Hard at Work

As you know, I try to match the topic each Saturday with the challenge photo on the Sepia Saturday blog. This week just about defeated me. The photo showed train tracks and a trestle with houses on steep hillsides. How would I find anything like that in our family photo albums?

I settled on a vintage photo of my grandmother’s brother, Lester Vining. It was taken in Taney County, Missouri. That location may sound familiar to some, as it is where Branson, Missouri is. Long before the area became a tourist destination, the people in the Ozarks made a living as best they could.

This sentence from Settlers in the Ozarks explains what Luther is doing. It was a hard way to make a living with a crosscut saw, an ax, and a team of horses.

The first sustained boom to the area’s economy resulted from the harvesting of local timber when the nation’s expanding rail system created demand for a seemingly endless supply of cross ties.

lester vining logging

I’m guessing that the photo is around 1912 as I have a companion photo of Luther with his horses. The photo is from Melba McGhee Harlan’s collection (Luther was her uncle). Note that Luther has the same hat on in both photos. He would have been 23-years-old in 1912.

luther vining & horses

Here’s the Sepia Saturday photo that set the theme for my family story. It’s interesting to see what other bloggers post on the theme.

To learn more about Luther Vining’s life, visit our family history blog, Then And Now.

Karori Electric Tramway Postcard (Via Flickr Commons) Sepia Saturday 532

Karori Electric Tramway Postcard (Via Flickr Commons) Sepia Saturday 532

5 thoughts on “Hard at Work

  1. Luther was a nice looking young man. I’m assuming in the first photo, those hand-hewn logs are his creation. Whew – what a lot of hard work!

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  2. Many moons ago we went to Branson. One of the dinner shows we took in I think was called Tall Timber – something like that anyway. The show wasn’t musical – it was lumberjack teams competing in all those typical lumberjack “games” including log rolling. Sawing. Chopping. You name it – it was some HARD work.

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