Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Granger, Iowa Late 1800's

Granger, Iowa celebrated it's centennial back in 1984.  That means the town is now 128 years old.  It isn't a large town but it's early history included Italian coal miners living in the area. The agricultural influence on the area helped to feed the country.

While reviewing the Granger Centennial Book of 1984 I notice a theme of horse power being critical for the development of the area.  A horse and buggy would get you to wherever you needed to go on the dirt roads of the area.  Des Moines is thirty or more miles to the south so local grocery stores, doctors, and lumber yards kept the locals buying locally.

It really would be worth you while to click on the photos to see them in the larger format. There is a lot more to see of the history of Iowa when you do so.

Downtown Granger with it's dirt streets has electric wires down the streets.  I don't know it they are power lines also. This had to have been in the early 1900's. I like how the horse and buggies are pulled up in front of the businesses just like model T's would eventually have done.

Horses were essential to bring in the harvest from the fields.  Work back then was just as hard but its pace had to be different as the work was more extensive and slow.  Pitching bales of straw were slow when you were not using machinery to bring in the crop.

Covered carriages were a welcomed luxury with snow on the ground.  This looks like a scene at a country homestead as the grove of trees reminds me of a country area. I am sure a country doctor would have to depend on his horse and buggy to take him to the sick.

Riding behind the mower or binder was hot work and I am sure a rough ride with metal wheels.  A straw hat was mandatory in the summer heat of Iowa.
town consolidated it's school with Granger in 1976 so as I was hired to work for the two schools, I felt I was just as much a part of Granger as I was with the town of Woodward in which I lived.  The family histories of the people are all the grandparents of the parents of the children that I taught in Granger so as I go through the Granger Centennial Book I do know most of the names.
I have more to blog about with this town as it had a circus that wintered near the town and the very first government housing program happened in the Granger area.  I also have some school building history to share.  They were a part of our inter urban train line that connected to Des Moines.

Follow others today who are participating in Sepia Saturday.  They are from all across the world and have interesting photos and thoughts about the time and event of their postings.  Click here on Sepia Saturday. 


barbara and nancy said...

Some of these photos would have also been perfect for the "work" theme recently. A man and his horse. The essentials in those days.

Karen S. said...

Oh my I do like this post, and the lovely family photos, except for that one with all that, (you know that four letter word) that has been popping up all's pretty and white...but hey it's spring! Did I mention before, I do like your header photos too!

Little Nell said...

You’ve made some perceptive comments Larry, and you’re absolutely right - where would they have been without horsepower? We can certainly appreciate the pictures better when enlarged.

Wendy said...

Wonderful selection of photos and history. The town looked like it was on the brink of modernization.

Bob Scotney said...

I once had to drive a reaper (but not pulled by horses). It may have been more modern than the one you've shown but I can still feel the bumps when I look at yours.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Larry, what an outstanding post! I look forward to your upcoming ones about this area.

Kathy M.

Postcardy said...

Those are great images. I'm glad we no longer have to rely on horses.

barbara and nancy said...

I'll bet the looks of that cute little town changed a lot with the advent of the auto. Kind of a shame.

barbara and nancy said...

P.S. Tell your Della Mae she's welcome to join the club. Although I'm the only one left.
I think we Mae's should stick together.
What a coincidence to find another Della Mae in our Sepia Saturday family!

Linda said...

Great post, Larry. I love old photos! Thank you so much for sharing.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Every one of those photos shows the history of the area and really of our country. I am not sure where Granger is, but he next trip through IA, I will be sure to look. This is a great selection.

Rob From Amersfoort said...

Sometimes one wishes automobiles wouldn't have been invented... Driving to work in a horse and buggy seems not such a bad idea.

Crystal Mary said...

We are living in a wonderful age when we can travel back through time via these photo's. I look at that coach and think, it may have been luxurious BUT, I bet it was still cold. How much better we travel today. I still love to look at these old photos. They would never imagine our world today, back then, would they. We sure have come a long way. Yet the one thing we have lost is the goodness and goodwill between neighbors.

Sharon said...

Some great posts and photos on this page. Looking forward to future posts.