Michigan during and immediately following the Great Depression was a period of tremendous transition. On one side, the state was establishing itself as a manufacturing powerhouse. On the other, many Michigan families were living in extreme poverty, toiling the soils of the state’s agriculture industry. It was a meager means of self-reliance. And, as photographed by photographer John Vachon, for a project that looked at the struggles of families during that period, created by order of then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt, we can see how families lived in rural Michigan.

Quite a set of photographs, huh? Kind of makes you appreciate all the modern luxuries we enjoy today. Tell us about life on the farm, back in 1930s and ’40s Michigan. We would be intrigued by the stories you have to tell.

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.

Explore Michigan