Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fascinating photos of self reliant people

I came across a fascinating set of photos in the on-line collection at the Library of Congress. I've posted before how much Americans lives have changed in the last 70 years or so, but this bunch of pictures and their captions were a real eye opener.

These photos were shot in Pie Town, New Mexico in 1940 featuring Jack Whinery, his wife, their children and their home. To consider them resourceful and self-reliant would be a huge understatement.

Jack Whinery, homesteader, with his wife and the youngest of
their five children, Pie Town, New Mexico

The Whinery family in their dugout. Mr. Whinery had worked on farms in Texas for wages until homesteading one year ago. He arrived in Pie Town with thirty cents which he spent for
nails to build his dugout. He donates his services as a preacher to the church

Garden adjacent to the dugout home.

The original dugout house cost thirty cents for nails, and took
ten days to build. Two small sleeping rooms were added later.

Mrs.Whinery making a fly swatter. "These homesteaders never
buy anything that they can make at home." 

All photos in the series were shot under the auspices of the U.S. Government Farm Security Administration. More than 20 other shots documenting the Whinery family, their resourcefulness and hard work can be found in the Library of Congress collection. They're part of a larger collection shot in the homestead community of Pie Town in 1939 and 1940. 

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