[Sampling the Molasses]

One of 1,399 photographs in the series: Joe Clark, HBSS, 1939-1989 available on this site.

Description

Narrative by Junebug Clark in the summer of 2014 Stir-off party goers sample the molasses with sop sticks. Overall Background: These Molasses Making Stir-off photos were shot by Joe Clark HBSS in the early to mid-1940s. Either on the farm of Fred Whitaker about four miles southwest of Cumberland Gap, or in Cumberland Gap on the farm of Baptist preacher the Rev. Hugh Vancel. More information about these images can be found in scrapbooks in the Clark Family Collection at the University of North Texas Special Collections Library. Specifically in a Detroit news pictorial article published December 13, 1942 titles ... continued below

Physical Description

1 photograph : b&w ; 8 x 10 in.

Creation Information

Clark, Joe 194u.

Context

This photograph is part of the collection entitled: Clark Family Photography Collection and was provided by UNT Libraries Special Collections to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 13 times . More information about this photograph can be viewed below.

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Description

Narrative by Junebug Clark in the summer of 2014

Stir-off party goers sample the molasses with sop sticks.

Overall Background: These Molasses Making Stir-off photos were shot by Joe Clark HBSS in the early to mid-1940s. Either on the farm of Fred Whitaker about four miles southwest of Cumberland Gap, or in Cumberland Gap on the farm of Baptist preacher the Rev. Hugh Vancel. More information about these images can be found in scrapbooks in the Clark Family Collection at the University of North Texas Special Collections Library. Specifically in a Detroit news pictorial article published December 13, 1942 titles "stir-off party" where mountaineers make molasses and merriment. Also in life magazine published November 13, 1950 [page 156] titled “Stir-off Time in Tennessee, Fun Starts in Hills as Molasses Boils.’ Also in the library is the NBC Today Show story on Joe Clark HBSS by Bob Dotson. It features Joe Clark returning to Cumberland Gap Tennessee to photograph a molasses stir off taking place in the same location as some of these photographs and attended by some of the same people in the early 1980s.

Let me briefly set the scene of the time and era that these photos were made. World War II was raging. Television did not exist. Radio reception sporadic in this mountain country. School was held only three months a year mostly during the winter months. Most news of the changes in the outside world was learned, they say, “By looking at pictures in the Sears catalogs.”

They farmed steep and rolling hillsides of very poor land. In most of America, to help in the war effort, the rationing of food and other essentials was prevalent. Very few of these Tennessee mountaineers and hill folk had homes with electricity. None with indoor plumbing. Water came from wells which was diverted from nearby streams. Heat in the winter months from a single fireplace. It is where Joe Clark, HBSS was born and raised. Now living in Detroit Michigan, he returned to photograph and capture the memories and the good times of the people he knew so well so well and to document their lives which he saw changing.

Physical Description

1 photograph : b&w ; 8 x 10 in.

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Collections

This photograph is part of the following collection of related materials.

Clark Family Photography Collection

This seminal work of visual storytelling represents the extensive Clark family archives from the golden age of American photography. Their work has featured in Life Magazine, National Geographic, Look and Newsweek.

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Creation Date

  • 194u

Coverage Date

Added to The The Portal to Texas History

  • May 17, 2014, 1:44 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • July 29, 2014, 11:46 a.m.

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Clark, Joe. [Sampling the Molasses], photograph, 194u; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc286451/: accessed August 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.