15 Amazing Photos of Oregonians During The Great Depression

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic collapse that took place during the 1930s, and Oregon was no different than anywhere else drastically affected by this hard point in history. These incredible images give us a glimpse into another time, a time that makes us realize how much easier we have it in modern society.

Economic historians usually attribute the start of the Great Depression to the sudden devastating collapse of U.S. stock market prices on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday, However, some dispute this conclusion and see the stock crash as a symptom, rather than a cause, of the Great Depression.

These photos were taken between 1936-1939 by Dorothea Lange and Arthur Rothstein, and they are accompanied by their original captions.

1. Unemployed logger in August of 1939, in Marion County, Oregon.

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Unemployed lumber worker goes with his wife to the bean harvest. Note social security number tattooed on his arm.

 

2. Two young men in July of 1936, in Madras.

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Resettlement Administration workers. Rimrock Camp. Madras, Oregon

 

3. October of 1939, in Merril.

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This family came to the potato harvest after the Oregon hop harvest. In FSA (Farm Security Administration) camp unit. Merrill, Klamath County, Oregon

 

4. July of 1936, McMinnville.

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Resting after a hard day’s work at a Resettlement Administration workcamp. Jefferson County, Oregon

 

5. June of 1936, in Jefferson.

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The chef at the Rimrock Camp in the central Oregon land development project gets ready to go into action on the dinner gong. Oregon.

 

6. Unhappy baby in October of 1939, Merrill.

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Baby from Mississippi parked in truck at FSA (Farm Security Administration) camp, Merrill, Oregon.

 

7. Fresh haircut in August of 1939, Marion County.

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Oregon, Marion County, near West Stayton. Bean pickers barber each other.

Still have to look good, even when there’s a depression.

8. Indian in July of 1936, Molalla, Clackamas.

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A Warm Springs Indian chief at the Molalla Buckeroo. Molalla, Oregon

 

9. A farm boy in July of 1936, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon.

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10. Shot in Deschutes National Forest, July of 1936.

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Cowpuncher in summer pasture. Deschutes National Forest, Oregon

11. Fruit worker in Portland, July of 1936.

A part-time fruit worker in his squatter's shack under the Ross Island Bridge. Portland, Oregon
A part-time fruit worker in his squatter’s shack under the Ross Island Bridge. Portland, Oregon

12. Fisherman on the Yachats River, June of 1936.

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Recreational opportunities in the coastal range are unparalleled as this happy fisherman will testify. Yachats River, Oregon

13. Baseball in Madras, July of 1936.

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14. Kids in a tent October of 1939, Merrill.

Lighthearted kids in Merrill FSA (Farm Security Administration) camp, Klamath County, Oregon.
Lighthearted kids in Merrill FSA (Farm Security Administration) camp, Klamath County, Oregon.

15. Kids in August of 1939, West Stayton.

Oregon, Marion County, near West Stayton. Children in large private bean pickers camp. Pickers came from many states, from Oklahoma to North Dakota
Oregon, Marion County, near West Stayton. Children in large private bean pickers camp. Pickers came from many states, from Oklahoma to North Dakota

And here’s a bonus photo of Koosah, because beautiful waterfalls in Oregon existed at this time too!

16. Koosah Falls on The Mckenzie, in June of 1936.

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Koosah Falls on the McKenzie River. Cascade Range, Oregon 

 

We’d like to thank this website photogrammar.yale.edu for all of these incredible images. Head over to their site to see around 60 or so more images from Oregon during the Great Depression.

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