Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sepia Saturday: 2013 June 1

circa 1925, Sigfords Planting Dry Land Wheat
on the "Steele Place"

The photo prompt for this 179th Sepia Saturday includes birds, beasts and reptiles, or carts, wheels, ladders, barrels, or whatever offshoots that occur in the minds of Sepians.  At first I favored an owl photograph (and it's a pretty good story too), but my decision was made when I happened to flip this old family photograph.  I am not sure that it fits the prompt, but there was something about the tractors, wheels, barrels, and horses that grabbed my attention.

My grandfather, Frank Sigford (probably with his pipe clenched between his teeth)  was operating  the old tractor, which almost has a homemade look, at least in comparison to the "modern" 1924 tractor.  The wheels look a lot like the Fordson F tractor of that day, but certainly not the tanks mounted on what appears to be a-trailer-like extension.  The driver's seat is visible, even though my grandfather is standing at the steering wheel.  All of the working mechanisms were open and visible -- a dangerous rig to operate, what with all the gears, flywheels and belts.

The little girl trudging up the hill to the tractor is my mother, who was about five or six at the time.  My Aunt Loise, one of my twin aunts and was a senior at Klamath Union High School, was driving the horse-drawn seeder and disc.

Dry land farmers always seed their crops with the hope (and expectation) that Mother Nature sends enough rain to sprout the seeds and  weather warm enough for the seeds to get a good start.  Frank was no different from any other farmer,  but the planting shown in this picture was subjected to one of Klamath county's cold, dry spring.  This was Frank Sigford's last attempt at farming, and the dream of having his own farm.

~ ~ ~
 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Check out the other Sepian offerings
on birds, beasts & reptiles -- or ladders, wheels, barrels, old carts.


  1. What a wonderful photo to have in your family collection.

  2. I can see why you are drawn to this picture. Along with your story, the picture demonstrates the difficulty of farming. Having this record of your grandfather's noble attempt at farming is such a treasure.

  3. It fits the prompt perfectly! This is a real 'snapshot in time' having caught your grandfather's last attempt at making a go of his farm, before being defeated by the elements. Enlarging it brings out the detail, and, as you point out, the rather scary open mechanisms - no Health and Safety rules in those days.

  4. ......and farmers think they have it tough now ! Wonderful photo!

  5. My theme this week also includes many farm wagons. They certainly had it tough back then. No air conditioned cabs in those days.
    Those horses don't look very energetic do they?

  6. A fine old photograph and with lots of memories. Good post!

  7. It might be that the tractor actually was homemade.

  8. Sad to read that his dream died. Lovely picture though.

  9. Great photo which takes me back to the days when I worked on a local farm, driving an old Fordson (not that old) as a student during the holidays.

  10. Fantastic photo and so great that you have the meaning of that moment in your relatives' lives...thanks so much for letting us touch their history.

  11. The picture tells it all, so great that you also know the story from family history.


  12. I hope they went on to a happier life..or should I say an easier life. People often look back on those days of struggle and challenge (as students, young families etc.) as the happiest of their lives, don't they.