Massachusetts December 21, 2016
There’s Something Special About These 15 Massachusetts Farms From The Past
Massachusetts was once a largely agricultural region, and the Connecticut River Valley still has some of the most productive farmland in New England. These rare photos from the past reveal our state’s proud farming history, and some of the families that helped feed entire communities.
1. Hatfield was once blanketed by fertile farmland. Here, onion pickers are seen hard at work in 1936.
2. Produce was harvested by hand, which was slow and tiring work.
3. It wasn't all drudgery, though. Cattle competitions were a big draw at the 1936 Eastern State Fair in Springfield.
4. Horse-pulling was also a popular event.
5. Not much has changed about roadside farmstands in Massachusetts. This one in Greenfield in 1939 looks just the same as any you'd see today.
6. The fall bounty of pumpkins, squash and fruit is piled high beside the road.
7. If you felt like something sweet, these jars of homemade jam at a farm stand in Northampton would do the trick.
8. Here we see the small farm of John P. Collins in Taunton. He raised about six acres of vegetables and had 11 cows. To supplement his income he rents his truck out to a nearby Army camp.
9. Surplus food was stored in places such as this farmers' warehouse in Fitchburg, 1936.
10. Mother Nature didn't always cooperate, however. This tobacco field near Northampton was been devastated by the Connecticut River in 1936.
11. Getting your daily dose of dairy used to be a much more involved affair. Here, farmers milk local cows by hand.
12. Here, a farmer pasteurizes his milk in large machines.
13. Milk was once bottled in much smaller batches by local farmers. This bottling machine in Fitchburg was state of the art in 1936.
14. Some farm equipment used in the 1930s looks positively ancient by today's standards.
15. Pictures of places like this picturesque small farm near Brockton in 1940 can easily make you yearn for simpler days.
If you liked this, be sure to check out these
20 rare photographs taken in Massachusetts during the Great Depression.