Days Gone By - stories from the past

Photographs of Gee’s Bend – two years after the assistance of the Federal Resettlement program in 1939 – new homes

The Resettlement Administration (RA) was a New Deal U.S. federal agency that, between April 1935 and December 1936, relocated struggling urban and rural families to communities planned by the federal government. The organization had four divisions: Rural Rehabilitation, Rural Resettlement, Land Utilization, and Suburban Resettlement.


Gee’s Bend in Wilcox County, Alabama was an African American community that received assistance from the RA. Below are some photographs of Gee’s Bend and citizens in the area taken in 1939 by Marion Post Wolcott from the Library of Congress after two years of assistance.

1939 Nolan Pettway’s children bringing home wagon-load of fertilizer, Gees Bend, Alabama

1939 Nolan Pettway's children bringing home wagonload of fertilizer, Gees Bend, Alabama

1939 Mark and Angelina Parker and their family working in their home garden. Gee’s Bend, Alabama1939 Mark and Angelina Parker and their family working in their home garden. Gee's Bend, Alabama

1939 N.R.A. and Lindberg Pettway, sons of Nolan Pettway in front of their new home, Gees Bend, Alabama

1939 N.R.A. and Lindberg Pettway, sons of Nolan Pettway, Gees Bend, Alabama

Nolan Pettway and some of his family on their front porch, Gees Bend, Alabama

1939 Nolan pettway with family on his front porch

Part of old house and new home of Little Pettway’s family. Gee’s Bend, Alabama, photograph taken by M. P. Walcott

Part of old house and new home of Little Pettway's family. Gee's Bend, Alabama, photograph taken by M. P. Walcott

Old type of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, home belonging to Mark and Angelina Parker. It is in three sections: guests or company house, sleeping house and kitchen, photograph taken by M. P. Walcott

Gee’s Bend new and old home

Gee's Bend new and old home

Jorena Pettway sorting peas inside her smokehouse. She still has many fruits and vegetables which she canned last year. Gee’s Bend, Alabama, photograph my M. P. Walcott

Jorena Pettway making flower decorations for her home. She has made practically all her own furniture and her own bedspreads and chair covers from flour sacks, etc. Gee’s Bend, Alabama, photograph by M. P. Walcott 1939

Jorena Pettway making flower decorations for her home. She has made practically all her own furniture and her own bedspreads and chair covers from flour sacks, etc. Gee's Bend, Alabama, photograph by M. P. Walcott 1939

Watching a Saturday afternoon ballgame (the first one).  1939 Gee’s Bend, Alabama

Watching a Saturday afternoon ballgame (the first one). It has been very difficult to start recreational activities because of objections of old preacher. Gee's Bend, Alabama

Watching a Saturday afternoon ballgame (the first one). It has been very difficult to start recreational activities because of objections of old preacher. Gee's Bend, Alabama2

Gertrude, churning on Isaiah Pettway’s porch, Gees Bend, Alabama

Gertrude, churning on Isaiah Pettway's porch, Gees Bend, Alabama

Aunt Nellie Pettway, carrying wood from yard for fireplace. Gees Bend, Alabama

Aunt Nellie Pettway, carrying wood from yard for fireplace. Gees Bend, Alabama

Aunt Sally, old midwife, the only doctor or nurse ever heard of in Gees Bend before project was started. Gees Bend, Alabama

Aunt Sally, old midwife, the only doctor or nurse ever heard of in Gees Bend before project was started. Gees Bend, Alabama

Jorena Pettway and her daughter making chair cover out of bleached flour sacks and flower decorations from paper. She also made the chairs and practically all the furniture in the house. Gees Bend, Alabama

 Jorana Pettway with daughter making chair covering

 

See more photographs of Gee’s Bend

Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Vol. I

Revised with direct links to many sources and burial sites! This book includes the genealogy of and biography of William Barrett Travis of Alamo fame and Elisha Cottingham, the Alabama descendants from the Tapestry of Love, Historical Fiction Series by Donna R. Causey. Check out all Alabama Pioneers Biography books.

Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable: Alabama Pioneers (Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable ALABAMA PIONEERS Book 1)


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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me
All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
She has authored numerous genealogy books.
RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE)
is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2)
is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series)
Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1)
is the continuation of the story. .
For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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4 comments

  1. Larry Lindsay

    Well, that didn’t work either.

  2. Katherine Kilgore

    How did Gee’s Bend fare in the long run?

    1. Katherine Kilgore

      Thanks. Very interesting.

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