Here's another Gifford image for the Commercial Club. My best guess is these men are burning the field as part of preparation for a new orchard. Any better ideas? I suspect this image was intended to show how "easy" it was to clear land for new orchards.
I don't think it was necessarily all that easy. It looks like they were blowing the stumps of the trees.
I think there is a possibility that this photo was intended to be used as "propaganda" to get people interested in the farming industry in the valley. Note, at least the men in front are not what you would consider farming, with their long coats and top hats.....Farmers clearing land of trees would be dirty......
They appear to be carrying bundles of baby trees, but don't see much in the way of an orchard diagram or layout.
charlott on 10th January 2017 @ 7:06am
This should be a Mystery Monday photo.
Looks like a war zone.
L.E. on 10th January 2017 @ 8:53am
Yes, LE, it seems like an odd photo for a promotional series. We have to try to imagine what it says to people in a different time. I think he is acknowledging the hard work to create orchard land, but attempting to understate it quite a bit. Of course it could be something entirely different.
It s followed by a photo showing bundles of bare root stock laid out, with rows set up for planting.
Arthur on 10th January 2017 @ 10:01am
The root crater in the foreground is very intentionally placed, so we have to assume it plays a starring role in whatever he was trying to convey.
Kyle on 10th January 2017 @ 11:28am
It looks like some planting has already occurred in the foreground and background. Some serious burning is going on over the hill. If you're going to be planting no reason to leave the craters, tree trunks and roots lying around getting in the way. The two men in topcoats are business types, the four others look like they know what they are doing and are dressed accordingly.
LMH on 10th January 2017 @ 11:43am
When looking at photographs one should look at what is visible, but one should look at what is not visible. For example, how are these men figuring to plant the trees, with their bare hands?
LMH on 10th January 2017 @ 11:53am
I would guess that this was brutally hard work. Either one had to dig under the tree with a shovel or somehow drill a hole under the tree to stick the powder in and then blast the stump. Then one would would use a team to pull the stumps into a pile for burning. After the piles were burned you would have to make multiple passes over the field with plows and scrapers to level the land. This would be followed by planting and somehow applying water to the trees.
Longshot on 10th January 2017 @ 1:06pm
So flat the land, maybe Dee Flat? With Middle Mtn in the background?
James on 10th January 2017 @ 2:06pm
Some of the men look like they might be Japanese. The men in top coats are a bit puzzling. Even for a posed photo.
I Have heard stories about my grandfather putting in a day at the mill, coming home to milk cows and then going out into the field with a lantern and digging down around the tree stumps and roots so they could be burned and I suppose blasted.
Then that field was eventually planted to crops.
All of this was done in a time of no indoor plumbing.
I don't think we have a clue about the hard, physical labor involved in trying to get ahead.
I wonder if anyone sat at an intersection with a cardboard sign?
L.E. on 10th January 2017 @ 2:54pm
Shot stumps on a logging road crew for awhile in my youth. Had a long solid steel round bar and jammed it down between the roots. Dropped one stick of powder down the hole and that opened up a hole under the stump big enough to drop enough sticks under the stump to blow it up. Kind of fun except when it didn't go off and you had to dig it out carefully by hand. Damned carefully.
Buzz on 10th January 2017 @ 4:01pm
I rescanned this image on our better scanner. I replaced the image in this post with a new one which looks much better to me. It's much clearer in this new scan that the men are carrying bundles of bare root apple trees for planting. The man to the left is, according to another frame, H. S. Galligan.
Arthur on 12th January 2017 @ 3:43pm