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.
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.
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.