The signs

Signs along the highway, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, June 1943, by John Vachon, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Another view of this here.

E. Riche/ Read the history of my life I am 65 year old born 1877 June 30th I don’t steal don’t murder don’t lie and never was arrested in my live Sherif Dauterive* gave a handcuff to handcuff me for telling the truth do you think it would be an honor to handcuff me the boat the life saver, is for proof that it crossed Judge Perez†, his two children, his wife, and his brother but Mr. Dauthrievl asked could I prove it, I said yes, and he asked who crossed him. I said a boy he also asked did he pay him I said yes, he gave him $100 [or $1.00] and looked for change back if I am wrong arrest me I am ready for trial I want help from the public eyes on, hands off, keep out, and be happy life saver crosse Peres family over Miss River if you arrest me for telling the truth you should be paralyzed blind or crazy God is my judge

History of depression and starvation these signs were taken up by the grand jury April 6, 1936 for investigation has investigation been made[?] if nothing can be found wrong please return these signs

On the side: Caernarvon levee [?} on April 29 [? . . .] horse [or house] claim ditch claim tree [?] claim. . . spring crop claim summer crop claim [? . . ] how can a poor man have a square deal [? . . .} have a square deal to replace my [?] in the same condition [? . . . .] (emphasis mine)

The drawback of tyme claim of 200 of false claim was made by county agent c.c. Dethloft [or Dethlofi] he was adv[i]sed $1299 [or 1219] tree claim I was offered $275 is this a square deal Mr Perez worked fifty fifty on summer claim every farmer summer claim was 229 [or 289] Mr Perez got 110 and each farmer got $110 [ or 410] paid ten years taxed [?. . .] 1927 where did my mo[?. . .] collected penny on

*Louis Dauterive was sheriff of Plaquemines Parish from 1931 to 1943.

†Parish political boss and segregationist Judge Leander Perez. Here’s a news story about him allegedly strong-arming another family over land in the 1930s. E. Riche’s complaints may go back to the removal of families in the 1920s to built a spillway to protect New Orleans.

Elephant ears

Caladium. Back of store.” Probably Friars Point, Mississippi, ca. 1920, by Milton McFarland Painter Sr., via Mississippi Department of Archives and History Commons on flickr (cropped slightly by me).

Milton McFarland Painter Sr. was a self-taught photographer from Coahoma County, Mississippi. He took at least 1,073 photos of his community and his vacation travels from about 1912 to the 1920s.

The Sunday porch: New Hampshire

Unidentified porch, Isle of Shoals, New Hampshire, ca. late 19th c., photographer unknown, via Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views, The New York Public Library Digital Collections.

The Isle of Shoals are a group of small islands off the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire. They may be best known as the home of writer and gardener Celia Thaxter. She hosted an informal artists colony at her father’s hotel on Appledore Island during the summers of the 1870s. Her guests included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and artist Childe Hassam, who illustrated her book, An Island Garden.

.  .  .  .  I but crave
The sad, caressing murmur of the wave
That breaks in tender music on the shore.

— Celia Thaxter, from “Land-Locked


Back yard of Company Officers’ Quarters Type D, Hamilton Field, Novato, California, 1994, by David G. De Vries for this Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The Type D Quarters are an example of Spanish Colonial Revival style “adapted to reflect California’s mission heritage in a dramatic departure from traditional military architecture,” according to the survey.