Northern California June 09, 2016
15 Rare Photos Taken In Northern California During The Great Depression
“Who Knows Only His Own Generation Remains Always A Child.” Are the words etched in stone at the entrance of the Norlin Library at The University of Colorado. Quite fitting when you think about all the generations of Northern Californians who’ve worked hard to forge a path for us today. If we don’t take a moment to look back at the men and women who lived the generations before us we’ll be missing out on some really incredible opportunities to learn a bit more about Northern California and possibly a little about ourselves.
1. Unemployment Benefits
2. Canton Surrenders to Japan
Chinese businessmen gather in Chinatown, San Francisco to read the news of Canton surrending to the Japanese. The majority living in the US at the time were Cantonese.
3. Working on the Dam
The Great Depression was a time when jobs were in scarce supply. The building of the Shasta Dam was a job maker for so many. This $21 million project began in 1938 and the last bucket of concrete was poured in December 22, 1945.
4. Gambling At Work - It was a thing....
Shasta Dam not only was a place to work but a place to unwind during lunch breaks. Back in the day it was perfectly okay to gamble to pass the time.
5. Getting Together For Festivals and Stuff
Novto is where this group gathered for their annual Holy Ghost Parade. These men had the fun task of making all the soups for the gathering crowds.
6. Houses started popping up everywhere!
The 1930s and 1940s homes began popping up all over Northern California. Men were coming back from the war and the baby boom was in full swing. This group of homes was in San Leandro where approximately 19,000 people were raising families there.
7. Peace Talk at UC Berkeley
Students gather to hear General Smedley give a talk on peace. The UC Berkeley campus would grow up and hold LOTS more of these kinds of things through the years.
8. Contra Costa County
Contra Costa County was more rural than you can even imagine. Small farms dotted the countryside and people were working harder than ever before. There's still a little bit of the small town farmer in lots of folks who live there today.
9. Richmond Shipyard
Richmond drew lots of folks for work at the Kaiser shipyard. This is Miss Eastine Cowner, a former waitress, is helping in her job as a scaler to construct the Liberty ship SS George Washington Carver.
10. Downtown Auburn
Head to downtown Auburn today and you see a much different site. But, isn't it great to see what it once was and how the town has stayed and grown over the years.
11. Napa Valley
Called a "bindle-stiff" by those folks of this generation. This gentleman was a transient who walked from the mines to the lumber mills to the farms to find work.
The American River was the location for migrants to pitch tents until they landed on their feet. This young woman is the daughter of a Tennessee coal miner who no doubt came to find a better life.
13. San Francisco
The Salvation Army had its work cut out for them. So many hurting people without work and needing encouragement. San Francisco was always the metropolitan place many headed for a better life but soon found that work was hard to come by.
14. Artichokes in Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay was the site of some pretty awesome early agriculture. Would you believe artichokes were one of them? So began our NORCAL history of owning it with these incredible green delicacies!
A history rich with mining and lumber, Yreka was even photographed way back when. Those days when life was simpler. We're pretty sure this town is still a place where people know your name and you get a wave on the street from a stranger.
Which photo would you love to climb into and live awhile?