a walking stick because of a mine accident but then I am a 100% Union man and my view may be clouded.

[Rock. - Dave]

Scab Committee

So Mr. Right has his cudgel and Middle Boy is holding a rock or brick. Can't wait to see what happens!

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