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Yamacraw Market: 1939

Yamacraw Market: 1939

Savannah, Georgia, circa 1939. "Yamacraw Market, Fahm Street. Rowhouse structure built about 1850. Torn down 1940 for Yamacraw Village Housing Projects." 8x10 acetate negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.


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Yamacraw's fate

I gather Yamacraw was a seriously rundown slum. Unfortunately, it was replaced by one of those soulless blocky housing projects that don't connect with the surrounding streetscape at all and have no small businesses like that market.

Those three little girls would be around 75-77 years old now. Wonder if they are still with us here in Savannah.

By the way, it's Fahm Street, with an "m"; it's still there and bisects the project.

Kerosene pump

I grew up in a tiny town in Missouri in the 60's and both of our gasoline stations had a pump just like the one in the picture. The square bottom part is the tank that held the kerosene. Even after access to electricity became widespread kerosene was still being used in stoves, etc.

Look Out Below

Notice the poor condition of the chimney. Those bricks look ready to fall at any time.

Timeless images

My first exposure to the South was in 1968 when I went to Georgia for basic training. It is amazing how similar many backwoods locales in the '60s were to Frances Benjamin Johnston's remarkable photographs of the '30s. Each time you display one of her wonderful images, I think "I know that place."

Fresh fruit

...piled up against the window glass. How many small markets have that today?

The market has electricity, but they stock oil lamps for their customers who are not so fortunate.

I wonder what the pump is for, behind the sandwich board, with the padlocked handle? It doesn't look like a gas pump.

[It's an oil pump. - Dave]

Had to point out...

...that Yamacraw backwards is Warcamay.

Which is it?

My dog wants to know. The window says 6 cents and the placard outside says 7 cents for the pork bones. He knows I'll use them first to make my stew.

How appetizing.

Pig tails (and chicken feet) do occasionally show up in Food Lion, a southeastern US grocery chain. Periodically I consider buying some just to see what they're like. But I'm from down here; I can vouch for fried chicken gizzards and boiled peanuts.


I am curious as to the function of this lockbox, as I do not see a slot for deposits, unless my eyes deceive me.

[The "slot" would be the door with the handle on this breadbox bearing the name of the Derst Baking Company. - Dave]


I love the lettering of the specials in the window and on the board out front.

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