Historic Hood River
“Letters from Old Mexico”
The forced removal of Japanese and Japanese-American farmers as well as the departure of men and women in the military or otherwise engaged in the war effort left a profound labor shortage which Mr. Marble documented in his annual report. He described in some detail how Mexican farm-workers were recruited to work in Hood River County along with workers from elsewhere in the US (Arkansas and Mississippi are specifically mentioned). He estimates 600 Mexican workers were placed at about 3,000 jobs or 30,540 person-days of work in the 1942 season, including thinning, cherry harvest, and pear/apple harvest. Placements included men, women and children (though predominately men). The report goes on to discuss problems observed in this program which might be addressed in future years.
This image was captioned, “Letters from Old Mexico. Letters Thumbtacked to Wall.” I’ll bet it felt good to see an envelope with your name on it tacked to the wall.
Tags: 1940s, farm workers, Mexico, Odell
This week has been quite a thoughtful, photographic peek back at some recent history. Thanks for sharing Arthur.
Did Mr. Marble document any or his own thoughts during this time?
In such a short time span, he would have seen the Japanese totally eradicated from the area, then the totally new faces of the Mexican labor force.
A labor force from Arkansas is mentioned. My dad talked about the Camas Paper Mill bringing in workers from Arkansas.
lots of hats.
About the last year of the war, my Mom was the bookkeeper for the program.