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[Grinding Sorghum Cane]

Description: Photograph of mule turning a press that a young boy is feeding sorghum cane. The juice in the cane is squeezed out and captured. Later it is will be boiled down into molasses. Narrative by Junebug Clark: Additional photos and information can be found in the pdf document "Joe Clark HBSS LIFE Magazine Photos" page 20. Also, November 13, 1950. Life Magazine pages 156-160. Stir-off Time in Tennessee. Fun Starts in Hills as Molasses Boils. Photo by: Joe Clark, HBSS. Clark PhotoFile: 5800
Date: 194u
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Harvest Time]

Description: Narrative by Junebug Clark in the summer of 2014 Young girl in a field of Sorghum. The sorghum has been stripped and the stalks are ready to harvest. 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 ...
Date: 194u
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Group harvesting sorghum cane]

Description: Photograph of a group of men and women clearing a field of sorghum cane. A man on the left cleans his blade while four girls in the center collect stalks. A boy on the right hands a grip of stalks to another man who is bent over.
Date: 194u
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Sorghum Harvest]

Description: Narrative by Junebug Clark in the summer of 2014: Young girl in a field of sorghum. 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 ...
Date: 194u
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Molasses Making Time]

Description: Narrative by Junebug Clark in the summer of 2014 In the background center, you can see the grinding mill, usually drawn by a horse or a mule. Sorghum cane stalks are fed into this mill and juice from the stalks are pressed out. Those juices, as you can see the steam rising in the foreground, are being boiled down into molasses. Overall Background: These Molasses Making Stir-off photos were shot by Joe Clark HBSS in the early to mid-1940s. Most of them 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 NBC Today Show video taped 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 ...
Date: 194u
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Scraping out sorghum]

Description: Photograph of a young boy seated atop a pile of sorghum stalks. He holds piece of one of the stalks as he scrapes out some of the insides using a knife. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194u
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Holding the grain]

Description: Photograph of a young woman holding the grain off the top of the sorghum stalks. There are tall sorghum stalks with the grain still attached behind the young woman. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194u
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections