Lehigh Valley Express, White’s Line, 1898.
The Lehigh Valley Railroad came into existence in 1853. By
the 1890s, “Leaky Valley” lines stretched from New York
Harbor to Tifft Terminal in Buffalo, passing through
Pennsylvania and the Finger Lakes region. Local residents
made full use of passenger, mail, and freight services.
LeRoy Smith’s Residence and Team, 1901.
Verne Morton, like many photographers of his era, made many
images of people, their animals, their dwellings, and
outbuildings. The importance people attributed to personal
place and the lives they’d built largely with their own
ingenuity and labor endows such photographs with quiet pride
and sober reflection. A farmer’s team of horses or oxen was
so important that the animals almost inevitably appeared in
Ike Smith & Charles Hotchkiss Gathering Sap, 1903.
Sap, once running and tapped, had to be collected at least
daily or more often, depending upon weather conditions and
other factors affecting the flow. Typically, buckets were
dumped into larger containers and hauled to “sugar houses,”
shelters that usually were roughly constructed near the
sugar bush site.
Ike Smith Tending Fire, 1903.
A shelter was desirable when boiling sap, but not necessary.
Outdoors fires worked well when the weather cooperated, and
the tender didn’t have to inhale as much smoke.