Maybe we all just long for some connection to a life where a rooster still crows in the yard…As farms become larger and automated with huge equipment, (Hey, you don’t even have to steer the tractor these days!) the farmers of yesterday have found themselves in the category of nostalgia. Fewer farms today require daily manual labor of the past… cows to milk, a variety of animals to feed/butcher, eggs to collect and bailing hay meant stacking heavy bales on the hayrack by hand. Farm kids didn’t need the weight room to excel in sports as their daily chores took care of that. Kids were not asked to work, but rather expected toearn their keep. (as my father-in-law used to say)
Sounds like a tough way of life, but those who grew up on a farm “back in the day” most likely also have fond memories of life as well as a tremendous amount of respect for the parents who raised them.
The past has floated away like fluff on a dandelion as the prairie winds blow across the old abandoned yard. The young girl’s grandmother has long since passed away, but the old house from her childhood still stands as if to be a testament to her very existence.
The skeleton of a house is what remains, but in the mind are memories… laughter, tears, struggle and joy are carried by the wind as it flows through the empty windows. Heat radiating from the wood burning stove, smells of fresh baked bread permeating the air, the cluck of chickens in the coop to the sound of chicken sizzling as it fries in the old cast iron skillet…
Works published or created before 1923 are considered public domain so I should be safe with this image from 1913 taken in Gary, South Dakota. A public domain work is a creative work that is not protected by copyright andwhich may be freely used by everyone.
Below is a scan of the original mounted print:
The image below has been edited to crop out the torn edges, visible spots retouched and made the shadows a little richer.
Along with old photographs comes stories and memories triggered from days gone by. My mother-in-law recalls a dance hall above this bar and when the dancers would be rockin’ the floor the ceiling lights, in the bar, would swing.
Farmers’ Night, usually occurring in March before spring work, was held in the dance hall where families would enjoy entertainment and hoped to win a prize. She remembers one Farmers’ Night as though it were yesterday: A handsome young man, that she had been corresponding with in Oregon, had returned to Gary and there he was… at Farmers’ Night. They were married the following fall…
Thank you to Buck Dessler of Gary, South Dakota for retrieving this gem from his childhood home.
Have you ever wondered about copyright laws and old images? The following link contains a chart with the laws when working with older images: