Interactive gallery with CSS Grid

“The record of the Great Plains is to a great extent a record of settlement and abandonment.” — J. Russell Smith

Dust storm sweeping over farmland

Dust storm near Mills, New Mexico

LCCN 2017760257

Abandoned ranch house

On the plains west of Fresno, California. Family of seven from Oregon dairy ranch which they lost. “We tried to get too big, I guess. Milk cans are all that’s left of the dairy. Now pick bolls to make fifty cents to one dollar a day. We can’t work every day or maybe we could get by.” Rent for house without water or sanitation — six dollars per month. Plan next to pick fruit. “They say if you come to California, you always come back, but I’m willing to leave it.”

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Modest farm house surrounded by dust, nearby power lines

Dust Bowl farm. Coldwater District, north of Dalhart, Texas. This house is occupied; most of the houses in this district have been abandoned

LCCN 2017770620

Abandoned small house against dirt road

Drought-abandoned house on the edge of the Great Plains near Hollis, Oklahoma

LCCN 2017770649

Wall of dust pushes up against a dilapidated farm house

Abandoned farm. Coldwater District, north of Dalhart, Texas

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Tenant farmer's cabin with caved-in roof

Abandoned tenant cabin of the Mississippi Delta

LCCN 2017770324

Fence corner and outbuilding being buried by dust

Fence corner and outbuilding being buried by dust. Misuse of lands is the chief cause of results such as this. Mills, New Mexico

LCCN 2017759919

Gate and broken fence before exhausted farmland

Carter County, Oklahoma. Abandoned land, exhausted soil

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Dust storm; man in foreground; buildings in background

Dust storm. It was conditions of this sort which forced many farmers to abandon the area. Spring 1935. New Mexico

LCCN 2017759935

A corral practically buried by drifted dust.

A corral practically buried by drifted dust. Mills, New Mexico. Therefore, the fertile top soil of a grazing area cannot be utilized

LCCN 2017759937

Abandoned farm machinery on scrubby hill; farm house in background

Farm machinery left on abandoned dry land farm in Columbia Basin. Washington, Grant County, one mile east of Quincy.

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Abandoned farm house on the other side of an empty field

Abandoned farm on the high plains, Texas County, Oklahoma.

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Abandoned house with rear wall collapsed

One of many abandoned homes in the Widtsoe area. Utah.

LCCN 2017759431

Disused farm implements resting on dust near a shack

These farm implements should never have been used for they destroyed a naturally rich grazing area. Mills, New Mexico

LCCN 2017759938

Mailbox in foreground; Dirt road intersection in midground; fence in background

Mailbox in Dust Bowl. Coldwater District, north of Dalhart, Texas

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Small abandoned church; few conifers, mountains in background

Abandoned church in cut-over area. Boundary County, Idaho

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Few stumps atop grassy hill

Land cut over by lumber company and not replanted. Greene County, Georgia.

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Square-patterned frame of abandoned alcohol refinery, surrounded by knee-high forbs

What is left of the alcohol plant, built to utilize refuse. Fullerton, Louisiana, an abandoned lumber town

LCCN 2017770467

Abandoned sawmill missing its roof

Remains of sawmill in Fullerton, Louisiana. An abandoned lumber town

LCCN 2017770315

Careyville, Florida, a ghost town

Careyville, Florida. A sawmill village, abandoned after the closing of the mill

LCCN 2017770367

Barn surrounded by plowed-out field

Power farming displaces tenants from the land in the western dry cotton area. Childress County, Texas Panhandle

LCCN 2017770664