Food Heritage in a Single Old Photo


Sometimes food heritage is sitting right under our noses, in an old family photograph that “has always been there.” Like this one of a large group standing in front of a farmhouse, circa 1915. The sepia picture hung for decades in that same farmhouse on Jonestown Road in Wallace, North Carolina.

Jones family

This image would not have been remarkable back in the day. According to Ag in the Classroom, in 1910 the farm population comprised one third of all Americans.


Note the mule in the picture, ( we think!) on the far right, an important part of this farm family, or maybe simply a favorite of the bearded man holding the reins, Henry Jones.  Born in 1890, Jones built the house he stands in front of, and established his farm on 80 acres of land. Like so many smallholdings, the farm raised a variety of crops, including corn, tobacco and assorted vegetables, as well as chickens, hogs and some cows. The family owned a horse, as well as the mule pictured. 

Henry’s wife, Annie Walker, is to his right, dressed in dark colors, while her siblings may include the three young women dressed in white. At the far left is likely one of Henry’s sons. Look carefully and you can see that the boy has his arms around a heifer. Hard to see, but the boy next to him appears to be clutching a piglet or some such close to his chest. From his other hand hangs a brass cowbell.

9/29/2014 8:11:25 AM

"Henry’s wife, Annie Walker, is to his right..." I'm pretty sure you mean to his left, unless he is overly fond of his mule and the lady to his left is just the wet nurse holding their offspring.

9/8/2014 3:56:55 PM

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