Farms, Barns, Cabins & Whatnot From the Late 19th / Early 20th Century

Cades Cove, Smoky Mountains

cades cove pasture

‘Tis Spring here. Cold at night but pleasant and colorful during the day.

cades cove famland in black & white

Nevertheless, life here at the turn of the 20th century was probably a bit grim. Maybe it’s just me but I have trouble imagining kids skipping gleefully down this lane alongside parents holding hands and toting a picnic basket. So, with all due respect to Norman Rockwell, I have brutally toned these 21st century images down to 19th century black & whites to more accurately reflect the temper of the times.

cades cove cabincades cove buildingcades cove barncades cove buildingswater wheelcades cove barncades cove house

Where have all the smiling faces gone?

child's grave marker

Still not convinced? You can vividly imagine children when not milking cows or chopping wood laughing, playing, getting into mischief? Poverty and a strict Protestant work ethic can’t extinguish the human spirit, you say?

Good! Artists are nothing if not subversive, and you should always be on guard against lowlifes of my ilk. Here are two identical images processed maliciously in opposite directions. Select the one that best matches your personality.

cades cove house, black & whitecades cove house, color😦 🙂 😦 🙂 😦 🙂

3 Replies to “Farms, Barns, Cabins & Whatnot From the Late 19th / Early 20th Century”

  1. John, I like this whole set a lot. You saw closely–and it shows. If you ever get your reprobate self to the Bay Area, I’d like to get together. Blessings. Lynn


    1. Thanks, Lynn. I can rarely predict my whereabouts but I’ll certainly let you know when I’m in your area!


  2. Just as today, the quality of life depended on whether you owned, managed, were hired help or were a migrant worker. It depended on the family core’s state of physical (and moral) health, and if they could provide adequate food, shelter, warmth, etc…… Quality of life, portrayed by Norman Rockwell, had nothing to do with how much stuff they had or where (or if) they went to schools. But honest, hard working people who also helped others when possible were happy people.

    People who honest, hard working people


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