New Mexico December 16, 2017
Here’s What Life In New Mexico Looked Like In 1935
It’s no secret that the 1930s were some tough years. Years of economic depression combined with the Dust Bowl affecting huge regions of the country led to some of the toughest years Americans have known. Yet, the people endured. Let’s take a look at some photos shot in 1935 by renowned photojournalist Dorothea Lange that show how some New Mexicans managed to survive those years.
1. This first photo shows a child standing on the road leading to the tiny town Mills of Harding County. The photographer noted that the grain elevator and town bank had closed by this point as a result of both the Dust Bowl and Great Depression.
2. This photo shows how the Dust Bowl entered northeastern New Mexico, drying up prime farmland and making any agriculture impossible.
3. Farm equipment sits untouched on an abandoned farm in Mills, which was hit by the Dust Bowl. Drought combined with a lack of care and understanding for the land led to land erosion and massive dust storms.
4. In Bosque Farms (19 miles south of Albuquerque), a man managed to find work making adobe bricks for schools and houses.
5. Creating a permanent home in those times was tough, so many families lived in quickly constructed buildings like this one in Bosque Farms. These were meant to keep out the elements rather than act as a home to keep in the family. The photographer noted that these buildings were often later remodeled as barns.
6. A mother and her three children stand outside their temporary home for a quick photo.
7. A mother and her child stand outside their home in Mills, preparing to resettle to a better farming area.
8. Childhood in those days couldn’t have been easy! This particular child had resettled at least once as her family moved from Taos Junction to Bosque Farms for farming opportunities. We also get a rare peek inside one of the temporary homes.
9. The young girl was hard at work when this photo was taken. According to the photographer, she earned a mere $0.05 per day by herding cows. This would be the equivalent of $0.90 in today's money.
10. This man pauses for a photo between getting a chance to work in Bosque Farms.
11. Meanwhile, the farm in this village in Tewa Basin looked to be faring slightly better with water and vegetation, though farm animals are noticeably absent.
Do you have any stories you would like to share about how your family survived this trying time in American history? We would love to hear your stories!
You can see more intriguing photos of New Mexico during the Great Depression in
25 Rare Photos Taken In New Mexico During The Great Depression.