Search Results

Advanced search parameters have been applied.

[Girls seated]

Description: Photograph of two young women seated on the rails of a wagon. The girls are part of a larger group visible in the background of the photograph. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Couple embraces]

Description: Photograph of a couple standing closely as they speak. The young man has his arm around the young woman. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Women and children]

Description: Photograph of young girls seated on the laps of women while a young boy stands near an older woman seated on the ground. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Singing along]

Description: Photograph of a large group of young adults singing together. In the foreground a man leans across the lap of a young woman. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Sop sticks]

Description: Photograph of children lined up tasting the sweet sorghum molasses off shortened sorghum cane used as a tasting spoon. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 1942
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Children laughing]

Description: Photograph of three young girls excitedly watching something happening out of the frame. The girls are standing on spent sorghum cane stalks. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Kissing]

Description: Photograph of a young couple kissing at a sorghum molasses stir off. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Couples on wagon]

Description: Photograph of multiples couples seated on the edges of a wagon. The foremost couple kisses while the others have arms around each other. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Laughing girls]

Description: Photograph of three girls jumping and laughing excitedly as they watch something happen out of the frame. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Women and children]

Description: Photograph of two children seated on the laps of two women. There is an older woman in the foreground of the photograph. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Women and children]

Description: Photograph of a young girl seated on a woman's lap. There is also a young boy standing next to them with another woman seated in the background and an older woman wearing a scarf to the right. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Walk by lamp light]

Description: Photograph of a young man and woman walking along a dirt path at night. They are arm in arm and the man is carrying a gas lamp. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Gathering at the stir off]

Description: Photograph of a crowd of townsfolk at a sorghum molasses stir-off. There are many people dancing, mingling, and playing music while other are seated on horses. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Crowded kiss]

Description: Photograph of a young man kissing a woman while surrounded by a circle of onlookers. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Children seated on laps]

Description: Photograph of two young children sitting on the laps of two adults. There is an older woman at eye level of one of the children while a girl in the background skims off impurities from the sorghum stir-off. The envelope containing the negative is annotated "stir-off".
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[A Moment Alone]

Description: Narrative by Junebug Clark in the summer of 2014: This couple has found a break in the celebration to sneak off and catch up on some time alone. Kissing games at Stir-off gatherings are a favorite pastime. Looks like a few girls in the background are jealous and looking for a beau. The kissing game usually started with single boys and girls forming a circle. A girl would run around the circle and tag a boy and he would then chase her around the circle. The idea being that if she beat him back to the spot he vacated - she was safe. If he caught her - a kiss was the prize. It's been said it was amazing how many girls got their feet tangled running around that circle. People watching the molasses syrup as it boils down use short pieces of sorghum cane stalk to make “sop sticks” used to dip into the molasses syrup for a taste. This was the height of the fall social season. Harvesting the sorghum, extracting the juice, boiling it down into molasses could take days and weeks going round the clock to finish. 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 …
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

[Stir-off Square Dance]

Description: Narrative by Junebug Clark in the summer of 2014 Stir-off Time, the harvesting of sorghum and the process of extracting out its juices and boiling it down into molasses was a day and night process that brought families, neighbors and friends together for this last social event in the Fall season. Besides sharing in the labor they also shared in fun and dance as local musicians came to play as did many of the single folk used this as an opportunity to meet and court. 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. …
Date: 194X
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections
Back to Top of Screen