Tuesday, April 7, 2009

James W. Washington, Jr.'s Hometown

James Washington was born in Gloster, Mississippi in 1909.  That is the year after this picture was taken.  The unknown photographer took this photo from the railroad tracks toward the white side of town.  The population, of under 500 citizens, was very segregated.   

Mr. Washington said of Gloster, "Within the confines of Gloster proper there was a sawmill. We had a big sawmill, the Gloster Lumber Company. It was owned by F. A. Anderson. Most of the men and some of the women were employed there. It was almost a company town. 
However, people did farm, but not in Gloster. They were like four or five miles out; they’d farm and they brought their produce to town. But then we had other places to work. There was an oil mill and compress, and things like that. Pickle factory, where they made pickles. The people grew cucumbers and they had pickle vats, big vats, where they pickled pickles. (laughs) That’s a good, combination, pickled pickles!" — 1987 Smithsonian Interview by Paul Karlstrom

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