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Tammy's All Things History

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American History

History on Saturday: Ionia County, Michigan and the Depression Era


A fellow history enthusiast posted a link to a Depression Era digitized photo collection presented by Yale on the Google+ community History as Prologue. He encouraged us to look at the site and see what we could find in our community. What a great idea! History as a big picture is great, and that picture always leads back to the very spot we are at at any given time or place. Local history is ripe for exploration, and it connects us all and leads to an understanding of our origins and how the past has led us to where we are now. We can then take that information and compare it to our own current time and this helps us make decisions about where we want to go in our future.

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Farmhouse. Ionia County, Michigan, August 1941 Photo Credit, Yale, John Vachon

I decided to explore and see what I could find. As I searched the interactive map I found Ionia County, which is the closest to my current location of Belding, Michigan, also in the same county. I found one photo. It is a small blip on a large radar, but it is a start. It shows a farm house and field. It is not much different to the way the county looks now. This photo is important because it gives insight into the people who lived here during the Depression Era and how they attempted to survive economic hard times in the aftermath of a world war. Perhaps, these folks just continued on as normal. Maybe they established the property or inherited it down from family. Many more curiosities can lead from this point. Hopefully, this collection will expand to bring a clearer focus of the people and their lives in Ionia County during the Depression.

For further reading and interest of Belding and Ionia County see:

City of Belding, Michigan http://www.ci.belding.mi.us/

Images of America: Belding (2014) by local author, Cindy M. Hughes

History of Ionia County Michigan: Her People, Industries and Institutions (1916) by Rev. E.E. Branch

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History on Saturday-Prologue: Pieces of History » Your photos, then and now


In honor of this Memorial Day Weekend 2014 I am reposing a blog from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Prologue: Pieces of History » Your photos, then and now.

I have always been a huge fan of Memorial Day probably due to my service in the military. Memorial Day becomes a part of your life when you think of all the great soldiers who have gone before you and that you stand to continue their legacy. Memorial Day has a huge history that revolves around President Lincoln. He had a good heart and wanted to preserve a day for all Americans to set aside one day a year. He wanted one day a year to put away anger and recognize united grief in loss of life resulting from a warring nation. Today mostly it is celebrated with hamburgers, hot dogs and sprinklers. I am grateful to have such a day to enjoy in May to reflect or just to pause from daily life routines and enjoy relax time.

How will you spend this day? What does Memorial Day mean to you? What part of Memorial Day history do you know or would like to know about?

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