Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vintage photos: Homesteading in South Dakota

Tomorrow I'll be reviewing, The Conquest, an autobiographical novel by South Dakota pioneer Oscar Micheaux. Set during the first decade of the last century, it describes homesteading and the settling of frontier towns. Included in the book are many uncredited photographs that seem to be by a single photographer. They capture the raw, treeless terrain of the prairie and the rough and ready appearance of new towns. I'll use a few of them for the review but wanted to devote an entire post to them. So here they are [click to enlarge]:

Cattle and horses along a fence line.
People gathering for a celebration.
A dog in a field.
Farmer in field with horse-drawn equipment. Missouri River in background.
Settlers with wagons and mule team. Beer hall in background.
Shocks of grain waiting for threshing.
View of Main Street in a new town.
Field of alfalfa in valley. Hills in distance too dry for farming.
Fields under cultivation. Notice lack of fences.
An automobile on the prairie. Original off-road vehicle.

Coming up: Oscar Micheaux, The Conquest (1913)


  1. Wonderful! The dog in the field is especially effective.

  2. I love looking at old photographs. Thanks.

  3. Great photos. I really like the beer hall photo. Thanks

  4. The invention of the tractor sure helped cultivate the prairie. Great photos.