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Harvey Sod House 1915 | by Rodney Harvey
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Harvey Sod House 1915

Since I have a preoccupation / obsession with old houses, I wanted to show that it is hereditary. This photograph is my most treasured family photo. It was taken in Nov. 1915 near Tryon, Nebraska in the Sandhills. This is my great grandfather Henry Walter Harvey and his wfe Ruth. The boy on the left is my grandfather Howard Harvey. That is what is so special about this photograph. I knew this guy well when I was kid ! We would sit together in metal chairs in the yard quietly watching the opposite hillside. We would watch the cattle moving around and also the turkeys and deer. He used to say that he had lived in a soddie with dirt floors when he was a kid. Maybe 5 years ago this photo surfaced that we have never seen before. The Harveys homesteaded there from about 1908 to 1920 when they came back to green Missouri. I have been to this actual spot where just stones are scattered around in the sand. It is by far a most desolate place !! Beautiful in its way,but nothing as far as you can see. Desert-like. Must of been a hard existence. I think a traveliing photographer took this because they are in their everyday clothes. On the back it is written that Levi was asleep and George was gone. Albert doesn't have any shoes on so he probably just came outside for the pic.Because it looks a little cold. Also notice the hand-me-down overalls, how the holes get progressively worse the younger the boys are. Henry seems proud about getting the family picture taken ,but everyone else seems indifferent. Ruth especially looks tired of the hard life and raising 8 children.

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Taken on February 26, 2010