|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.
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© Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications
Check out the other Sepian offerings
on birds, beasts & reptiles -- or ladders, wheels, barrels, old carts.