Photo of Immigrants Tells a Story

We’re kicking off a cool new series of posts called “Pictures Tell a Story” to study some old photos and see what we observe. Below is our first one, which shows a large group of Baltimore immigrants gathering to head out to the berry farms. This photo was taken in May of 1910. Also, does anyone know exactly where this is and if these buildings stand today?

- click image for more -
A street full of Baltimore immigrants lined up and ready to start for the country to the berry farms. Wolfe Street, near Canton Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland. Courtesy of Maryland Child Labor Committee. Location: Baltimore, Maryland.
A street full of Baltimore immigrants lined up and ready to start for the country to the berry farms. Wolfe Street, near Canton Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland. Courtesy of Maryland Child Labor Committee. Location: Baltimore, Maryland.

Source: Library of Congress

The first thing my eyes are drawn to is the girl and her family in the wagon. Who is she? What happened to her? I suspect the man in the photo is her father, the woman with her back to the camera is her mother and the other smaller person next to mom is her sister. The parasol might be up because there’s a baby in the wagon with them.

girl in wagon
girl in wagon

Next, check out the large group of parasols in the front wagon. It’s probably pretty hot and with the amount of clothes people wore back in the 1910s, they were probably roasting.

group of parasols
group of parasols

How about these two guys? What are they talking about? The man on the left doesn’t appear to be very old … maybe in the late 20s or early 30s? Irish, maybe Italian?

two guys
two guys

This one is interesting. It looks like the boy, maybe a teenager, is super bored. He has is left hand on his chin staring out into the distance. The three others in the wagon look like a boy on the left, a man in the middle, and a dark object in the background who might be the mother. It appears that they’re all wearing dark clothes.

boy in wagon
boy in wagon

Click on the image at top yourself. See what you see in the picture.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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